By now, you're familiar with Movember. You've heard about it year after year or seen someone trying to grow a mustache for the month or perhaps you or your friends participated before. Of course, it started out in 2003 as a funny way to get guys talking about underrepresented health issues. But this annual whisker orgy is now merely the "hairy banner" on top of the Movember Foundation's global philanthropic movement. Over the last 15 years they've raised $837 million for men's health. And they're not slowing down, because there's still plenty of work to be done.
Here are the grim facts: Going to the doctor isn't typically something that ranks high on men's priority lists. The result? Men's health is in crisis, as men are dying six years earlier than women—for largely preventable reasons. For instance, testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men. The rates for testicular cancer have doubled in the last 50 years. And one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Perhaps even more disturbing, is the statistic that three quarters of suicides are men. Poor mental health leads to half a million men taking their own life every year. That's one every minute.
The Movember Foundation wants to help men think about their health differently. Open up about problems. And get better treatment when life gets tough. Globally, with the money these silly mustaches raise, they're working with the very best researchers and increasing collaboration with the medical and scientific community. This is resulting in real solutions for men—from significant research breakthroughs and revolutionary health initiatives to the world's first prostate cancer genome map.
At this rate, they estimate that by 2030, they'll reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%. Just yesterday, they announced the launch of a new campaign, 50 Million Men. Set to debut in early 2019, this unprecedented set of digital health products and health initiatives aims at ensuring happier and healthier lives for 50 million American men over the next five years. All of a sudden, those mustaches don't seem so silly. And even if you don't want to grow seemingly unflattering facial hair, there are a handful of ways you can be a part of the Movember movement.
Ready to participate?
Start with a clean shave and grow a mustache (or beard) to spark conversations and inspire donations.
Commit to walking or running 60 miles over the month. That's one mile for each man we lose to suicide every hour.
Help the cause simply by hosting friends, family and coworkers for an event.
Find a person or team to donate to and support, or simply give to the overall cause.