Movember

Well it’s the first of November, Movember.

This year I am making a real effort to promote the concept of Movember in order to put a personal face to the cause.

In a cluttered fundraising calendar, it is hard to make your voice heard. Yes it is great for the media and personalities to get on board, they help bring a broad awareness to their respective audiences but I also feel it is as important to have people like myself use this fundraising vehicle to tell my story and in doing so potentially reach out to others that may be struggling with their own demons of depression, alone and unaware of the support networks that are available to them.

Movember does have a two pronged attack, raising the awareness of prostate cancer and men’s mental health issues, for me it is all about the mental health awareness. If by getting more people to grow the Mo’ and in doing so have their friends and work colleagues ask why, then that is a success because if those people then read and share mine or other suffers experiences we may just reach out to those one or two people who are in need of help and support.

If there are those that are able to donate financially, then this is an added bonus as organisations like Beyond Blue and ARAFMI do such vital support work adjacent to the formal allied health system and with financial contributions can reach a greater number of sufferers.

These organisations are the ones that help keep families together when the illness threatens to rip them apart. They are the places people can turn to when the Mental Health system at our hospitals cannot immediately help due to the lack of staff and funding. These are the organisations who through their tireless efforts manage to slowly but surely breakdown the stigma that society has attached to mental illness, and in doing so, help and encourage people to seek help before it is too late. And when we talk about being too late, it is true that we mean fatally.

Mental Illness, like all other illnesses does not discriminate through age sex or socioeconomic categories, people every day from every walk of life make the decision that there is no one to help them and no way of turning their lives around. They take their lives and in doing so become defeated by the illness. I know, because there have been times during my life when I thought that I had done all I could, used all my physical and mental energy in fighting this debilitating illness and thought that my family, friends and society in general would be better off without me.

We cannot let this continue at such alarming rates, we must be willing to honestly ask our friends, or work colleagues if they genuinely need help. Help that is not patronising nor defeatist. We can do this through sharing experiences and referring to/using those people and organisations out there who know the right questions to ask when we may not. Those people who can advise and assist sufferers in such torment that there is no rational decision left other than to take their lives.

So please take a moment to think about it. Think about how you would manage even cope if your close friend, your partner were to be a sufferer of mental illness, who would want to turn to? What help would you need?

Help spread the word and support a friend this Movember, we are doing for those closest to us.

If you would like to offer your support to my efforts, click here. Or to join my Movember team click here.

Day one: Clean shaven:

 

clean start to Movember

 

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~ by Rob McClintock on November 1, 2010.

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