2021 Mo Bro ambassadors celebrity chef Eoin Sheehan, Movember Irish Country Director, Jack O’Connor, Christian Hoey from Samís Barbers Dublin, All Ireland GAA winner Cathal McShane (Tyrone) and Olympic boxer Emmet Brennan. Photo: Brian McEvoy

Movember want men to open up

Geraldine Fitzgerald

‘Take action to live healthier, happier and longer lives’ urges leading men’s health charity Movember as research shows nearly six out of every ten men don’t share how they are feeling.

· 3 out of every 4 deaths by suicide in Ireland are male

· Only 4 out of 10 regularly check for symptoms of testicular cancer

· Over 32,500 men in Ireland living with and in the aftermath of prostate cancer

You’ll have seen the moustaches by now; the signature mark of public support for the charity Movember. The month of November traditionally sees their famous fundraising campaign, but the organisation works year-round to spearhead the drive to change the face of men’s health.

Since 2003, Movember has funded more than 1,230 men’s health projects worldwide, challenging the status quo and urging men of all ages to take ownership of their health.

Well-known for their encouragement of men to self-check for testicular cancer, Movember aims to normalise conversation around physical and mental well-being.

A new study by the charity revealed that nearly 60 per cent of men never, or very rarely speak about their mental health. The statistics are as alarming in Ireland: men cited feeling embarrassed, not knowing whom to speak to and not being able to find the right words were the top three reasons for not opening up.

This month Movember are campaigning to raise funds to support services for the biggest health issues facing men - mental health and suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancer.

They’re encouraging men to self-check for signs of testicular cancer; to check in with friends if they need a chat; check-in with mates to see how they’re doing, and to talk to a medical professional if things don’t seem right.

2021 Mo Bro ambassadors including All Ireland GAA winner Cathal McShane of Tyrone, Olympic boxer Emmet Brennan and celebrity chef Eoin Sheehan are all throwing their weight behind the campaign.

Movember Irish Country Director, Jake O’Connor said: “We have to keep working hard to change the narrative around men’s health, both physical and mental - the perception that, because you are a man, you must simply tough it out, is not acceptable or appropriate.”

“We must do everything to normalise the conversation around our emotional well-being. Similarly, so with both testicular and prostate cancer, men must take responsibility for their health in this area but so too demand from health care professionals the proper guidance and advice. Show your support in whatever way you can. We want men to open up, reach out and check it out, and we are calling on support to help make this happen.”