Raise awareness this Movember for men’s health and wellbeing through these impactful charitable causes and campaigns in APAC committed to breaking the stigma and encouraging conversations on preventable health issues.
A great disparity is observed in healthcare awareness for men and women across the globe, open discussions on men’s health and wellbeing even being foreign in some Asian nations. The stark contrast comes in light of the fact that Asian communities often hold dissimilar attitudes towards certain aspects of men and women’s physical and mental health, in which self-stigma also plays a great part.
In Asia, while cancer incidences are much more heightened among younger women, men’s overall mortality rates are significantly higher in comparison. This is attributed to varying lifestyle risk factors, as well as a lower incentive for regular health checkups among men, reducing the chances of early detection.
The Movember movement was first started in 2003 in Australia by Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, and has since gained global traction, bringing recognition and awareness to the importance of men’s health. Since its initial launch, the movement has raised over a billion dollars, and has expanded across 23 countries, raising funds for the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, along with initiating conversations on men’s mental wellbeing.
Movember triggered a wave globally, as many charities and organisations in Asia followed suit, breaking the stigma of seeking professional help, and propelling healthcare resources and access. This Movember, raise awareness and support local charitable causes and campaigns in APAC pushing for regular health checkups and empowering men to achieve optimal health and wellbeing.
Movember Hong Kong
Movember Hong Kong was launched in partnership with The Hong Kong Cancer Fund, as part of its extended initiative to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer in Asia. The movement encourages the local community to show their support by raising funds, organising mo events, and for men to grow out their moustaches in solidarity towards the cause. Working together with Hong Kong’s largest cancer support organisation, Movember has made quite a significant impact in the city- in 2020 alone, a grand total of HK$2 million was raised.
HE.MEN – Hear Men
The Hong Kong Family Welfare Society (HKFWS) began the “HE.MEN – Hear Men” project in 2017, as an integrated part of their offerings, to address mental health stigma among men. The project was developed to build a sense of self-acknowledgement and understanding around the topic of mental wellbeing among men, along with extending their support network for those affected to better cope with hardships in their day-to-day life.
Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers concerning men’s health, 1 in 8 men suffering from the ailment. Walnut Warriors is addressing this problem head-on in Singapore. Started by the Singapore Cancer Society, the initiative offers psychosocial support and empowers those affected through its therapeutic and enrichment programmes. Walnut Warrior assists its members through its extensive support network allowing them to share their daily battles and form solitary, along with delivering better resources to help them sustain.
Upon losing his job during the midst of Covid, Ng Yue Meng was met with the most harrowing moment of his life, with no career, or loved ones around him, and a burdening sense of depression. Hoping to alleviate mental strain on those going through similar experiences, Yue Meng went on to establish Singapore’s emerging non-profit organisation for men’s mental health, RISE Community, in 2021.
The NGO offers various services to members of the community seeking solace during these dire times. Hosting a 2-year pilot programme to raise awareness and offer rehabilitation in areas such as men’s socio-emotional, physical, and financial health. The initiative aims to empower men by building community support, and opening career pathways.
Rule Prostate Cancer
Rule Prostate Cancer was founded by the Australian Prostate Centre and the E.J. Whitten Foundation to protect, inform, and deliver essential resources in the fight against cancer. In 2021, prostate cancer incidence cases in Australian men was over 18,110, and is expected to exceed 24,217 in 2022. The figures have prompted the organisation to take an active role in the education and awareness of young men, and are pushing for early prevention by encouraging regular testing and administering the right utilities for treatment, care, and support.
The charity hosts regular events to raise funds, including their recent celebration of National Legends Day this September, to honour the brothers, dads, uncles, and their families rule prostate cancer. The funds raised are then allocated to various treatment and trail clinics, research and prevention centres, and other forms of aid and support, across Australia.
Relay For Life Japan
Japan has a higher cancer survival rate compared to its neighbouring countries but despite this trend, limited information, resources, and support is available for those experiencing the many challenges posed by cancer. Relay For Life Japan was established in partnership with the Japan Cancer Society to raise donations and support those in their fight against cancer. Striving to change the life-surrendering narrative of cancer, the charity has launched additional offerings in support of the movement, from fundraising relay events, to consultation services, most importantly investing in future research projects, training young professionals, and more.
Advocating for prevention as the best cure, the charity campaigns and encourages locals to get regular checkups through their screening initiative by the Japan Cancer Society, on the common types of cancers, including gynaecological and urological cancers, skin cancer, leukaemia, and others.
Featured Banner Image: hk.movember.com