This month, thousands of men across Oz either proudly take on the look of a 70s porn star, or not-so-proudly resemble a 15-year-old schoolboy with a desire to ‘look older’.
Yes, it’s Movember. The time of the year where facial hair isn’t the sole domain of the hipster, and revisiting your teenage years’ bum-fluff mo is perfectly acceptable.
But while we all set about cultivating our finest top-lip garden, it’s important we don’t forget the underlying Movember message. And this year the Movember Foundation has a really clear message: stop men dying too young.
The month kicked off with the sun rising on 191 pairs of shoes placed on Bondi Beach; 191 pairs of shoes representing the number of Australian men who took their own lives last month.
In the last month.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian men aged 15-44, and with fatherhood placing enormous, life-changing stresses on young men, it’s crucial new dads, dads and men in general have the support networks around them.
Being a new dad is tough
Fatherhood is full of enormous highs, absolutely, but it’s also got some pretty shitty lows. Research from Beyond Blue shows that first time dads in particular are at heightened risk of depression, with the toughest times often experienced during pregnancy and the first year of baby’s life.
Your partner and your baby need you at your best, so if you’re feeling under the pump it’s important to talk about it. Whether it’s face to face, with partners, friends, professionals or in dad’s groups, or in a virtual world, identifying some avenues to support can make things a lot easier.
191 shoes on Bondi Beach, NSW. Source: Getty Images for Movember Foundation
“Our fathers, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about,” says The Movember Foundation. And really, they’re talking about you, and people like you.
The following figures give the ‘health crisis’ some context, soberingly so.
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian men aged 15-44 years
- On average, six Aussie men each day take their own life
- Aussie men are 3 times more likely to take their own lives than women
- More than 3,300 Aussie men will die from prostate cancer in 2016
- 36 years old is the average age of a man diagnosed with testicular cancer
So, now’s the time to grow your mo. Our DAD team are all taking part, and we’ll be sharing photos along the way. And we’d be stoked if you share your mo photos with us, too.