What Is Movember? How It Started and Why It’s Important
Movember is an annual event dedicated to the month of November for “Mo Bros” to grow mustaches to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues. Their focus is on four key health issues: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, and physical activity. The Movember Foundation is the only charity focused on men’s health issues. Even if you’re not a guy, you can still get involved by being active. Set a goal for the month (and beyond!), whether it’s for running, walking, swimming, biking, rowing, lifting, etc., and raise money while you work to achieve it. This is what the Movember Foundation likes to call “Move.” Take the Move Challenge by joining the Movember Foundation.
There are many ways that you can get involved to support Movember and men’s health. Visit the Movember Foundation website and see how you can make a difference in a man’s life.
How it started
In 2003, two men from Melbourne, Australia (Travis Garone and Luke Slattery) had a conversation about bringing the mustache back as a fashion trend. They ended up talking their friends into growing a “mo” and decided to create a campaign about men’s health and prostate cancer. They convinced their friends to grow a mustache and charged ten dollars to participate.
In 2004, the guys decided to take their campaign to the next level and approached the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) to formally endorse their cause. The PCFA agreed to accept funds for the campaign and received the largest donation ever from the first Movember check. 450 Mo Bros raised $54,000 AUD (a little over $42,000 U.S. dollars) and the PCFA became their first official men’s health partner. During early research within the organization, the founders found out that depression was a significant issue in men’s health. The national depression and anxiety initiative was brought on as Movember’s second men’s health partner.
In 2006, the four co-founders established an official Australian charity: the Movember Foundation. The charity became so big that Adam and Luke began to work on it full time. The campaign was launched in New Zealand that year, and in 2007, the co-founders decided to grow the campaign internationally, launching it in the U.S., Canada, Spain, and the U.K.
Today, the campaign is official in 21 countries and has raised over 730 million AUD to fund over 1,000 men’s health programs.
Why it matters
Men may find it difficult to speak about the mental and physical health complications that they may encounter. Studies have found that one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Testicular cancer is also a very common illness for men as young as 15. All the complications that men may undergo often go unspoken and may be overlooked by many men. The whole motive behind Movember is to promote awareness to men’s health, and to break down the stigma around talking about it.