Are you or others in your workplace taking part in Movember (“Moustache” plus “November”), a global men’s health event? Males pledge to grow their ‘staches for the month, getting donations from friends, family and co-workers in the process. In effect, they become a walking, talking billboard in order to raise awareness and money to address men’s health issues.

Participants are nicknamed “Mo Bros” and they’re often aided by “Mo Sistas.” Their aim is to shine a spotlight on men’s diseases, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer — the obvious ones — and the not so obvious ones, such as depression and suicide.

Getting “mind share” isn’t easy as there are many other worthy health organizations trying to do the same thing. According to, November is a busy National Health Observance month. Here are just some of the events we’re celebrating this month:Lung Cancer Awareness Month; Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month; American Diabetes Month; National Epilepsy Awareness Month; Great American Smokeout (American Cancer Society); American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month, and so on.

The Aussies who started Movember in 2003 just for fun, then saw the power to do good using humor and the power of brotherhood. The next year they decided to get serious by fundraising for men’s health. The Movember Foundation is now one of the fastest-growing health NGO’s.

This year they’re highlighting gender disparities in health and longevity. Consider these statistics from their website:

*Around the world, on average, men die almost six years earlier than women.

*Globally, a man dies every minute from suicide.

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*Recently, the World Health Organization bulletin on men’s health states, “Health outcomes among men and boys continue to be substantially worse than among girls and women, yet this gender-based inequality in health has received little national, regional or global acknowledgement or attention from health policy-makers or health-care providers.”

*On the whole, women are outliving men by an average of almost six years.

Nurses have always been huge educators about health and well-being. Getting involved in efforts to reduce these gender disparities would boost everyone’s health.

Jebra Turner is a writer in Portland, Oregon. She works in communications Anthro Corporation and blogs about workplace health at

Jebra Turner
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