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One-minute guide to Movember

Why has November changed its name and why is it important for us to take notice?

What is Movember?

It’s the new November! Actually, it’s a combination of ‘mo’ (the nickname for a moustache) and the 11th month’s name. Movember has become a global event where people fund raise and raise awareness of men’s health – some by growing a moustache, hosting events or taking up a ‘move challenge’ for sponsorship.

Where did the idea come from?

Movember started in 2003, when friends Travis Garone and Luke Slattery met for a beer in Melbourne, Australia, and decided to challenge others to grow a moustache to raise money for men’s health and prostate cancer. From the first 30 participants that year, it has grown to be one of the most recognised awareness months in many countries’ health calendar, with five million people getting involved at the last count.

Why is it important?

The Movember Foundation raises funds for research and health projects in two areas of men’s health – male cancers, and male mental health and suicide prevention. By 2030, it aims to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%. Movember helps raise awareness and encourages men to take action for their health, whether by getting a health issue checked out or by being more comfortable to speak to others about what is concerning them.

How can I check myself for these male cancers?

Check out the symptoms of prostate cancer and testicular cancer. It’s important to check and see your GP if you have any concerns. Prostate cancer is the second biggest cancer affecting men and its numbers are set to double in the next 15 years. Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50 and it’s the most common cancer in men aged 25–49.

Why is mental health a focus for Movember?

One in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. Each day, more than 13 men commit suicide in the UK and it’s the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45. Movember is aiming to change male behaviour by encouraging men to talk about their issues, and offering resources and funding to help them do so.

How can I find out more?

Visit uk.movember.com for fundraising ideas and more about the projects that the Movember Foundation supports. For support with mental health issues, Benenden members can call the Psychological Wellbeing helpline on 0800 414 8247* from the UK or +44 800 414 8247* from abroad.*

Please make sure you have your membership number to hand.

(*Some mobile networks limit access to UK-based freephone numbers when calling from abroad. Please contact your mobile network provider if you experience issues or use a landline for your call.)