[Image source: teabba]
Movember started as a concept developed by Adam Garone, his brother Trav, and Luke Slattery fourteen years ago. It was founded out of a conversation to have men grow real moustaches and have real conversations about what’s going on in their life.
This month, as I grow my mo, each blog and podcast will focus on mens health. I’ve raised $135 for the Movember foundation since 2009. A bit surprising, and quite frankly, disappointing, that I’ve only raised $135, but more importantly, that it’s been several years since I last participated in this worthwhile course.
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[This year], I’ll raise $1,000 for Movember 2017
So this year, for the first time I’m setting a target and going for it. I feel like I’m in a position where I can have a much greater influence right now. I’ve created a decent size and engaged online community, plus a weekly segment on commercial radio. I’m pretty scared of my target but I’m going with the belief that if it doesn’t scare me, it’s not big enough. So with that said, I’m going for $1,000. I’ll raise $1,000 for Movember 2017. Donate by clicking here.
And the reason why I’m participating in Movember again this year, and aiming for such a large fundraising target, is that I’m passionate about mens health. By the way, as a teacher, I’m also passionate about boys education. I believe (and I’m probably going to piss a few people off here) but I believe that the education system is feminised and it’s a tough place for boys to succeed in the school system as it is now — particularly in early childhood.
Movember is about raising awareness and money for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. I only know one man who had prostate cancer and no one who has had testicular cancer (except Lance Armstrong of course!) I haven’t had anyone close to me take their own life but I’ve known of plenty of men (and a few women) who have. As for mental health, I believe it is much more prevalent than any statistics could ever show. I believe this because unlike a physical injury, you cannot see mental illness and it can be easy to hide.
I wrote about my experiences in 2014 with anxiety and depressive episodes. That was a really draining, tiring and scary experience that all came from chronic stress and trying to do too much. My most recent experience was this year. But you would never have known it. Even though there’s a personal element to every blog I write, I wouldn’t like to share those details at the time of those experiences. But I’ve been very lucky to have a family I can talk openly, honestly and frankly too, and some very good friends that I can talk to about anything.
I wish everyone could have that available to them. But unfortunately some people don’t. So I encourage you, if you don’t have a support network that will tell you to pull your head in when you need to, or be there for you to chat unconditionally, please open those lines of communication with the people in your life right now. It might seem scary. You might be worried about what they’ll think or say. But just take the leap. You might not even feel the need to talk right now, but by opening those lines of communication, you might be helping yourself in the future. And who knows, you might even be helping someone else too.
If you want to practice having those conversations, I’m here. Write to me. I’ll call you back and happily have those conversations with you. And if you want to speak to someone with professional training, here's a list of numbers you can also call:
Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 https://www.beyondblue.org.au
Lifeline: 12 11 14 https://www.lifeline.org.au
Head to Health: https://headtohealth.gov.au
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