Movember Foundation Shifting Focus to Mental Health?

Last we heard from the Movember Foundation, it was kicking off the 2014 Movember—its cheeky equivalent of Breast Cancer Awareness Month—by challenging “mo bros” to donate to prostate cancer awareness and grow a moustache for the month.

Spirit-wise, this outfit reminds us a little of St. Baldrick’s, created by a couple of guys sitting at a bar, parlaying a feel-good, after-work buzz into altruistic action. Travis Garone and Luke Slattery of Melbourne, Australia, created the movement in 2003, and in just ten years, it raised $559 million. The tagline is cheeky: "Changing the Face of Men’s Health." The website features talk of galas, Shave the Dates, and The Running of the Mo’s (whatever that is).

This year, the Movember Foundation is announcing three grants totaling $7.9 million going toward men’s mental health programs in Canada. That’s a shift we’ve been noticing lately—though the foundation started off tackling prostate cancer, as its reputation and success have grown, Movember has been broadening its reach, taking on men’s health as a whole, and now, mental health in particular.

The grants are:

 

  • Prevention, early identification, and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in men with heart disease at the Université de Moncton
  • A study on early identification and prevention of major depression in male workers at the University of Calgary

 

To date, Movember has plugged more than $22.6 million into 27 men’s mental health projects in Canada.

"It's with thanks to our Mo bros and Mo sistas that sign up every Movember that we are able to provide programs to men in need of mental health support," said Movember Canada director Pete Bombaci. "The power of the moustache is helping to break down barriers and allows us to invest in such incredible programs that are helping to improve the lives of those men living with and beyond mental health issues."