19 November 2013

I take this opportunity to reflect upon men's health, given that this is not only the month of November but Movember. Movember has humble Australian beginnings. In 2004 a group, which later came to form the Movember Foundation charity, organised an event where 30 men grew moustaches for 30 days to raise awareness of men's health.
I acknowledge our colleague Mr Elsbury for his moustache, and hopefully he will raise a lot of funds for the cause. Since those humble beginnings the Movember Foundation has raised $174 million worldwide. It has spread to Europe, North America and South Africa. In 2012 the Global Journal listed Movember as one of the top 100 non-government organisations in the world.
It was reported last week that research conducted by the Cancer Council New South Wales found that the number of men diagnosed with the prostate cancer increased by more than 250 per cent in the 20 years to 2007. This is likely because many men are now tested in various forms.
It was not long ago that the elephant in the room when it came to men's health - the tough attitude of not seeking support, help or treatment - led to many men being diagnosed when it was too late, and that elephant remains in the room when it comes to men's mental health. One in eight men will experience depression in their lifetime.
One in five men will experience an anxiety disorder. Left untreated, depression is a major risk factor for suicide. Currently males comprise 80 per cent of all suicides in Australia - that is, four out of five suicides. It is not tough to do it alone; it only hurts you and others around you.