Movember: Improving men’s health one whisker at a time - Thoughts from the Centre | Deloitte UK

By Bryan Thomson, Assistant Client Programme Manager, Deloitte

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Every November, Mo Bros and Mo Sisters come together to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues. The Movember movement, that originated in Australia with 30 participants, continues to gather momentum and now, in its 20th year, involves over five million participants worldwide.1 This annual global campaign is recognised for its overt visual identity (Grow a Mo), fun and disruptive approach which gets people talking about and raising money for three important men’s health issues: mental health and suicide prevention, testicular cancer and prostate cancer. Through increased awareness, the campaign aims to prompt conversations to improve early detection rates and diagnosis as well as improve the physical and mental health wellbeing for those suffering in silence. This blog explores each of the focus issues and introduces you to some of Deloitte’s Mo Bros and Mo Sisters who took part in this year’s campaign.

The crisis

Across the globe, men die on average 4.5 years younger than women, of causes that are largely preventable.2 Movember’s mission statement, to reduce the number of men dying prematurely, is focused on three key issues:

  • Suicide prevention - one man dies by suicide every minute of every day (over half a million men every year). Men account for 69 per cent of all deaths by suicide.3 While suicide impacts men of all ages with an increasing number of men are taking their own lives, younger men from lower-income backgrounds are particularly at risk. To tackle this complex issue, Movember looks at mental health through a male lens, focussing on prevention, early intervention, and mental health promotion while connecting experts across the ecosystem.
  • Testicular cancer - testicular cancer is the most prevalent cancer in young men 15-49 years, with around 2,400 men diagnosed in the UK each year.4,5 With a greater than 95 per cent survival rate, Movember is dedicated to moving the dial on investing in ground-breaking treatment, early diagnosis and helping those with this cancer to get their lives back on track with the ethos that it’s not just about a cure – it’s about quality of life.6
  • Prostate cancer - prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men aged over 45 years.7 Globally some 1,028 men die every day from prostate cancer and 11 million men were living with or beyond prostate cancer in 2019.8 The disease often develops slowly, and early diagnosis improves the available options and outcomes, so it is important to know what symptoms to look for and understand factors that can increase risk including age, race and family history.9 On the journey to fight prostate cancer so far, Movember have funded 54 inventions, 70 therapies and 107 diagnostic tests.10

It is Movember’s mission to tackle these issues head-on and by 2030:

  • reduce premature male deaths by 25 per cent
  • halve deaths from prostate and testicular cancer
  • reduce the male suicide rate by 25 per cent.11

To achieve this, Movember are investing in education, changing behaviours, funding essential breakthrough research and giving men a platform to share their stories.

Deloitte participants

Every year, teams from across the length and breadth of Deloitte come together to support this important cause; growing moustaches, moving, walking, running, hosting Mo-ments, or thinking outside the box and Mo-ing their own way, all to raise funds and increase awareness and support.

We have spoken with some of the Deloitte participants to share what Movember means to them and why it was important for them to take part.

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Luke Jowett

“I was always a part of Movember when I was at university and I wanted to try and get a few of my team involved this year.

This is the first year I have properly done my research into Movember, spending a fair bit of time on thier website to truly understand what they do and where the money goes.

From a personal perspective, Movember means a fair bit to me because I understand the struggles that men go through about opening up about mental and personal problems and whilst I haven’t had many troubles myself, I see that rather as a blessing and want to try and help the cause so that all men can have an easier experience such as mine.

I like to take part because it is such a great cause and also a great opportunity to grow a ‘tache’ and have a bit of fun.”

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Owen Rowlands

“To me, Movember means recognising that although anyone can face mental illnesses and challenges, many men feel unable to open up about their feelings and are therefore disproportionately more likely to reach the point of suicide. Continuing to de-stigmatise the discussion of men’s mental health is extremely important and will help to save lives, both figuratively and literally. Movember also do amazing work surrounding research into testicular and prostate cancer.

I am taking part this year because I want to raise funds and awareness for an amazing cause which is very close to my heart. Also, in pushing myself to try and complete my running challenge, I will hopefully improve my personal mental and physical health.”

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Harvie Chaperlin

“Movember is about raising awareness for men’s mental health, prostate and testicular cancer. The fact you can spot someone taking part without even speaking to them can help drive awareness and encourage conversations around the causes that the charity supports. Additionally, the team nature of Movember makes it feel more of a group activity and helps drum up encouragement from peers.

I am taking part in Movember to help create conversations about men’s mental health, testicular and prostate cancer. There is particularly a stigma around men’s mental health, so if someone sees me sporting a dodgy ‘tache’ and as a result, opens up to a friend about how they are feeling, I’d consider this month a success!”

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Priya Patel

“To me, Movember is an opportunity to bring light to some of the biggest challenges faced by men in terms of mental and physical health. As a woman, I feel there is a lot of support available for me should I need mental health care or care for breast cancer/ovarian cancer, but the equivalent may not be possible to say for men. There is such a big societal stigma around men being open, vulnerable and emotional and I have seen first-hand through the men in my family how it can impact both physical and mental health. This month is a time to reflect on what men can do to access support, take care of their wellbeing, how we as women can support the men in our lives and to raise some money for a fantastic cause.

My dad lost my grandad a few months ago and I noticed he only allowed himself to feel the grief when he wasn’t around us, that was heart breaking. I wish every man was comfortable to just feel openly. Similarly, my uncle is in 24-hour care as he is mentally and physically disabled, but the stigma has meant he refuses access to mental health support. There are many more stories I can share - of friends, colleagues, and current/previous partners. But the point is, I feel this year has been even harder and I just want to be a part of the conversation – men’s health matters.”

Conclusion

The Movember movement, with its focus on investing in research, improving education and building communities where men feel more comfortable talking about their physical and mental health, is playing a leading role in improving men’s health outcomes. I welcome a future where we are just as open about men’s health issues as other health topics and this increased awareness reduces premature male deaths. It is important that throughout the year we all reflect on ways that we can help to improve awareness of key health issues affecting us all and help to save lives. You can also all do your bit to help by donating money or even joining the movement and raising funds yourselves.12

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Bryan Thomson, Assistant Client Programme Manager

Bryan is an Assistant Programme Manager in Deloitte's Energy, Resources & Industrials practice. With a background in engineering and marketing, he works with the Industry Business Partner to manage our client portfolio. Leading internal communications and industry learning, Bryan has a passion for people development and inclusion and in interest in decarbonisation and finding creative solutions to complex tasks.

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[1] https://uk.movember.com/team/2422481

[2] https://uk.movember.com/about/foundation

[3] https://uk.movember.com/mens-health/general

[4] https://us.movember.com/about/cause

[5] https://itsinthebag.org.uk/ball-checking/facts/

[6] https://uk.movember.com/impact#/

[7] https://uk.movember.com/about/testicular-cancer

[8] https://us.movember.com/men-s-health/prostate-cancer

[9] Prostate Cancer: Statistics | Cancer.Net

[10] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-cancer/

[11] https://uk.movember.com/impact#/

[12] https://uk.movember.com/media-room/movember-101

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