PHD Group has rounded out Movember with a record number of moustaches grown, and funds raised, to support awareness for men’s health.
This year over 30 PHD staff participated in Movember, more than triple the number of people involved in 2017. Twenty-three participants grew, or attempting to grow, moustaches, while 9 others took part in a 60 kilometer run – running or walking a collective distance of 543.74 kilometers – to raise awareness for the fact that 60 men commit suicide every hour around the world.
As a result of this initiative, PHD raised a total of $8,012, exceeding the initial goal by $4,012.
Speaking on the initiative, Nikki Grafton, acting CEO of PHD, says as an agency, it is so proud of those who participated in our biggest Movember campaign to date, raising awareness for men’s physical and mental health.
“Whether they grew moustaches or dusted off their running shoes, there was a lovely sense of teamwork and camaraderie throughout the month within the agency, as everyone worked towards a shared goal. We’re grateful to everyone who supported us by donating to this important and worthwhile cause.”
With the month of Movember and dusted for another year, PHD staff reflected on what they learned during the month:
Wes Bradley – Grew a mo for Movember
The power of physical activity. This is something I’ve become increasingly aware of recently and put into practice during Movember. When I’m not feeling great mentally or emotionally, or in a bit of a rut, I take myself to the gym or go for a walk up Mount Eden. And even if I don’t particularly feel like doing it at the beginning, afterwards I feel 100 times better, with a clearer head and a more positive attitude. Going for a run or walk, or doing a gym class, sounds so simple, and it is. But done regularly, it is such an easy way to make sure I look after my mental and physical health.
I was also shocked to learn that men make up three-quarters of the suicide rate in New Zealand which makes the Movember cause even more important. Most guys would say that they would help a mate in need, but many of us wouldn’t feel comfortable openly saying, “I’m not ok, I need help”. So, we’ve got to push through that initial discomfort and frequently remind mates that we are there for them and lead the way by being honest when we’re struggling too.
While there is a lot of banter, laughs and questionable moustaches around the office during Movember, it’s important to acknowledge that we’re fundraising for a serious and important cause.
Kate Gilbert – Ran 108km for Movember
It’s not that we necessarily need a month to appreciate the important men in our lives or to get out on the roads to run, but Movember is a really powerful way take a step back and reflect on an important issue that these men face. With that in mind, it gives so much meaning to every kilometre we run or walk for the cause.
Movember gives all of us a vehicle to reach out to those close to us and proactively offer support. The sentiments of this initiative are that of honesty and openness – and we’ve even seen that through social media. It’s cool to give a voice to men’s health and acknowledge that life’s full of hurdles – for all of us. And while we can’t all grow a ‘mo’, it felt awesome to be welcomed into the PHD Movember team. I’ve truly felt like my kilometres have been clocked with purpose as part of a great team, working together for the fellas.
Tiwai Vautier – Ran 19km During Movember
The importance of taking care of your own mental health. When speaking about health, most people tend to focus on physical wellbeing. There are thousands of gyms, boot camps and weight-loss programmes all around the world, however, when it comes to your mental health, there seems to be less options to turn to. Movember is a gym for men’s mental health, where people come together to help support the men in their lives, letting them know that although they may not be feeling great about themselves, their lives still matter.
Generations of “manly men” and toxic masculinity has made it difficult for many men to reach out for help during hard times. These hard times can’t be overcome on your own, it’s through unity and support that we are at our strongest. Movember is an opportunity to unite together in support of men’s mental health, offering the hand of support that so many men need. A hairy smile letting you know that you’re not alone.
Lee Underwood – Grew a Mo for Movember
Movember has always felt like a good cause and a great way to start the conversation. This year in particular, it has had more meaning personally as a few months ago, a friend of mine took his own life. Although I have always tried to be open with my friends and continue the dialogue, it felt like as a friend I had failed them a bit by not knowing what they were going through.
What I love about Movember is that it starts a conversation, doesn’t matter if the ‘mo’ is hideous or glorious (or even both), it gets noticed by friends and strangers and often starts conversations. I like the parallels of growing a ‘mo’ and reaching out to a friend; both are a lot easier than expected, they will pull you out of you comfort zone and start conversations you normally wouldn’t have.
If my ‘Craig David-esque’ moustache can just make one more person open up to talk about their mental issues, then I take it as a massive success, even if that is just me talking more.
Victoria Fruean – Ran 66 kilometers for Movember
That we have an opportunity to change the state of men’s health by encouraging openness, vulnerability and emotion - not just for the grown men in our lives, but the young ones too. From a young age, boys are told to stop crying if they get upset, to harden up, to be strong, to be brave by getting on with things. This is a breeding ground for men who don’t feel comfortable asking for help, showing vulnerability or expressing emotions later on in life.
With three nephews - aged 3, 5 and 15 - I’m more conscious than ever about them hearing being upset is a sign of weakness - and covering it up means they’re brave and strong - is potentially doing more harm than good.
Movember is a great opportunity to open this conversation with our partners, friends and dads and let them know it’s ok to be upset or down. It is also a great opportunity to think about how we relate and communicate with the young, impressionable men in our lives – brothers, nephews and sons – and create a positive change for their wellbeing.