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Ready, Set, Grow: Raising awareness of both men's physical and mental health


Co-Chair of Movember KW, Lisa McDonald, with her Mo. This is her eight year participating in the initiative. Visit her page at

Keltie Johnson | Interrobang | News | November 27th, 2017

Although the weather might be getting colder, there is one thing keeping men warm: their facial hair.

We have reached November; a month dedicated to premature Christmas music and the growth of men’s facial hair in support of men’s health.

We’re talking about Movember, an initiative that dates back to 2003, which is determined to stop men from dying so young.

There are many ways to participate in this initiative. Participants create a Mo Page, which tracks the growth of their mo, which supporters can also donate money on. This makes it more of a competition between friends of whose mo is best.

Each participant makes a goal which they hope to attain by the end of November. If growing a mo isn’t your thing, there are different events going on depending on your location, as well as being able to easily share others’ Mo Pages, to help them with their funding.

The Interrobang asked second year fitness and health promotion program student, Brian Grace, how he planned to participate in Movember this year. “I’m growing a mustache and helping my friend run Movember events. We are also promoting a Movember party at Lexus London on Dec. 1, with all money made going towards Movember,” Grace said.

The initiative was originally meant to focus on men’s physical health, by addressing diseases such as prostate and testicular cancer.

Since then, it has expanded to include men’s mental health, as well. It is important to acknowledge that cancer is not only a physical battle, but a mental one as well.

Lisa McDonald is the Co-Chair of Movember Kitchener Waterloo and is in her eighth year of being a Mo Sista. She explained the reasoning behind the transitional focus of the Movember campaign.

“After learning about those going through cancer treatments they needed to support those going through this life change as it not only affected them physically but mentally as well,” McDonald said.

McDonald believes that one of the key successes to the Movember campaign is the connection to social media.

Social media has allowed for Movember (which started in Australia) to make a more global impact, by being able to share links and photos on different platforms.

Movember also adds a fun element to raising money for a charity. It allows for people to get creative with their moustaches, as well as laughing at what some people might have come up with.

First year cyber security student, Onur Oztekin explained why he thinks the Movember campaign has been effective over the years.

“It requires some sort of dedication and shows visual presentation about the cause which is a huge difference from many other causes. You don’t need to share anything in any social media or protest outside etc. Basically, it’s simply “not shaving” but still shows your participation in your cause in a fun way,” Oztekin said.

If you haven’t had a chance to donate or to grow out your mo this month, not to worry. Due to its huge success, Movember is now a campaign that runs all year round. Visit to contact a local committee for additional support and resources.
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