Call me Dr Mo!

Posted in: Core Values by on 2 December 2013
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November has been an interesting month for me as my first time participating in the global grassroots public health even that is 'Movember'. If you've been hiding under a rock or awakened from a coma and not heard of Movember before it is the month where participants (men and now even women!) are encouraged to grow a moustache to raise funds for the international Movember Foundation charity. Funds and public awareness  are raised for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health.

From the beginnings in Melbourne, Australia when 30 'Mo Bros' first grew their November moustaches the charity has grown exponentially. They now have had over 4 million participants in 21 countries who have raised in excess of £276 million which has funded 577 projects. Funds are directed to projects which meet the organisations broad goals of men's health programme investment and encouraging conversations that lead to greater awareness of men's health risks, men taking action to remain well and men knowing how to take action when they are sick.

In particular they have funded projects;

- To help men living with prostate or testicular cancer to be physically and mentally well.

- To ensure men stay mentally healthy living with and beyond mental illness

- To fund innovative research to improve testing and treatment for prostate and testicular cancer and improve physical and mental health outcomes for men

They have achieved all of this and still managed to stick to their stated ethos of 'havin' fun doin' good'. As a doctor working in both the community and custodial environments I meet many men who neglect both their physical and mental health. I think I'd even be willing to put my hands up and say this has been something I've been guilty of myself. In one of my roles I work in a prison with young men and it never fails to strike me that in me experience the guys I see would never come within  a million miles of my community general practice. Why this is is probably a subject for a whole area of research in it's own right, but I think Movember has opened up this conversation in a really interesting and fun approachable way.

I'd highly recommend all staff of clinical services to get behind Movember if they can. I've only dipped my toe in the water this year and have been very shy about pushing people to donate - though not so shy that I'm not willing to point you towards my 'mo space' and ask for any willing donations via this route 


Your correspondent wearing the resultant mo'

Next year though I'm aiming for a much more impressive display of facial hair and going to push for a bigger donation total.Having never grown any type of moustache before I can begin to understand why they went out of fashion. Mine in particular has that 1970's 'serial killer' look that I just can't trim out of it! I definitely won't be joining the ranks of those who've grown a mo' and started to convince themselves that maybe they'll keep it.

Just remember though - your mo' is for November and not for Xmas!