By Janet Coulter, MSN, MS, RN, CCM, FCM

What? Is that a typo? Nope!

Moustaches have always had the ability to generate conversations. Movember is an annual event during the month of November where men grow Moustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Movember is a portmanteau (word blending the sounds and combining the meaning of two other words) of moustache or move "mo” and "November". Men’s health is an often-overlooked health inequity. On average, men die 4.5 years earlier than women. This is largely due to preventable conditions such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and suicide. Mental illness is also sometimes overlooked in men. Sixty men die by suicide globally every hour.

The Movember Foundation is an international charity that has funded over 1,320 men’s health projects worldwide. One of their goals is to increase research on men’s health issues and improve the way healthcare services reach and support men. The Movember Foundation supports all age groups. This is evident by their goals which include supporting mental fitness in young athletes and funding prostate cancer research. In addition, they have a program to train community service personnel to identify signs of stress and poor mental health in their co-workers to try to reduce the suicide rate. They have also developed a digital resource designed to provide user-friendly information and boost peer support for men with testicular cancer.

The Movember Foundation facilitates workshops designed with men in mind to help friends and families support each other and build skills that foster better social connections. Another program is dedicated to finding the best way to prevent high-risk prostate cancer from progressing to a fatal disease. Research teams around the world are working on this. The Movember Foundation has developed an innovative program called “Men in Mind”.  This program is an online training program that provides mental health professionals with strategies to engage and work with men, especially men experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Movember supported the “Guidelines for Sexual Health Care for Prostate Cancer Patients” which provides interventions for men’s sexual health in prostate cancer care. They are also working to determine the best treatment for men whose testicular cancer has returned. A new program has been developed for men with low-risk prostate cancer. This program presents strategies to monitor the disease and decrease unnecessary tests and treatments safely.

Huge strides are being made in prostate cancer research; however, physicians cannot easily predict which tumors will become aggressive. Movember is funding the development of a test called PUR (Prostate Urine Risk) to detect which men are more likely to need active treatment within the next five years. In addition, communities celebrate Movember by hosting Mo-ment events like: “Stache Clash”, golf tournaments, "Shave-Down!”, Walk for Men’s Health, and “Should the Beard Stay, or Should the Beard Go?” These events raise money for the Movember Foundation.

Movember is a time to increase awareness of men’s health issues. You can make a difference! Encourage your father, husband, sons, uncles, and grandfathers to seek health care related to men’s health issues so they can live healthier and longer lives. It’s time to change the face of men’s health. When you see a Moustache in Movember, remember it is a symbol to raise awareness of men’s health issues!

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Bio: Janet Coulter, MSN, MS, RN, CCM, FCM, is a transplant case manager with a wide variety of experiences, including educator, administrator, team leader, and Director of Case Management. Janet holds a Master of Science in Nursing from West Virginia University and a Master of Science in Adult Education from Marshall University. She has published many articles in CMSA Today and the Professional Case Management Journal and served as a reviewer for the Core Curriculum for Case Management Third Edition. She serves as Chair of the CMSA Today Editorial Board and Secretary of the CMSA Foundation board. Janet received the CMSA National Award of Service Excellence and Southern Ohio Valley CMSA Case Management Leadership award and was recently inducted as a Case Management Fellow from CMSA. Janet has been active in CMSA at the national and local levels. She is currently the President-Elect of CMSA National, Chairperson of the Editorial Board of CMSA Today, Chairperson of the Nominations Committee, and Vice-President of the CMSA Foundation.