‘Movember’ – changing the face of men’s health in the Western Isles

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During November each year, ‘Movember’ is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world.

Men start the beginning of the month clean-shaven, and for the rest of the month, groom their moustaches in return for sponsorship. They become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and, through their actions and words, raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health. The funds raised in the UK support the number one and two male specific cancers – prostate and testicular cancer. In 2010 over 112,000 in the UK took part in Movember, raising 10.3 million.

NHS Western Isles Healthy Working Lives Advisor Norma Macleod said: “Big steps have been taken towards changing attitudes and habits relating to men’s health around the world, but there is still much to be done to catch up with the women’s health movement. Via the moustache, Movember aims to fulfil its vision of having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health by continuing to spark conversation and spread awareness of men’s health each year.”

No matter what country, city or island, Movember will continue to work to change established habits and attitudes men have about their health, to educate men about the health risks they face, getting them to act on that knowledge thereby increasing the chances of early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment.

In the Western Isles, NHS Western Isles Health promotion staff will be using the ‘Movember’ theme to raise awareness of men’s health and to help tackle the stigma associated with men’s health issues.

If you would like to take up the challenge register on http://uk.movember.com