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Movember Football and Minigames at Aberdeen Sports Village

Talking Movember: men’s mental and physical health

By Khushvita Singh

Photo courtesy of Camilo Torres-Barragan.

On Monday 22nd November at 8 to 10 pm, ASV hosted Movember football and minigames. The event was a collaboration between Ivana (Vice President for Welfare), Adam (Vice President for Sport) and Camilo (Vice President for Communities). Everyone joining was playing football, minigames, and chatting about Movember, men’s mental and physical health.

The organisers wanted to add something related to physical activity to the many events planned for Movember. Camilo recounts, “We thought many of the events are created around raising funds for charities, which is great, but we also wanted something that had an immediate positive impact on students. We think that sports are a great way to socialise and improve your mental and physical health. With events like these and like our weekly ‘Give It a Kick’ drop-in football sessions, we hope to deliver exactly that.”

The month is focused on men’s mental health and the specific barriers (internal and external) we face to speak about our problems and/or look for support. Therefore, the goal is for sports events, groups, and clubs to be a space where men and everyone else feels safe, appreciated, and confident enough to ask for support when needed. The additional Give it a kick! drop-in football sessions will take place weekly on Wednesdays 8 to 10 pm at Hillhead Centre. These are free drop-in sessions for all abilities, ages, and genders. No fees and no membership required. Collectively, the Movember football and minigames at ASV and the Give it a kick! Drop-In sessions raise awareness of Movember and all the struggles facing men’s mental and physical health.

Camilo further said, “So, I think the main message is for men to take their physical and mental health seriously, to make the best of the support available and not being ashamed or afraid to ask for it; as well as paying attention to others and check on them whenever we can.”

Men’s mental and physical health issues are immensely important, but it is unfortunate that most remain invisible. Dr Punam Krishan writes, “Men's health matters - and not just in Movember. As a GP, I always find it interesting how different genders from different age groups and backgrounds, present to see their doctor. There are definitely stereotypical trends when it comes to certain ailments where men especially, find it more difficult to come and speak to their GP about anything too personal. Men’s healthcare needs are diverse and complex. The areas most critical that Movember highlights are those that men struggle most with when it comes to seeking help. Importantly these are also the issues that if not caught early, can cause severe illness and even premature death.”

Movember UK is the leading charity dedicated to changing the face of men’s health. Their mantra is the powerful: “Whatever you Grow will save a Bro”. Movember looks at mental health through a male lens, focusing on prevention, early intervention, and health promotion. The three missions embarked upon by Movember UK are the solutions to mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.

510,000 men die from suicide each year. That's one every minute. We need immediate action. The rate of male suicide is alarmingly high. 3 out of 4 suicides in the UK are by men. 1 in 8 UK men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the UK. Worldwide, more than 1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually. Testicular cancer strikes early. It’s the most common cancer in young UK men.

Across the country, there are more than 395,000 men living with and beyond the disease. Many are dealing with serious side effects from treatment. At greater than 95%, the odds of survival for men with testicular cancer are better than good – but for some men, long-term treatment-related side effects mean quality of life is severely compromised. Movember UK focuses on getting these men back to living full and healthy lives.

Their weapons of choice? Innovation and collaboration. They’re uniting experts, funding bold new approaches and embracing fresh perspectives. By 2030, Movember UK hopes to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25% and aim to halve the number of men dying from prostate cancer and testicular cancer and halve the number of men facing serious ongoing side effects from treatment.

Photo courtesy of Camilo Torres-Barragan.

From humble beginnings, the Movember movement has grown into a truly global phenomenon. They’ve made epic progress in men’s health with credit to Mo Bros and Mo Sisters around the world who participate yearly. From 30 Moustaches to 5 million.

David Sax, a Canadian journalist, perfectly pens: “Though sporting a hideous moustache is in no way comparable to the physical pain and mental suffering men with these diseases endure, Movember still forces participants to challenge their manhood on a daily basis.”

This month, let's be brave and selfless and grow a moustache, and if you can’t, step up to support all growing a moustache to raise awareness and funds for men's health - specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. The best way to celebrate the month is to encourage the men you love to be aware of health risks and support them in seeking help. Another good idea is right under your nose.


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