Come November, you can’t help but notice the array of upper-lip facial hair adorning the faces of the intrepid men around us. Whilst an imperial handlebar moustache in 2018 is more a fashion faux pas than it is a statement, those sporting them this November are doing so for a very good cause.
The Movember Foundation is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health – not just in Australia but on a global scale. Focusing on the wider issues which are directly impacting men, Movember raises awareness and funds for some of the more pressing health issues including: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, as well as mental health and suicide prevention.
What the health?
Many men’s health statistics make for a grim reading:
- Around the world, a man loses his life to suicide around every minute of every day1.
- On average, a man's life expectancy is five years less than a woman's, and men live with poorer health and carry the greater burden of chronic disease2.
- Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50 years3. Globally, prostate cancer rates will likely double in the next 15 years.
And with one in every four Australian women being diagnosed with cancer by the age of 75 years, it’s an even more frightening statistic that it's one in three for men, with prostate cancer being the most prevalent in Australia4.
'The strong silent type'
It is clear to see men’s health is in crisis. Talking about and bringing the issues to the surface is crucial for improvement in the future.
Dr Stephen Carbone from beyondblue says, “masculinity norms are one of the contributing factors to men not seeking treatment”5.
In general, men tend to put off getting any kind of support as some may think it’s a sign of weakness. Many men think they’re supposed to be tough, self-reliant, and able to manage pain and take charge of situations6.
In the executive survey by University of Sydney for the Movember Foundation, 46% of men surveyed had experienced at least one of the seven major life events which they found stressful and in turn had resulted in suicidal thoughts7.
The seven major life events included: suddenly or unexpectedly becoming unemployed, becoming a parent for the first time, experiencing a relationship breakdown, retiring, starting a new job, finishing school or starting university or college.
In a three-part documentary series by the Movember Foundation called “Man Up”, they speak of the alarming new research which suggests men would rather choose to end their own life, than to appear weak by asking for help8.
You can't take care of your family, if you don't take care of yourself
With a reported 86% of Australian men living with a partner and kids who consider themselves the household’s main income earnier9, there is an onus on men to ensure they’re considering their own health and what could happen if they don’t.
From ALI’s perspective, we see these statistics play out in our claims experience with 50% of all claims made for male policyholders in the last financial year. While men may be the first to bat away the thought of needing help or protection, it something that needs to be discussed rather than avoided.
Support the ALI Mo team this month in their quest to raise $5,000 for the Movember Foundation - click here.
1. Global Health & Wellbeing survey, executive summary [accessed at: https://cdn.movember.com/uploads/images/2017/Our%20Work/Publications/Mens_Health_Survey_Executive_Summary_FA.pdf2. Global Health & Wellbeing survey, executive summary [accessed at: https://cdn.movember.com/uploads/images/2017/Our%20Work/Publications/Mens_Health_Survey_Executive_Summary_FA.pdf3. https://au.movember.com/about/cause4. https://au.movember.com/about/cause5. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/Blog/BlogCollectionPage/depression-in-men-the-first-step-is-acknowledgment]6. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/Blog/BlogCollectionPage/depression-in-men-the-first-step-is-acknowledgment]7. Global Health & Wellbeing survey, executive summary [accessed at: https://cdn.movember.com/uploads/images/2017/Our%20Work/Publications/Mens_Health_Survey_Executive_Summary_FA.pdf8. https://au.movember.com/mens-health/man-up9. https://www.canstar.com.au/news-articles/52-women-identify-main-breadwinner/
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