Image credits: Provincia di Firenze
When you think of the month of November, the first thing to usually to come to mind is the start of Thanksgiving and the Holidays. Family gatherings, colder weather, fires, and warm clothing. You may also see old friends during your break from work or returning home.
You may also think of or see an increase in moustaches...
Movember started way back in 2003 by two Australian friends, Travis Garrone and Luke Slattery, having a beer together. The growth of some well groomed, poor, or gnarly moustaches started locally by 30 men looking to raise awareness around men's health, prostate cancer awareness to be exact. The following year, they expanded their efforts (480 participants) and started raising money ($40,851) and funding men's health projects (6).
In 2020, to help address some of the long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Movember announced funding for 34 separate projects that will support the mental health and wellbeing of men and boys. A mass media behaviour change campaign aimed at encouraging millions of young men to talk about their mental health, was also successfully launched. Today, the Movember movement has grown from efforts in solely Australia to a global movement of awareness and support with 6 million participants donating or growing to help the cause around the world. (https://us.movember.com/about/history)
Thankfully, like Movember, today there are more campaigns and efforts to bring awareness and funds to an underserved demographic w/ a stigma towards mental health. According to the CDC, suicide is the leading cause of death in the US, with men being more likely to attempt and successfully commit suicide (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide#part_2557). While we here at Collective Minds believe everyone deserves peace of mind, no matter who you are, we always want to shed light on different stories and areas that can use the most support and a helping hand.
It's natural for men's relationship with mental struggles, anxiety, or depression to be suppressed and pushed away. Many see themselves or have others looking at them to be the strong figures of a family, a group of friends or peers, and to not be perceived as weak or vulnerable amongst other men in their community. Men are more likely to portray themselves in physical or mental position of strength without wanting to ever admit something is wrong. Ignoring big or even little bits of chink in their armor removes them from getting help or talking to someone about their mental health, a very unhealthy habit and trait that has been a mainstay for men throughout history.
So whether you're doing a Friendsgiving, Family gathering, both, or neither, remember to talk openly about your struggles, share you support, lend an ear, or just let people know you are there for them - and that they and a community of other platforms will be there for you too.
Eat well, stay safe, and take care of yourself and each other. Happy Thanksgiving from our team to you!
Until Next Time,
Alex and the rest of the Collective Minds team
Utilize our partner, 7Cups of Tea (https://www.7cups.com/) for free listeners who can be an unbiased party to help listen to your problems, or talk through a rough patch. New users can use code 25OFF7COT for $25 off their first month of online therapy.
Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has resources to help if you need to find support for yourself or a loved one.