|Posted on December 27, 2014 at 8:55 AM|
Written by Nicola Godsell
You may have noticed a sudden boom in the number of moustaches around last November, well it is all for a good reason. Movember is a charity set up in Australia in 1996 to raise funds and awareness for male health issues. They aim to address the taboo subject of mental health and prostate and testicular cancers, making men more aware of these problems that may affect them and ways to help those affected. By holding this annual event the organisation has raised £346 million to date by getting members of the public worldwide to brave the added facial hair for one month, that being the classic handlebars or an Einstein replica. After all there has been a strange fascination with moustaches over recent years with them popping up on random objects such as mugs, phone cases and even cushions. The moustache seems to be making a return… so watch out for familiar moustaches of famous figures in history, perhaps your history teacher is a Charlie Chaplin look alike?
Today, there is this frightening figure that 1 in 3 people will develop cancer at some point in their life, which is something the population today will sadly have to face. Prostate cancer affects around 37,000 men in the UK each year and is most common in men over 50, whereas testicular cancer affects young men mostly between 15-30, so men of all ages should be aware of these and be checking for symptoms. What is so frustrating is that both these cancers can be treated if caught early, but due to the awkwardness of talking about it, many men shy away from seeking help despite recognising the symptoms. The painful irony is that testicular cancer is actually 95% curable if caught early. The thought of facing cancer is difficult to comprehend, but there is no harm in checking yourself out and spreading the word. You never know, it may help someone you care about.
Other male health issues are even harder to discuss, namely mental health issues, which the Movember campaign is trying to bring out of the shadows. There is this social standing that men must be macho and tough, but even the biggest hard guy may be affected by disorders such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia or an eating disorder. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorder in the UK with 1 in 8 men diagnosed with a common mental disorder at any one time. Yes, this seems staggeringly high yet no one seems to talk about mental disorders like they would if someone broke a bone or had arthritis. Should a psychological illness be treated any differently to a physical one? Men are often found unaware or undiagnosed of a mental condition they may have due to the lack of awareness of any signs or symptoms that there is something wrong. The stigma associated with men seeking medical help is unnecessary; surely the benefits of gaining treatment and keeping your health should be a priority?
So although there are many serious aspects to the Movember campaign feel free to have a giggle at the hairy monstrosities, kindly many male staff members of Berkhamsted School have got involved and supported the campaign this year. Spread the word and perhaps if you’re feeling particularly brave, bear a moustache yourself next November.