If you start to see the men in your life sporting a bit more upper lip hair than usual, chances are they’re doing it for a good cause. The annual “Movember” fundraising campaign, now in its 12th year, raises funds and awareness for men’s health throughout the month of November. Movember’s most iconic hallmark is encouraging men (“Bro Mo’s”) to cultivate a moustache throughout the month.
“Men’s health is in crisis and we need to take action,” said Greg Oliva, Community Development Manager for the Movember organization. “Too many men are suffering in silence because they think that it’s not manly to talk about health. We want to help men take a more active approach to their health.”
Money raised by the organization during the Movember campaign specifically funds programs and research in the areas of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
On Nov. 9, the Movember organization will host its inaugural “Undie Run” in Los Angeles, commencing at 10 a.m. at The Waterfront Venice. According to Oliva, the 2K Run/Walk event is exactly like it sounds it will be a group of Movember supporters running in their undies in support of men’s health.
According to the Movember organization, statistics related to the men’s health crisis are startling. In addition to men dying on average six years earlier than women, and for largely preventable reasons, the organization predicts that prostate cancer rates will double over the next 15 years, with testicular cancer rates having already doubled in the last 50 years. More than 174,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually in the U.S., with more than 3 million men now living with the disease. Worldwide, the organization found that one man dies by suicide every minute of every day, with males accounting for 75 percent of all suicides.
“We like to say men are often times suffering in silence,” Oliva said. “We want to really empower men. We want men to know that it’s okay to not be okay.”
By using the “ALEC” model (Ask, Listen, Encourage, Check-in), Oliva said the organization is all about helping men live longer, healthier lives.
Since its inception in 2003 – 2007 in Los Angeles – the organization has raised over $911 million and funded 1,250 initiatives globally. Last year’s Movember raised $638,573 in Los Angeles alone. And all funds raised (less roughly 27 percent for organization costs) go toward tackling the concerning men’s health statistics head- on with the goal of reducing the number of men dying prematurely by 25 percent by 2030.
In addition to growing a moustache, the organization encourages people to get involved by hosting events, making donations, or committing to “Move for Movember” by running or walking 60 hours during the month of November in honor of the 60 men per hour who take their own lives worldwide. Nationally, about 36,000 men die by suicide annually. For more information, visit: https://us.movember.com/.