It’s been two years since I’ve been a full on ‘mo #bro’ as we are termed, by the #Movember Foundation.

However, I started November 2016 (or should I say, Movember), completely clean shaven. By the end of the month I will sport some form of out-dated and somewhat ridiculous upper-lip growth. Why? Because the Movember Foundation is an organisation that has my full support and backing.

Last year, I started a new job and worked with an ex-army fire fighter. I was a little bit in awe, ‘what a cool job!’ I thought to myself. But the more I unravelled the perceived mystique of such a manly and butch profession, I found the reality to be somewhat different.

The colleague in question, began to confide in me, about him suffering PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and the horrors that he suffered mentally. He couldn’t go out, wouldn’t speak to anyone and most importantly, suffered from suicidal thoughts. This, I thought was a far cry from the hose-wielding, perma-tanned action man I had conjured in my head.

I delved deeper and stumbled across The Movember Foundation’s hard-hitting release about Male suicide.

Link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDYAgurah8g

It seems that men are suffering alone, the stigma attached to bearing your feelings and sharing your suffering is often too much for men and too many young men are suffering and dying alone. So Movember this year aims to tackle this problem and vows to decrease male suicide rates by 25% by 2030.

Gender stereotypes ensure that men often suffer in silence. It’s not cool to talk about your emotions over a few pints watching the football. It’s not macho to breakdown in front of your wife and children. As a society we have stigmatised male health issues ad Movember is the only worldwide charity that is aiming to break down this taboo.

I was challenged by a female work colleague, ‘this isn’t very inclusive for ladies is it?’ On the contrary, ‘'Mo Sistas' are highly regarded and extremely well respected, so I urge all of the caring women out there to show your support too in whatever you can.

So when you are walking through town, noticing some peculiar facial hair, hopefully you will know why. Please support the Movember foundation at: http://mobro.co/goldwynbrook #menshealth