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The most important Mo you’ll ever grow 

[by Lisa Minner]

Nathan Appo promoting Movember. Image: supplied

AUSTRALIA’s leading men’s health organisation, Movember, is reminding Aussies that in 2020, it will be the most important Mo you’ll ever grow. In what has been a tougher year than most, the charity is calling on Mo Bros to unite, farewell the follicles and shave down on October 30, to raise funds that will stop men dying too young.

Now in its 17th year, the annual Mo-growing campaign encourages ‘Mo Bros’ and ‘Mo Sisters’ across the country, to rally in support of Movember’s cause areas; men’s mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
 
Movember’s APAC Country Director Rachel Carr said, “If there’s ever been a time to embrace Movember and shed those lockdown beards, it’s now, in 2020. It’s been an incredibly difficult year for men, which makes this year’s campaign our most important, yet.
 
“Research conducted by Movember shows us the effects of the pandemic on men’s mental health in particular, is concerning, and is still far from over. Job losses, relationship stresses and social isolation are taking a toll. We’ve been working hard to fast-track digital mental health resources, to address the need.
 
“Every donation, no matter how small adds up. Signing up for Mo-season is also great way to stay connected within your own social circles, it’s been shown that supporting others can improve your own wellbeing.


“With the help of our community, Movember will continue funding and applying research to prevent our fathers, brothers, partners, sons and friends, from dying prematurely,” she said.
 
Men’s mental health and COVID

  • Figures released earlier this year by Movember, as part of a global study carried out by the Social Research Centrei found that:

    • Over half of Aussie men (52 per cent) said no one asked how they’re coping during the COVID-19 pandemic

    • 23% of men said their mental health had worsened in the first six weeks of the pandemic, with 30% noting increased feelings of loneliness

    • Older men are the group most likely to have experienced poorer social connection, with 61 per cent of men aged 45+ years reporting they feel less connected to their friends since the COVID-19 outbreak

    • In Australia, calls to Lifeline increased by 25% when physical distancing kicked in

 

Movember’s Global Director of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Brendan Maher said, “Not surprisingly, our research confirmed that the impact of COVID-19 has hit men pretty hard, in Australia and globally. The statistics show us men are anxious and uncertain about the future.


“Many guys are isolated and disconnected from their usual social support networks – and the places where men usually go to have those shoulder-to-shoulder conversations with their mates, like going out for a drink or a bite to eat, watching or playing sport, or going to the gym, have been severely reduced.

“We know men aren’t great at asking for, or seeking help at the best of times, so we need to do as much as we can to buffer some of the problems they’re facing, now. The programs Movember have delivered this year will make a meaningful impact going forward,” he said.

Where the money goes, 2020 initiatives:

  • Digital mental health tools, including Movember Conversations, a free online ‘conversation simulator’ to kick start conversations with the men who might be struggling

  • $3.7million into the Social Innovators Challenge, designed to fund projects aimed at creating social connectedness and mental wellbeing in men

  • $3.2million for the Social Connections Challenge to engage with innovative, crowd sourced digital or technology ideas, to better connect men amid isolation

  • Mental health grants for Veterans and First Responders initiatives with an initial investment of $6.34million over the next two years (supported by DGR)

 

TIPS TO GROW YOUR MO

·       Be prepared: Aim for a style that will grace your face, but embrace the moustache that nature gives you, because whatever you grow will save a bro. 

·       Be brave: The first few days, even weeks, can be uncomfortable as your Mo takes shape. Ride it out to encourage donations. 

·       Ignore the itching: Remind yourself that men have endured worse in the past. You can stand a little face tickle. 

·       Shape your moustache: Get across all the proper grooming techniques. A great Mo comes down to great grooming. 

·       Nurture it and keep it clean: Look after your Mo, and your Mo will look after you. 

 
OTHER WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

  • Move for Movember- Commit to running or walking 60kms over the month. That’s 60kms for the 60 men we lose to suicide each hour, every hour across the world. You can join a team or run solo.

  • Host a Mo-ment- Rally a crew and do something fun. Hosting is all about having a good time for a good cause. And you can always put a virtual spin on your plans. The best part? Virtual events are easy to organise, cheap to run and you can go in your slippers. Think an online gaming tournament, Mo Bingo or a virtual trivia night.

  • Mo Your Own Way- A choose-your-own-adventure challenge, epic in scope and scale. You make the rules. You set the limits and chase them down. Take a hike, run a relay, ride from Wollongong to Wagga Wagga. Get creative, push your limits and inspire donations with sheer grit.

 

WHY DO WE DO IT AGAIN?

  • Globally, we lose one man every minute to suicide

  • That’s six men a day in Australia

  • We want to halve the number of deaths from prostate and testicular cancer by 2030

  • Over 220,000 men are living with or beyond prostate cancer in Australia

  • Nine men a day die from prostate cancer

  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men

To date, Movember has welcomed six million supporters and helped fund 1250 innovative health projects across 20 countries. But we’re not done yet.
  
Crisis support can be found: movember.com/getsupport and at Lifeline: (13 11 14 and lifeline.org.au)

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