Let’s make men’s health a national conversation.
Thrivers across our six locations were joined by eight-year Mo Bro and one of Movember’s Senior Fundraisers, Jake Lambert this week to put the spotlight on men’s health and the great work that Movember does.
Movember started in 2003 when two mates (Travis Garon and Luke Slattery) met for a beer in Melbourne and joked about bringing the ‘Mo’ back. What started as a challenge between 30 friends, charging $10 per Mo, to go towards supporting prostate cancer has become a global phenomenon, supported by over 6 million Mo Bros and Mo Sisters all fundraising to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.
Jake talked to Thrivers about his passions for the power of conversation, connection and community and how having a conversation can be lifesaving.
We love working with Movember, can you share with our community what it is all about?
Ultimately we want to break the stigma around mental health and change behaviours in young men. Globally, 1 man dies by suicide every minute. That’s too many - our goal is to change lives and attitudes to help men and normalise supporting each other through tough times.
What are the stats?
In Australia, 3 out of 4 suicides are men, 1 in 5 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men. Men are dying 4 years earlier than women and for largely preventable reasons. Our fathers, brothers, sons, and mates are facing a health crisis…yet it’s rarely talked about. We can’t afford to stay silent. It’s time to confront, challenge and change the face of men’s health.
What does men's mental health mean to you?
It is about breaking down the barriers and supporting each other. There is still a stigma among men, to talk to each other about their feelings. It is getting better for sure, and the uptake from schools these days is really strong.
There’s also less shame and more awareness (in schools) today, when it comes to ‘checking your pair’ and you’ll find young men in class checking (themselves) on the spot, following hearing from a Mo Bro (laughs). We’ve come a long way in 15 years as I wasn’t doing that in front of my science teacher (laughs).
From the mental health side of things, what we often find is at around 18 or 19, when young men leave school, they lose structure in their lives which is what they really need. Our goal is to bring guys who don’t feel like they have a community together, to reduce the number of men who reach crisis point.
How are you tweaking the conversation with different cultural communities?
We’re always guided by the community leaders, whether that be through schools, workplaces or whoever we are talking to, to ensure we are being sensitive to the pressures facing different communities. Being privy to this (information) often leads us to the ‘gold’ and to having what could be a lifesaving conversation with young men.
How are people getting involved with Movember?
There’s no shortage of ways to get involved, you can Grow, Move, Host, or Mo your own way, year round.
People really get into it, we have supporters setting challenges like cycling between Newcastle and Hervey Bay, which is a fair old way, and one Mo Bro who literally mowed 126 kilometres in one day. The WoW Sand n Surf program run through the Waves of Wellness Foundation supports young men in becoming mentally and physically fit through a 6 week learn-to-surf wellness program that teaches young men the skills they need to cope with everyday challenges. Globally we have funded over 1250 programs, which is just incredible.
What is your goal with all the work that you do with Movember?
To be that person that people want to talk to. We encourage everyone to do it for the men in their lives. Sign up now at www.movember.com or via the Movember app. Whatever you Grow will save a Bro.
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