Troy Murray has been developing his mustache every November for eight years.
What began as a fun challenge for the 31-year-old and his hockey team at the University of Ryerson, became the Movember's personal movement in 2010.
"I have grown a mustache along with many of my friends and teammates a year earlier for fun, but in fact they did not register or raise any funds, "said Global News in Toronto." I wanted to make up for it, educating myself and being a champion in Movember. "
Every November, men across the country take part in a charity Movember campaign that encourages men to grow up with mustaches to raise money for men's health. Movember changed into a campaign covering all aspects of the well-being of a man, including suicide prevention and mental health.
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And the charity knows how to appeal to its target group. Focusing on social media and fundraising via the internet, Mitch Hermansen, director of development at the Movember Foundation, told Global News that the campaign generated $ 17.7 million in 2017. Including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention from the founding of the foundation 11 years ago.
"Starting a conversation is important all year round. Asking someone what to do, checking when you think someone can fight and listening is fundamental to supporting men's health," said Hermansen.
There are also reasons why people like Murray are sticking to the challenge.
"At the beginning it was fantastic and fun to re-enter the vintage mustache, but the team made the right moves to keep the men [and women] interested in the campaign, "said Murray.
"By expanding from prostate cancer to men's health as a whole and adding the Movement aspect to Movember, more and more people were considering joining or supporting the movement."
And because he was a participant in almost a decade, his friends, family and colleagues support him every year.
"Now, as a new dad, my health is more important than ever, I want to live forever."
Joe Rachert, a program manager at the Canadian Men & # 39; s Health Foundation headquartered in Vancouver, told Global News that he sees in campaigns such as Movember, and even those who work, creates something that resonates with men.
"The biggest thing is to present something in a friendly, competitive issue," he explained. "The guys do not mind being competitive – that's what makes Movember great. It's fun and addictive."
He added that if you want to create a campaign that will gain momentum for men, you must positively accept masculinity. "Men really want to help each other if they have the opportunity," he argued. Men also have to be open to their weaknesses.
"This is the side of masculinity that we need to see in society. You can talk about it. You can say," I do not feel well today. "
It also helps to keep humor. Of course, defeating all aspects of men's health in one go is not easy, but something as simple as pulling an awkward mustache to collect money can work.
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Anisa Mirza, general manager and co-founder of Giveffect, a donation platform in Toronto, told Global News in 2014 to campaigns such as Movember, because it attracted a younger generation of men who are already glued to their devices.
Forcing men to speak seriously about health
In the case of Murray, social media campaigns make it easier to share stories or problems online, often with strangers.
"I still think there is a stigma in which men can talk about health, "he continued.I know that men are still too stubborn to go to the doctor if they feel unwell. They have a tendency to think as a "human", they should just be able to fight it by themselves. I hope that men will continue to think about how healthy masculinity looks and continue to eliminate stigmatization. "
Rachert thought that we were only at the beginning of a cultural change, how seriously men take their own health. Many studies have shown that men either do not go to their doctors when they should or are too selfless in their own health.
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But Rachert said that we have a long way to go, and for men to take their health seriously and be their own lawyers, it will take some time. "This is not a question, do you [organizations] they do enough. This is the question: "Can we start?"
It can also be reduced to generational change. Rachert said that most young men can agree that they look and treat their health in a completely different way than their fathers.
"Being healthy was not part of being a" guy, "he continued." I was taught to eat a full meal at the table, it was okay to have a beer gut and not have to exercise. "He said that this view is not always true for young men – more I want to be involved in my health.
Keeping up the pace
But when the new month starts up, and the mustache is shaved, how do we keep up the pace of talking about men's health? Rachert said it starts with men taking the initiative and continuing to support local organizations throughout the year.
From running to fundraisers, and even telling men in their lives to go to the doctor, there are little things that people can do throughout the year.
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"There are five health behaviors that cause 70 percent of all chronic diseases," he said. It boils down to smoking, drinking, eating, exercising and sleeping. If you focus on one of these behaviors and try to improve it, it will be beneficial later.
"Guys have to learn to support each other, we have to do a lot better."
– With Irene Ogrodnik's files
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.