From today, millions of people all over the world will be growing and grooming dapper moustaches for a very good cause.
Movember raises awareness and vital funds for male cancers, mental health and suicide prevention and encourages men to speak up and talk openly with each other about their health.
Movember Foundation CEO Owen Sharp said: “We’re still talking about mens cancer – prostate cancer and testicular cancer – but we’ve got a real emphasis on talking about mental health and wellbeing.
“The reasons for that are the scary numbers. Three out of four people who take their own life are men, and it’s the biggest killer of men under the age of 44 in Australia at the moment.
“Globally, over half a million men every year take their own life, that means we’re losing one man every minute to suicide. We’ve got to change that.
“There is a lot that needs to be done, but by talking about it, by encouraging our friends to take action for their health and supporting them, we can help keep the men we love around to live happier, healthier, longer lives.”
By 2030, the Movember Foundation wants to reduce the number of early deaths in men by 25 per cent and halve the life expectancy gap between men and women.
Movember is simple – every participant starts with a clean shave at the start of the month, with a “before” photo to prove it.
You can sign up at the Movember Australia website and fundraise by growing a moustache, set an exercise goal, host an event or make a tax-deductible donation.
Are you participating in Movember? Share your story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Tuesday, tennis star Pat Rafter and INXS guitarist Kirk Pengilly prepared to take part in Movember by having their facial hair shaved at Sydney Bondi Beach.
Movember was started by a group of men in Melbourne in 2003, and has since spread to 21 countries and has raised more than $850 million.
Last year Australians donated more than $26 million to the cause as more than 70,000 participated.
The Movember Foundation recently threw their support behind marriage equality.
“We stand in support of the LGBTIQ+ community, just as they have been strong supporters of Movember’s mission to stop men dying too young,” the group said.
“We believe that, regardless of individual views on the subject, it is critically important that any debate is undertaken in a respectful way which recognises the significant mental health impact that these conversations can have on affected individuals.”
If you need support, help is always available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.