Movember is the month formally known as November, in which men grow their moustaches to raise money for men’s health issues. While some believe the awareness month began to support prostate cancer, Movember actually helps to fund a variety of men’s health initiatives.
Started in Melbourne, Australia in 2003, Movember has become an international phenomenon that has contributed to substantial research findings. The “mo bros” – men who participate in the activity – aim to raise awareness not only for prostate cancer but also testicular cancer, men’s mental health and other physical aspects of men’s physical health. The bottom line of the Movember cause is a desire to help men live longer, healthier lives.
While Movember may appear to be a men’s-only affair, women actually also participate in the fundraising. Referred to as “mo sistas” the mo bro female counterparts helps raise funds by supporting the organization through donations, events, and simply spreading the word any way they can to encourage others to donate.
In just six short years, Movember grew to seven participating countries, 629,252 participants, and raised $87,132,200 in funding. It also obtained official charity status, funded 254 men’s health projects, and through its funding of the Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center enabled the significant breakthrough of identifying 25+ different kinds of prostate cancer.
Today, Movember is recognized in 21 countries, with 4,746,905 participants, and has raised $649 million since it started in 2003. The effort has funded 832 men’s health projects and was ranked 72nd of the top 500 non-governmental organizations in the world. With the recent study by the World Health Organization that found roughly 510,000 men die from suicide each year, Movember’s effort to address mental health is tackling a real and raw issue. Movember indeed is so much more than just growing a moustache.
For more information on Movember and how to get involved, please see the following resources: