With the month of November just starting and the year of 2017 almost at its conclusion, it’s really easy to get wrapped up in gifts, vacation plans and the hurly burly that comes with Christmas, forgetting that November is a month that we shine a light on men and the diseases, both mental and physical, that they often face.

Movember is charity fund that was started in 2004 by Adam Garone and Travis Garonein in Melbourne, Australia with the aim of raising awareness about prostate cancer, testicular cancer, male mental health diseases and physical health and fitness.

The charity fund has raised more $580m to date and funds more than 800 male health programmes.

The way it works is that in November, men grow moustaches and beards in support for this organisation and in acknowledgement that women are not the only ones who face health and emotional issues in their daily lives.

Many guys are afraid to talk about emotional problems they may be faced with as they feel that acknowledging pain makes them look weak. Some even end up committing suicide because of bottling up all their emotional baggage. Movember is thus the perfect platform for acknowledging that men too feel pain, both physical and emotional, and that they also need support and a helping hand from time to time.

“I never used to grow a beard before as I’m not really a fan of facial hair, but after learning about Movember (and being bullied by my wife), I decided to grow a full beard in 2015 and have been only trimming since,” CPUT student, Yolanda Klaas explained.

“With so many months and ‘special days’ dedicated to women, from Women’s Day to Mother’s Day and even Valentine’s Day, it’s nice to have an entire month dedicated to just us guys as we face problems too and can’t always be the stronger sex.”

With all the stereotypes of men always needing to be strong, never crying, being passed down from generation to generation, it’s become really hard to break the cycle of male depression. In the eternal words of Bill Withers, ‘we all need somebody to lean on’. Men need a little TLC too. I personally love beards (it’s a Muslim thing…) and wish Movember could last all year, but hey, that’s just me. You can read more about Movember South Africa and the amazing work they do here. Let’s show the guys some love, if only for the month.

What will you guys be doing in honour of Movember?