BY HEATHER STANLEY
December is fast approaching, which means Movember is almost over.
The annual event encourages men to grow moustaches to raise awareness about men’s health issues, particularly prostate and testicular cancer.
According to Movember Canada, the average life expectancy for Canadian men is four years less than women. One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem each year and about two in five will develop cancer. However, “avoidable mortality accounts for 74 per cent of premature deaths among men.”
The best way to get involved with Movember, besides raising funds, is to openly discuss and understand the health issues that men face. For both men and women, there is a reluctance to discuss their health and to take action.
“Movember is a basic trend which is becoming a big thing these days,” said Kevin Peters, a first-year human service foundations student. Peters has a moustache but doesn’t shave it. “I think it does help the cause. Mine doesn’t grow back at all really fast. That’s why I don’t really do that much, so I shave my beard because it grows back fast. But for the point of awareness I believe it’s a good thing to do.”
At the college Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) held a photo contest for men from Nov. 3 to 21. The contest encouraged men to shave their facial hair in support of Movember. After they shaved they were to send in a photo of their clean-shaven face via Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #moustachesofconestoga.
On Nov. 21 contestants had to go to the CSI office where a photo was taken of their facial hair. The before and after photos were viewed and voted on, with the men having the top three ’staches receiving a prize. The winner won a television, second place received a gift card pack and third place won a “manly gift basket.”
Another way Conestoga has been increasing awareness is by raising funds, with proceeds going to the Movember foundation via the CSI Service Hub. According to Movember Canada’s website, over 28,000 students from universities and colleges across the country raised over $2.8 million last year. The current amount raised this year so far, as of Nov. 16, is $736,132.
“It’s not only about the funds but more about the conversations,” said Josh Hillis of KW Movember in a recent interview with 519 Online News. “Women can get involved by encouraging their men to go see the doctor, to have those conversations that most people don’t like to have and then to be active in the community.”
Students can donate to the cause either through CSI or online at Movember Canada.