It has been a pleasure to take part in Movember this year with Makara and my fellow “Mo Bros”. Raising awareness and funds by growing a moustache for a variety of fantastic causes really hit close to home. In particular the mental health aspect, as we all know us guys are not always the best at speaking out. I’ve been guilty in the past of bottling everything up, so I can vouch for that!

It has generally been improving over the years, but there is still such a stigma around mental health, especially among men. It can be a real barrier to seeking treatment, help or advice. Men may feel pressured to conform to the ‘Macho’ ideal. There is an obvious fear that mental health problems are a sign of weakness which generally stops men from opening up and speaking to others.

However I think we are starting to make progress, particularly with the younger generation. They tend to be far more open to the idea of reaching out and seeking help in times of distress, without the fear of tarnishing their masculinity, but it still remains an issue. In England, around one in eight men has a common mental health problem and three times as many men as women die by suicide.

Mental health has a heightened importance in my eyes, due to the last couple of years. A global pandemic is not easy for anyone, our lives have had to dramatically change, people have been isolated from loved ones and I know friends and family that have been directly impacted by the virus. We are not the best at talking at the best of times and taking away access to loved ones is a recipe for anguish.

But…if we can get more guys talking, and raise awareness and funds by growing a moustache, it seems like a very small price to pay for growing a bit of facial hair! It is definitely not my normal look, but it has been growing on me…

Growing a tash for Movember is  a great way to support a commendable cause. Mental health is a huge issue amongst men which is likely to be more prevalent due to the pandemic. In my view the more we can encourage others to speak up or to reach out, the better.

What’s not to like about Movember? Spreading the word, raising money, all whilst looking great…well…debatably!