Movember is uniquely placed to address Men’s Health on a global scale. In truth, there are a lot of blokes out there doing it tough, but the tragedy is — we don’t talk about it.
Grow a Mo’, save a Bro is a proactive initiative that provides funding for the three biggest health issues facing men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, with the aim to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by 2030.
Please introduce yourself and tell us what inspired you to get on board with Movember.
My name is Josh. I come from Texas, but call myself an Australian, as I’ve lived here since 2005. I have been calling Port Macquarie home since 2014 and love working at Cassegrain Wines out on the freeway as their Direct Sales Manager. I can credit jumping on board with Movember to an old work colleague of mine — Quentin Campbell – who is now managing aid work in Vietnam. He rocked a beaut mo’, but the cause for him was just as important, and the motivation was infectious.
I’ve done it for a few years now, but each year the cause hits harder to my conscience. My grandfather passed away from prostate cancer. I’ve had a few mates’ fathers suffer the same. My father-in-law has fought prostate cancer and won.
Beyond prostate cancer, which Movember seems to be most widely known for, funding research and projects that focus on men’s mental health really speaks to me. I’ve had a number of friends, and close mates go through bouts of depression and a few who succumbed to it. The impact is never singular, and the deaths of those close to me, I reflect on often. As a husband and a father of two boys, my mental state affects so much more than myself.
How does Movember work, and are there certain rules to be followed?
Most people engage/fundraise by growing a moustache. You can do this as a team (great for the workplace/sports team), or on your own. You can also host fundraiser events, as well as do “movement challenges” – which I’m also doing this year. I’m aiming to clock up 150 km of running, as well as 150 km of riding (pushbike). I’m no athlete, so for me, this will be a bit of a challenge, but I think I’ll be right.
Movember isn’t limited to the fellas. Ladies can host events and do the movement challenges too, as well as supporting a fella around you by donating.
Essentially, the rules to growing the mo’ for Movember is to shave it all off on the 1st. Let it sprout and take over, and observe your wife/partner/relatives/friends/colleagues look at you in disgust. Then, earn their respect by supporting the cause!
Grow a Mo, save a Bro aims to help men start conversations and help them feel mentally healthy and well. But for those men who are a little unsure or quiet, what advice would you give to them?
I’m no expert, but I know I’ve been through rough times. Having a close-knit crew of mates that you can be honest and real with is paramount. The quietest of fellas will open up about what they find fun and are passionate about. The dark times aren’t easy to talk about, but when we realise we all go through them to some degree (with our own flavours, of course), it provides a foundation to build on.
My parents always told me to choose my friends wisely. Being able to progress happily and confidently in life as an adult never stops being important. I believe we are the products of our environment. If we have the self-awareness to identify toxic friendships, we also have the power to leave it behind. This makes building on that foundation much easier when you know your support is a solid foundation too.
How can we all help make change happen?
Talk about it, but then act. The simple act of sporting a mo’ and starting a conversation might be all it takes to save a life. Literally, save a life.
We’re blessed to live in a country full of opportunity. If you can’t grow a mo’, support someone who can and donate. Essentially, build a habit of putting someone else’s life at the same level as yours.
For any individual or workplace that would like to get involved, where can people sign up and get more information?
au.movember.com but they are an active social community; their Facebook page is brilliant. Also, check out the resources on their website. They share about the level of detail they go to in their projects, which proves their relevance in our communities.
What do you hope to achieve by taking part?
Fundraising and breaking down the wall of conversation around the topic. Having worked for a charity for five years (Asian Aid — based in Wauchope), I know that community work costs a lot of money, and for big impact, you need big scale. These aren’t small machines to operate, so if I can help keep the cogs greased — happy days.
Where can we donate to your fundraising?
I’m aiming for $4,000 this year — the largest amount I’ve fundraised. You can donate here: https://mobro.co/loosefitmind