This month is about more than just growing your 'stache.
The support of other men helped me get through the many challenges nobody seems to talk about.
June 13th is Men's Mental Health Awareness Day, lying in the middle of Canadian Men's Health Week. This is a chance to discuss what many see as a silent crisis in men's mental health. However one high-risk sub-population is largely ignored in both the federal and provincial mental health strategies: middle-aged men.
Eight years ago, I didn't know much about depression. Seven years ago, I wanted nothing more than to escape it's pain, and I tried to take my own life. The worse part is, my story is not unique. I, like many men, found depression too hard to talk about. When I began to realize something more serious was going on with my health, I was too ashamed to admit I needed help. All over the world, boys learn that men don't cry, that men don't ask for help, and that real men don't need help anyway.
When it comes to Movember and men's health, the focus has typically been on prostate and testicular cancer. However, there is another common male medical condition that has been relatively overlooked: depression. Clinical depression is a costly and debilitating condition that affects approximately five per cent of the Canadian population in any given year, and 10 per cent of Canadians over the course of a lifetime.
Collaboration itself is not a new word, but for the world of cancer research it's an innovative approach. My view is that we need to collaborate to maximize investment and increase research capabilities. Personal interests such as profit, competition, rivalry or recognition need to be put aside.
The community temporarily changed its name to "Mowen Island."
"Why is it that when somebody has a mental illness, we try and shove it off to the side?"