Riverside Secondary school participates every year in the Movember fundraiser to raise awareness throughout the school, to help reduce male death rates and to encourage men to talk more about their feelings.
Every November, many men around the world grow out their mustache for the Movember fundraiser to raise awareness for men suffering from prostate cancer, toxic masculinity, mental health issues and many more health problems.
“Men shouldn’t have felt the need to suppress their feelings; these are things we really should be expressing. True masculinity comes from expressing our feelings, and not feeling ashamed for seeking help,” said grade 11 Riverside student Ryan Eshraghi, the lead student promoting the Movember fundraiser.
Adrienne Chapell, the teacher helping students organize the Movember fundraiser at Riverside Secondary, encourages all schools to also bring awareness to students about Movember. “It is important to talk about Movember in schools because most of the students don’t have enough awareness of Movember and its purpose,” said Chapell. “It is a topic that is popular in universities and with adults, but it’s not quite as popular at this age, but it is also equally relevant.”
Globally, men die on average 5 years earlier than women, and most of the time the reasons are largely preventable. Everyone goes through tough times, even if other people seem like they look like they are their happiest, and sometimes it is difficult to see if the person is feeling okay or not. The Movember website advocates for people to check up regularly on someone who is struggling, to ask how a friend or family member is feeling, to listen to what they are saying, and to validate and encourage them to talk about their feelings.
The vice-principal of Riverside Secondary school, Jason Giles, grew out his mustache in support of the cause, encourages teenagers to talk to a trusted adult if they are struggling emotionally. “Even though there has been a culture over the past several decades of men staying quiet, and that they don’t need help and that they should just be strong, the reality is that it takes a lot of strength to admit when you need help,” said Giles.
Men’s mental health is something that has been ignored and for much of history and it is time to change the stigma of staying silent and bottling up our emotions and problems, which in turn can lead to anger and toxic masculinity.