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Movemeber: A multilateral mission to support men’s mental health

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Have you seen more moustaches on men this month? If you have -- you may have met someone supporting men's mental health as part of a global hair-growing support campaign raising awareness about men and their specific health concerns.

November is also the month of "Movember" -- an awareness campaign highlighting men's health month -- by asking members to grow out mustaches to show support for men's health.

One of the main areas of the non-profit Movember organization is mental health. Their website provides suggestions on how a man can help check in on his buddy without being overbearing. One of their major concerns is the number of men committing suicide globally.

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. The vast majority are men -- in 2022, an estimated 39,255 men took their lives nationwide. Roughly 10,194 women took theirs.

The highest number of male suicides are white males -- followed by Hispanic/Latino men -- both in 2021 and 2022.

Movember sponsors research across the globe on men's health, and offers guidance on how mental health topics should be brought up to men of all backgrounds.

They use the acronym ALEC - Ask. Listen. Encourage action. Check in. These steps can help start a conversation with a man about their mental state. Some of the suggestions include asking questions like "You haven't been acting like yourself -- are you ok?"

In honor of this movement to raise awareness of men's health challenges, ABC-7 spoke with a local expert who often deals with men's mental health.

Movember began in Australia in 2003, and has funded more than 1,300 men's health projects globally — many connected to mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. There were 30 men growing 'staches that year, this year there are over 6 million.

Avery Martinez covers mental health in the Borderland as part of ABC-7’s Be Mindful initiative. He is also a Report for America corps member. RFA places talented, emerging journalists in newsrooms like ABC-7’s to report on under-covered issues and communities. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.

Article Topic Follows: Be Mindful

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Avery Martinez


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