September 21st, 2014

An updated on why Movember US is now funding mental health programs.

On Funding Mental Health Programs
Where The Money Goes

Since we started the Movember Foundation back in 2004 in Australia, Movember has been holistically about men’s health, hence our tagline “changing the face of men’s health.”  We are most known for our work in prostate cancer, as our initial funding priority, and we are now one of the largest non-government funders of prostate cancer research in the world.

Along the journey we added testicular cancer as a funded cause. We did this because testicular cancer is the only other male-specific cancer, and the most common cancer among young men aged 15-35.

In 2006, we chose to add men's mental health as a funded cause in Australia, partnering with beyondblue. We did this because we all had close mates that had taken their lives after battling depression in silence. We noticed that no one was talking about men's mental health and no one was attempting to make it a national priority. So, we set ourselves the audacious challenge of bringing male mental health out of the shadows.
The current statistics in the US are shocking:
  • The suicide rate for men is four times higher than it is for women
  • Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 adults
  • Men are at greater risk for many mental health problems, yet less likely to receive treatment
  • Mental health problems are a leading cause of premature death, such as suicide
Given the growth of the US Movember campaign, we can confidently continue to fund prostate and testicular cancer programs and now, mental health programs.

Our funding will focus on three strategic mental health goals: prevention, early intervention, and stigma reduction.

As a society, we often think about mental health differently than other forms of health. The brain is a body part too, we just know less about how it works. There should be no shame in discussing or seeking help for a mental health problem. We've got to get rid of that embarrassment; we've got to get rid of that stigma. Too many American men struggle with mental health problems and are suffering in silence rather than seeking help. We need to create an environment where men, who wouldn’t hesitate to go see a doctor if they had a broken arm, take action when it comes to their mental health.

For many people who experience a mental health problem, recovery can be challenging. But one thing that helps, one thing that gives so many of our friends and loved ones strength, is the knowledge that you are not alone. Movember is doing everything we can to create a society where men and boys who experience mental health problems take action early and are not discriminated against.

Read more about Movember's men's health programs and how you can take action.
Men's health