According to Healthfinder.gov, 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
Diabetic Eye Disease Month
Great American Smokeout (American Cancer Society)
National Child Mental Health Month
Healthy Skin Month
American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month
Whew! And that’s not including all the monthly observances, or any of the special awareness days and weeks, such as Emphysema Awareness Week.
It can make your head spin to think about so many health conditions, but what a great way to focus attention on these issues, raise funds, encourage early detection — and eventually even save lives.
My vote for most humorous and engaging initiative, though, has got to go to Movember (“Moustache” plus “November”), a global men’s health event. Males start the month clean-shaven and grow their ‘staches for 30 days, getting donations from friends, family and co-workers along the way. In effect, they’re walking, talking billboards raising awareness and money, while having a good time unleashing their inner Tom Selleck.
Have you noticed there are more moustaches sprouting in your workplace? Might be some “Mo Bros” among you. Most likely they’re aided by “Mo Sistas.” That’s the nickname for participants in the health charity’s endeavor to raise awareness of men’s diseases, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and depression.
According to the Movember website, three million participants have raised more than $446 million for research, education and outreach. In fact, in 2012, the Global Journal listed Movember as one of the top 100 NGOs (non-government organization) in the world.
The Aussies who started Movember in 2003 were just having a good laught with friends, but the next year they decided to get serious by fundraising for men’s health. They were inspired by the way women led the charge to find a cure for breast cancer, so they followed suit with men’s cancers.
If Movember seems too flippant for such serious issues, never fear. You only have to wait until June, when this nation celebrates Men’s Health Month. No moustaches required.