I Moustache You a Favor

I Moustache You a Favor

A man has his beard shaved by a barber. Members of the UCO Movember Team have shaved their beards or mustaches in order to regrow them for the month of November for awareness. (Provided/Pixabay.com)

The University of Central Oklahoma’s Movember team raises awareness and donations for mental health awareness, with it hitting close to home for some its group members.

“I’ve dealt with depression, anxiety and things like that,” senior and former Executive Director of the Men’s Programming Board Charles Spells said. “I also want other people to realize it’s OK to deal with these things and to be open about it and then go get help.”

Caleb Cash, assistant director of student engagement and the adviser of the Movember team, has had his own experiences with testicular cancer, when his grandfather was diagnosed with it in his late 70s.

“I want to help us get to the point where we are openly talking about it and having dialogue because my grandfather did not have a dialogue about it until it was already ‘yeah, I have cancer so let’s talk about it now,'” Cash said.

According to The American Cancer Society, there are around 8,850 cases of testicular cancer diagnosed and close to 410 deaths so far in 2017.  Young and middle-aged men are most commonly diagnosed, with the average age of diagnosis being 33.

Mentalhealthamerica.net states that over six million males suffer from depression a year and one in five adults experience a mental health problem each year.

The UCO Movember team and the Movember Foundation both raise their donations by growing mustaches and by being physically active.

Cash said the Movember team is looking to raise $1,000 this year. Last year the team raised close to $500 dollars for the Movember Foundation.

According to Cash, the team never sees the money and it goes straight to the Movember Foundation to help prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health programs.

In 13 years, the charity has funded more than 1,200 men’s healthcare projects across the world. According to Movember.com, they will reduce the number of men prematurely dying by 25 percent.

“This is a way for us to learn more about it, and also educate men who are in college who need to learn more about it and how it affects their lives,” Cash said.

“Men typically have a problem with expressing themselves and having deep conversations about issues that may be affecting them,” said Jarrod Mette, creator of the Men’s Programming Board and UCO’s Movember team,

The UCO Movember team and Men’s Programming Board was formed 6 years ago by Jarrod Mette.

“I wanted to start the Men’s Programming Board because I felt the majority of men on our campus could benefit from being informed on men’s health issues,” Mette said.

“I think our team has grown a lot from when Movember and Men’s Programming Board was created,” Spells said.

Men and Women are welcomed to join the UCO Movember team. Men are encouraged to grow a mustache for the month and others who cannot grow a mustache can exercise or support those who are growing mustaches.

“You can do so much more by raising awareness, just sharing our message and also getting active,” Spells said.

The Movember team hosts different events throughout the month with the first one called Shave the Date, where students started the mustache process by shaving before the month of November.

Cash said the event was at UCO so participants for the team could start growing their mustaches.

The team hosts educational events over prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health awareness.

“A lot of people aren’t aware of men’s health issues, so just being able to inform someone about what men’s health issues actually are,” Spells said, “I think that is unique and it’s special.”

According to the American Cancer Society, one out of seven men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. In 2017, there have been 161,360 new cases and 26,730 deaths from prostate cancer.

The last event is a stress event over mental health. The Movember team is working on making an active event for Movember.

“The plan is to work with other organizations to create some kind of activity where people are up and moving and not just sitting,” Cash said.

Every year the team has around 30 to 50 men on campus that participate in growing a mustache for Movember.

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