Why I Movember
This is the nineth year that I have taken part in Movember, which is a charitable initiative in which men grow moustaches and raise money during this campaign. The Movember campaign seeks to raise awareness for health issues facing men, such as testicular cancer and depression. You can read more about Movember’s mission, vision, and values here: http://au.movember.com/about/vision-goals
I have a deeply personal reason for doing Movember and that is that my family suffered dearly as a result of my father’s life-long battles with depression after serving with the Canadian Armed Forces in the Korean War. We now know this more commonly as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but this was not a common phrase in the 1960s to 1990s.
Through his depression, my father also had a dependence on alcohol and our family suffered because of it. Truth be told, I’ve never seen him have a drink in my life. He wasn’t an everyday drinker or even an occasional drinker; he was a binger whereby he’d go out for a few days and binge, then sober up and come back home like nothing had happened. This binging obviously put strain on our family, as mom had to make alternate arrangements for her children’s caretaker when he wasn’t around and she was working in the evenings. It also impacted the family in that my father missed some family events over the years, so our family photos are incomplete because he wasn’t there.
My father died in 1998 and I often wonder, what if? What if he didn’t drink, would he still be alive? Would he have attended my university graduations (I’ve had four)? Would he have walked my sister down the aisle at her wedding? There are a myriad of other ‘what if’ questions that I could type, but won’t. I, obviously, will never know the answer to these (and all other) questions, but it’s something that I never want my family, friends, colleagues, and anyone else to ask about me. What if Olan didn’t drink, would he have (been to this event with us, gone for an early surf with us, been fit for life, supported us, and anything you can think of)?
This is why I do Movember annually and will continue to do so. Many men go unchecked for health issues for a myriad of reasons and my goal is to raise money for Movember so resources and programmes can be put in place to help me with their health issues. After reading this, if you feel compelled to donate to my Movember endeavour, click here http://mobro.co/scottolan to donate.
Thanks for reading, Olan
About Movember’s mental health initiatives
AUSTRALIAN MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVE
In October 2014, the Movember Foundation announced the largest ever non-government investment in men’s mental health in Australia, allocating $22.3 million to fund programs to help change the face of men’s health. The Australian Mental Health Initiative will bring together teams from across sectors and around the country to collaborate on projects that focus on keeping men and boys mentally healthy in the community and workplace, encouraging those with a mental health problem to take action early and reducing the stigma associated with mental health.