Mo Bros and the hirsute pursuit

As Movember moustaches sprout on upper lips across Australia, it’s a good time to recognise the serious side of this light-hearted hirsute pursuit.

As Mo Bros are a week into the month-long cultivation of their whiskers, it’s a fitting time to announce that beyondblue is allocating almost $1 million of donated Movember funds to five research projects focusing on men’s mental health.

A million dollars is a lot of money for Mo Bros growing moustaches and their tolerant partners to raise.

Who would have thought this mo-growing mission would become so widespread and raise millions of dollars every year to help change the face of men’s health in Australia? This research is a great example of how money raised by growing a mo in Movember is spent to improve men’s mental health.

This is the seventh year that beyondblue has been the beneficiary of funds donated by Movember. This money has helped immensely to raise awareness of men’s mental health problems and encourage men to take action if they have depression or anxiety.

We know that men are less likely than women to take action and tackle depression and anxiety.

Untreated depression is a major risk factor for suicide and alarmingly, five out of six suicide-related deaths in Australia are men. If men don’t recognise the symptoms of depression, they remain undiagnosed and untreated, and at increased risk of suicide.

One in eight men will experience depression and one in five will have an anxiety disorder during their lives. These are common conditions, but there is still a lot we don’t know, so it’s great to see Movember funding this research.

Since beyondblue was established 12 years ago, an important part of our work has been supporting high-quality research, which gives us evidence-based information about the most effective ways to prevent and treat depression and anxiety.

It also means we are better able to assist people with depression and anxiety, their families and friends.

Besides funding research, Movember donations have supported a range of beyondblue initiatives focused on men’s mental health. These include campaigns to:

n reduce discrimination against young GLBTI people; and n raise awareness of depression and anxiety amongst older people.

Movember funds also support the beyondblue infoline 1300 22 4636, the website www.the shed online.org.au and a broad suite of information materials that promote awareness of depression and anxiety in men and encourage them to take action to get help.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to all the generous Mo Bros and Sistas and their supporters who, in the past seven years, have helped beyondblue assist men with depression and anxiety, and their families. You and your mo’s are amazing. Thank you.

KATE CARNELL

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

BEYONDBLUE

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