Editorial Exchange: 'Movember' Deserves Praise for Focusing on Men's Mental Health

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Editorial Exchange: 'Movember' deserves praise for focusing on men's mental health

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An editorial from the Toronto Star, published Nov. 1:

Can a November moustache stop a man from committing suicide?

Movember organizers hope that sprouting a "Tom Selleck" or "Hulk Hogan" will get men talking about a topic that is still too often treated as taboo: their mental well being.

Let's face it, most guys would rather stick needles in their eyes than discuss intimate feelings. But the change Movember is seeking could make sensitivity as manly as a Trucker 'stache.

This year, Movember's wildly successful prostate cancer awareness campaign is giving 40 per cent of its fundraising dollars to mental health programs for men. That is a huge boost, considering that last year's Canadian fundraiser collected $42 million.

Movember started in Australia in 2003 and has become a worldwide movement, a massive fundraiser that asks men to become "walking billboards" while raising discussion on their health issues.

Last year in Canada, 245,000 men grew moustaches -- more than any other country. Participants like Justin Trudeau (who grew a goatee) call themselves "Mo Bros" and start on Nov. 1 with a clean upper lip before letting their hair grow in.

That new facial hair initiates conversation about prostate cancer and, now mental health.

By taking the stigma out of emotional distress, much as it did for prostate cancer, Movember is creating a catalyst for change. …