Movember 2020 – Halfway

I have been wanting to write something about the Mental Health aspect of Movember for a week now, and I figured that the halfway point was long enough along the timeline – no more procrastinating!

When I first started supporting the Movember initiative, it was all about prostate cancer awareness. I had a friend who was diagnosed with it, and I knew of a few more (through other acquaintances) who were dealt the same cards. As the years rolled on, testicular cancer awareness and men’s mental health awareness were added to the cause.

While it is sad (and concerning) that the number of men who struggle with the cancer side have increased, it is even more alarming to see how the pandemic has shined a light to reveal just how many men are struggling with issues related to mental health.

When the COVID-19 lockdown hit, most people were scared. As social animals, living with the prospect of minimized contact is a scary thing. A majority of people have been doing their best to live a new creed (while a small number continue to act as if it nothing applies to them, unfortunately) – but it takes a toll.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have spoken with four people who have either hinted or spoken directly about suicide. Two of these people are men – which might surprise a number of folks. Struggling with a terminal thought process must be hard enough, but layering on the pressure from a society that still elevates machismo must make it even harder to deal with.

I do my best to check in on as many people as I can – and I grow increasingly frustrated with the lack of phronesis in what, at first glance, seems to be a very proactive and helpful populace. Sadly, wading through the humble bragging and facades on social media show that there are those who are suffering from loneliness and lack of meaningful contact.

And so I try to do my part to reach out – and I grow my silly trucker moustache every year to help raise money so that people don’t get left out in the cold. In this current and dire crisis that we are working through, I think it is one of the best ways that I can help.

And really, the best way that you can help is to either donate, forward my link, or do both.

I understand that this is a tough year for everyone – and I really don’t expect to make my goal. I set it high because it gives me something to strive for by reaching out to as many folks as I can – and really, at the end of the day, this encourages me to reach out and check on many more people that I might otherwise.

For those who have supported me – I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I honestly believe that this makes a difference.

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