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Movember . . . Men & Mental Health

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Movember focusing on men's health

History of Movember

It began in Australia in 1999, when a group of young men decided it was a fantastic time to grow a beard in the middle of summer, for an entire month as an effective way to support men’s issues. The idea quickly grew and spread around the world.

In keeping with the theme of “moustaches”, the month was named “Mo-vember”.

While it started out just focusing on raising awareness and funds for prostate cancer and depression, it would grew to include all men’s health issues.

Let's focus men's mental health.

Some sobering statistics from Mental Health Foundation:

  • 3 times as many men as women die by suicide

  • Men aged 40 to 49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK

  • Men report lower levels of life satisfaction than women, according to the Government’s national well-being survey

  • Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women: only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men

  • In addition, men are far more likely than women to go missing, sleep rough, become dependent on alcohol and use drugs frequently.

More women are diagnosed with mental ill health than men. Yet more men die by by suicide.

Why don’t men talk about mental health?

  1. Society's expectations and traditional gender roles play a role in why men are less likely to discuss or seek help for their mental health problems.

  2. Some research also suggests that men who can’t speak openly about their emotions may be less able to recognise symptoms of mental health problems in themselves and less likely to reach out for support.

  3. Men may also be more likely to use potentially harmful coping methods such as drugs or alcohol and less likely to talk to family or friends about their mental health.

Why don’t men get help?

Research suggests men will get the help that meets their preferences and is easy to access, meaningful and engaging.

Some months ago, we launched a survey to help us understand the relationship people have with their hairdressers, beauticians and bartenders.

The survey had 50 responses. Of the 50, 22% said they go to their hairdresser every month, 10% every 6 weeks and 6% every two weeks.

46% said they go to the pub or bar every month and 12% said they go more than once in two weeks.

Of the 50, 20 said they've been with the same hairdresser for over 10 years, 7 for over 5 years, 8 for over 3 years and 4 for over 6 months.

22 said they go to the same pub/bar.

The feedback helped us confirm us that service providers like hairdressers, beauticians, massage therapists and bartenders are primely placed to provide mental health first aid to clients who may be struggling.

Our response to this was to apply to The National Lottery Community Fund for support in our new project - The Other Side of Service.

This project would equip hairdressers, barbers, bartenders, beauticians, masseuse, and waiters with the skills to better support theirs, their clients and wider community mental health and well-being, signpost to appropriate professional help and resources, destigmatise mental health and contribute to stronger, happier more inclusive communities, and especially plug in the gap and provide more support to men who may be struggling with their mental health, knowingly or unknowingly.

The project is to deliver Mental Health First Aid Champion Training to 40 hairdressers, barbers, bartenders, beauticians, masseuse, and waiters and an Away Day experience for delegates at the end of the project.

Other ways to support men and their mental health is to be observant to identify changes in their behaviours, provide a safe non-judgemental space for them to talk or relax, one that does not include alcohol or other substances.

Encourage them to engage in the 5 ways to wellbeing - Take Notice, Connect with others, Be Physically Active, Learn something new, and engage in acts of volunteering.

A useful resource to have at hand is

Supporting Movember in The Workplace:

  • Encourage movement as a way to fundraise for a not-for-profit or community project chosen by the team. Match fund their efforts

  • Host Mo-ments. This is an excellent way to get the team together. SVH Inc.'s conversation cafe is a unique way to host a mo-ment while you support your teams wellbeing.

  • Share resources

If you'll like to explore how we can support your teams, please get in touch with us.


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