Movember is an annual month-long campaign aimed at raising awareness around mens’ health. Movember is an international campaign, run in South Africa by the Mens’ Foundation (an NGO charity). Movember has captured the imagination and energy of millions around the world, focussing as it does on some critical issues like prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. The Movember campaign uses the growing of moustaches as a visible and entertaining sign of support, and all the campaign materials use this “hook”.

Some key facts include:

  • Testicular cancer affects young men (usually under 35) and has a 95% recovery/cure rate, when properly treated.
  • 1 in 23 South African men will develop prostate cancer.
  • Prostate cancer has an excellent prognosis when treated early, but a poor prognosis when treated late.
  • 75% of suicides are men.

One of the underlying issues in mens’ health is that men tend to be hesitant to seek medical care and even more hesitant to have check ups and preventive tests done, and even more reluctant to seek help for mental health concerns like depression. Women seem to be more comfortable in this area, probably because gynaecology checks and breast examinations have become such a routine/regular part of womens’ lives today. Movember aims to redress this imbalance (in healthcare-seeking behaviour) with clear and cleverly worded material that essentially suggests that it is manly to look after yourself. This focus is extremely appropriate, especially in more conservative societies where the “big boys don’t cry” or “macho” mindset often prevails.

Movember seems to be a worthwhile organisation and a campaign that can make a very real difference to mens’ lives. Find out more at