- by Connie
It’s that time of year again folks. The Halloween decorations have been taken down and as the sun sets (at like 3 o’clock) the sky is filled with fireworks and people start asking “is it too early to play Christmas songs yet?” We are officially in full holiday-season spirit. For many people, this time of year is about happiness, time with loved ones, celebration and enjoying the good things in life. But for too many others, its a real time of difficulty, loneliness and desperation.
Every year, since 2003, the Movember movement has been highlighting many illnesses that take the lives of men, including Prostate cancer and Testicular cancer. One of the reasons I am a proud Mo’Sister though is that the Movember movement raises awareness of the main causes of death for men all over the world. Three quarters of all suicides, worldwide, are men. Poor mental health leads to half a million men taking their own life every year. In the UK men remain three times as likely to take their own lives than women, and in the Republic of Ireland four times more likely. The highest suicide rate in the UK is for men in middle age. Suicide in young men in Scotland increased for the third consecutive year in 2017 and suicide rates are increasing among young people in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
What is unique about the Movember foundation is that it is attempting to tackle men’s health issues on a global scale, and is actively working to change the conversation around men’s illness and premature death. Globally, the rate of suicide is alarmingly high, particularly in men. Around the world, on average we lose a man to suicide every minute of every day. Around six out of 10 suicides are men. Too many men are struggling alone and many feel unable to talk about their struggle. This has to stop. Action needs to be taken. And the Movember movement is doing something about it. By 2030 the people working as part of the Movember movement aim to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25%. Its a big aim but there has already been an improvement since the movement started. The causes of suicide are complex. There’s no single reason why someone would take their own lives, but by improving overall mental health care and mental well being the risk of suicide can be reduced.
We need to address untreated mental health conditions among men.
In support for the Movember movement, and for all the men in my life who suffer from mental illness or the effects of mental illness, I will be dedicating this months blog posts to Movember and will be sharing stories of mental illness through a male perspective. I will also be raising money for the Movember movement by baking moustache themed goods (as I cannot grow a moustache of my own) and encouraging others to raise funds as well. If you want to donate as well, please head to movember.com and give as much as you can.
This time of year, general mental well-being actually declines. Whether its because of work pressures, family feuds, financial troubles or loneliness. I know that buying presents and decorations and food is something that many will be preparing for right now. But if you can, please donate what you can to help improve mental well being for men all over the world.
If you want more updates from me, please follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @Connieunkiga