Why Movember matters so much more at university
Men’s health is not for debate
As Movember comes to an end, men around the world will be starting to show the full prowess of their facial hair abilities. From puberty tashes to all-American Biker within a matter of weeks, Movember is definitely one charity I can get behind.
What it stands for
Movember as a charity, to me, is one of the best causes. Maybe it’s because I’m a bloke, but the movements behind the charity are truly astounding – mainly because the causes are preventable. For starters, when the movement first started it was aimed at men’s cancers – prostate and testicular cancer. If found early, chances of survival are 98 per cent. It is so simple just whilst taking a shower to check for any lumps, and now the stigma around getting your prostate checked has almost gone. No brainer really.
However, this year, Movember’s drive has been towards mental health. At university this is such an important cause to drive home. As most of the people reading this will know, whilst being “sex, drugs and rock and roll”, life as a student can also be very isolating. It’s very easy to feel trapped and suffocated whilst being away from home. Therefore, the drive this year to focus on men’s mental health is one that could not come soon enough.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 34, and by and large it is preventable. Being a man, often it can be seen as not the done thing to talk about your feelings and mental health. Especially for those in a typical ‘lad’ sport environment, who could easily feel that they have to keep up an image.
None of this needs to be true.
Help is at hand
There is always someone to talk to, whether it be through the University’s mental health schemes, Nightline, family and friends or through the Samaritans. Being able to talk about your issues is the first step – which can be hard as a man, however it shouldn’t be. Just like getting your prostate checked, your mental health is as important.
Being part of university rugby myself, it could often feel daunting sometimes. However I found out myself that any stigma was needless, as almost all the people around you will be there to help and will be open and honest with you.
Cardiff University Rugby are doing their own Movember appeal and you can donate here.