What Is Movember, and How Can You Get Involved?

What is movember, exactly? Find out how this recent movement is helping to keep men healthy all around the world and how you can get involved.

Every November, in celebration of Movember, men and women around the world join in efforts to raise awareness for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, suicide and physical inactivity. So what is Movember? It’s a worldwide movement created by the Movember Foundation, an organization committed to raising awareness, funding and support for these issues, empowering men to live healthier, happier lives.

What Is Movember?

Movember itself is a campaign that takes place each November in countries around the globe. It started in 2003 as the brainchild of two Australian friends who, at first, were simply joking about bringing back the moustache as a fashion trend. The joke got serious pretty quickly, however, and the Movember Foundation was born.

Drawing inspiration from fundraising campaigns targeting breast cancer, the creators of the Movember Foundation decided to make Movember not only about fashion statements but also the unspoken health issues plaguing men of all ages. Eventually, Movember was formalized and partnered with organizations like the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

In 2007, the Movember campaign spread internationally, with participants — called Mo Bros and Mo Sistas — in 21 countries currently involved. As reported in 2015, about $710 million has been raised to help fund more than 1,000 separate men’s health programs targeting issues like prostate cancer and suicide prevention.

How Can You Get Involved?

If you want to be a Mo Bro or Mo Sista, it’s easy! Guys, you can easily show support during Movember by simply growing a moustache — think of it as the Movember Foundation’s version of the pink ribbon. If there are ladies in your life who’d like to get involved, issue the challenge to engage in a variety of physical activities to promote healthier lifestyles. You can also make donations to the Foundation directly in support of Movember.

Additionally, you can help raise awareness for men’s health issues in Movember by hosting fundraising events to bring in charitable donations and boost support. Events are only limited to your imagination! If you like to golf, host a golf tournament to raise funds. Do you enjoy cooking? Offer to host a dinner party where all your guests can buy a plate. From group workouts to trivia nights, almost any event can be used to encourage participation and raise awareness for Movember.

If you’re interested in bringing Movember awareness into your workplace, you can join an Industry Challenge to compete with other companies in your sector to raise funds and win prizes. Companies from many different fields, including finance, pharmaceuticals, technology and construction have already joined in the movement.

Each year, the Movember movement grows to include new countries and communities around the world. Show your support for men’s health by challenging yourself and your family, friends and coworkers to grow moustaches, get moving and help win the fight for healthier men everywhere.

The Men's Health Department at UVA Cancer Center can give you resources on maintaining your health and preventing prostate cancer.

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Sarah Handzel, BSN, RN