By: Andrew DiRienzo
While the issue of prostate cancer may not affect many students at this time, mental health is an ongoing battle and one that many men don’t want to admit they have to fight says Algonquin visiting physician Dr. Robert Stecher.
“I really sympathize with men with their mental health issues because I think a lot of men suffer in silence,” he said. “I think it’s just the way the average man is built. I think it’s maybe partly cultural, but I think it’s probably more so our hormonal makeup.”
Second-year business administration-marketing student Vishal Sheth agrees with Stecher. He said he believes men don’t talk because of a “pride issue.”
“Most men by nature feel invincible and the thought of anything taking them down is easily tossed away,” he said. “Hopefully with the Movember campaign, it will show men that talking about health issues doesn’t shaow that they’re weak or anything, it just shows that they’re concerned with their own health.”
This time around, not only will Movember focus on prostate cancer research, but the focus of men’s mental health has now been added.
“Mental health is a critical issue for men that affect over 3.4 million Canadian males each year,” said community manager of Movember
Canada, Jesse Hayman. “This is an important step in the evolution of Movember as we’re able to continue to address critical men’s health issues.”
He said since the inception of the campaign in Canada, it has raised over $75 million with the money going to causes such as Prostate Cancer Canada, The Movember Foundation’s GAP campaign and the Canadian Male Health Network.
While Movember does focus on serious issues such as men’s mental health and prostate cancer, it’s also about having some fun. Men get to grow – or try to grow – a moustache for one month and in the process compete with each other as well as make fun of other mos.
“It’s something cool,” said first-year radio broadcasting student Mathew Reisler. “It’s like a competition with your friends to see who can grow the best moustache.”
Hayman said it’s cool to see people from bankers to lawyers to firemen all sporting moustaches regardless of their jobs, but some men aren’t able to grow them because of their jobs.
Reisler said he doesn’t see the problem if the job is working at a fancy restaurant or something of the sort, because “you don’t want to scare people off.”
One thing is for sure, though: Movember is gaining steam in Canada.
“Last year 246,000 Canadians participated raising $42 million and since 2007 in Canada we’ve had 412,610 registrants,” Hayman said. “Nearly every campus across Canada is involved in the Movember campaign.”
Participants who raise a certain amount of money on their own or as part of a team qualify to win prizes such as gift cards, Schick razors and shaving cream and more. For more information on Movember including how to register, how to donate and much more visit ca.movember.com.