“It’s not just how long it is. It’s what you do with it.”
That’s right, we’re talking about men’s health and how we’re losing our brothers, fathers and husbands too soon.
On average, men die six years younger than women and for reasons that are largely preventable. Whether it’s being “too tough” to go see a doctor about a random pain you’ve been experiencing or just thinking “it could never happen to me;” every man should be comfortable in his own skin.
It doesn’t make you less manly to talk about your feelings and mental health; it will literally save your life. If something doesn’t feel right or days and weeks pass without so much as a chuckle, it’s OK to raise your hand and say, “I’m not OK.”
Globally, every hour, a man takes his own life. In the United States alone, 75% of suicides are committed by men.
These numbers don’t have to be the cold hard truth.
“To be a man of less anxiety I had to become a man of more words.”
Just because you talk about things that aren’t related to sports or getting your hands dirty fixing a car, it doesn’t mean your manhood will be stripped. Just because you take a day off for your own mentality, doesn’t mean you’re going to lose your job.
Everyone’s human and deals with stressors in their own ways but never is it acceptable to bottle up all your feelings. That’s why, for the last handful of years, I’ve been growing a beard for 11 months just to shave it off.
It starts the conversation of “Whoa you look so different,” but it leads to us taking a step toward changing the face of men’s health.
Every person who didn’t recognize me without a long, straggly beard is another person I can affect by telling them about my mission to help Movember reduce the deaths from prostate and testicular cancer, minimize the suicide rate in men, and help alleviate the pressures and side effects from cancer treatments.
It’s a mouthful to answer why I shaved with; “I’m raising money for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide awareness,” but in order to make a change we simply need to talk about it more.
Get checked, go to the doctor, lean on your friends when you need a pick-me-up, all of these make you a better man because you’re looking out for yourself so you can get back to helping everyone else right?
I can’t count how many times my mother has told my father “If you die on me, I’ll kill you,” playfully of course. But she knows how important a role he plays not only in the small nucleus of our family of four but to the rest of our family as a whole before even mentioning the career he’s built up.
We need our men in our lives longer and I, along with Movember, hope to get that done. My editor, Joe Southern, is joining me in this cause this year.
“Cancer and depression have really hit home in my family and I feel it’s important that we lift the stigma attached to them and bring about a vibrant, healthy discussion that can save and change lives,” he said.
Visit MoBro.co/ColeMcNanna for more information about my story, men’s health and to donate today. In addition, you can donate to the team page, The Sealy Staches at MoTeam.co/SealyStaches.