What is Movember?
Movember is an annual movement that is all about increasing awareness of men’s health issues. This movement encompasses generating support and providing information to help prevent suicide in men, improve the quality of life of men affected by prostate and testicular cancer, understand health risks, and promote action to decrease risks.
Why should we focus on suicide prevention?
- Suicide is 1 of the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. and is a significant public health issue
- In 2017, over 47,000 people died by suicide in the U.S.
- 75% of suicides in the U.S. are men
- On average, there are 129 suicides per day
- Men are 54 times more likely to die by suicide than women
- Suicide is complicated and tragic, but it is often preventable. Knowing the warning signs for suicide and how to get help can help save lives.
Why are men more prone to suicide?
Research suggests examining masculinity as a way to understand the gap in suicide between men and women. A study found that male attitudes and behaviors towards seeking help can affect their health (i.e., when its ok to seek help). Other research has focused on the link between masculinity and health behaviors, which indicates that males who endorse traditional masculine beliefs tend to be less likely to have a physical exam, more likely to use substances, engage in high-risk sexual activity, and be more likely to experience stress or anger. Because men commonly demonstrate an unwillingness to seek help, they are reinforcing the stereotypical description of how men are portrayed in popular culture; men should display stoicism, toughness, and self-reliance. Due to the perceived social expectations that men are to embody these aforementioned characteristics, they are less likely to seek psychological help. This is one of the reasons as to why suicide rates remain higher for men than women.
So…Can masculinity contribute to why men are more likely to die younger than women?
YES, masculinity CAN be toxic because men die on average 4-5 years younger than women, and for reasons that often relate to making bad decisions. So in a very real way, men taking an overly rigid approach to their masculinity is contributing to what’s causing men to die early.
Something’s got to change! What can we do?
- TALK – get resources if you’re going through a tough time
- ASK – talk to a friend, family member or coworker who’s struggling
- LISTEN – to what your friend, family member or coworker is saying
- TAKE ACTION – following up with a friend, family or loved one are some actions we can all take to help
To speak with someone immediately, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If it is an emergency, call 911
With help, comes hope!
Suicide prevention is just one of the many facets of men’s health covered under the Movember movement. To learn more about Movember and how you can help, visit the website at https://us.movember.com/?home. To donate to the cause, check out our MoSpace page!