And as a man, I don’t want to burden others, so I say ‘I’m good’ when asked. Here’s why we need to break this unhealthy habit.
Movember started with a conversation between my brother and a good mate, it’s a conversation that spawned a global movement, and it’s a conversation that remains one of the most important things we can do for our health.
Unfortunately when it comes to our health, too many men don’t talk, don’t take action and as a result die too young. On average, across the world, men die 6 years earlier than women. Moreover, poor mental health affects men more than women: three quarters of suicides are by men.
Put simply, a conversation can save lives and as an organization we’re committed to encouraging men to get talking, that’s why I’m excited about the success of our newly launched podcast Movember Radio. We want men to understand the important role a conversation can have in staying mentally healthy and recognize the need to stay connected with family and friends and talk about the big stuff in life. Things like the break up of a relationship, losing a job, financial troubles or becoming a dad can be tough moments to deal with. A real conversation at times like these in a man’s life can mean the difference between struggling and coping.
It sounds simple – men we need to talk more!
But I know how tough this is; we were raised in a world where men were supposed to be in control, always strong, never weak, always winning. And as a man I don’t want to burden others with my problems. It’s just easier to say “I’m good” when you’re casually asked “How ya doing mate?”
Even though I don’t want to burden my mates with my struggles, I’m here for them if they need me. Unfortunately this is a really common dynamic which we confirmed through some Movember funded research, as guys we are there for our mates but none us will ask for help. Essentially it’s a stand off!
Last year, my good mate Osher Gunsberg and I chatted about breaking this mold to inspire men to talk, and we came up with the idea of Movember Radio – a podcast series hosted by Osher where he chats with men who faced different challenges and how they got through it.
Movember Radio has been running since June 2015, we’ve been honored to talk with so many men with incredible stories. So far we’ve heard from the likes of paralympian and wheelchair racer, Kurt Fearnley, Tom Carroll – world champion surfer, Richie McCaw – All Black Captain, Dom Purcell – actor, best know for his role as the hard man in Prison Break, Charlie Boorman, actor, best know for motorbike adventures featured on the Long Way Around, and Mo Bros sharing their personal experiences with prostate cancer and mental health challenges like Jordy Jim, Ross Szabo.
I can say that from every episode I’ve learnt something and genuinely feel more empowered to have a conversation that matters. I hope you do too.