Darren Brown, long-time supporter of Movember.
“There is no time like now to have conversations around health to break stigmas in the Black community.”
Los Angeles-based Darren Brown, an active proponent of men’s health, encourages his fellow men to get checked out early to prevent late or missed diagnoses and more, especially during November or Movember — a combination of the words “moustache” and “November.
“I go to a predominantly Black barbershop, so it’s always great when I go to shave off my beard and have a Mo for Movember. It gives me an excuse to tell everyone in the shop why I am doing it and create awareness.”
Brown, a 12-year-veteran supporter of Movember, said on movember.com, that he’s inspired to keep fundraising because he has kept the same core belief in sight, “helping men’s health.”
“Adding mental health to the conversation got me even more interested in the cause and the inclusion of different communities in the discussion, specifically the African American, is what has kept me here,” he said.
During the pandemic, reportedly Black Americans showed clinically significant traits of anxiety or depressive disorders jumped from 36 to 41 percent. Along with these issues, it was also reported that Black Americans were less likely to report symptoms of anxiety, depression or both during the pandemic according to movember.com.
Another wake-up call is that health issues touch Black males earlier. At 50 it’s recommended to talk to your doctor about prostate cancer and whether it’s right for you to have a PSA test. But, if you are African American, you should be having this conversation at 45 or even as early as 40, according to the article.
According to the website: “Globally, testicular cancer is the most common cancer among young men. And across the world, one man dies by suicide every minute of every day, with males accounting for 69 percent. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the United States. Across the country, there are almost 3.25 million men living with and beyond the disease.”
“The old adage that men don’t go to the doctor, and they won’t talk about their feelings is definitely true,” Brown said. “I would say it’s even more prevalent in the Black community. Years of mistrust from doctors and stories passed down from generations of misdiagnoses of family members have caused Black men to be more than a little hesitant about going to the doctor for check-ups. Furthermore, one of the stereotypes that Black men have is being ultra-masculine, and while it is a stereotype, we ourselves sometimes help feed that. In a lot of circles of Black men, it’s hard to be tough talking about anxiety and depression.”
Brown’s message is simple when it comes to starting conversations during Movember:
- Get an annual check-up
- Donate to Movember – an organization that’s doing local work in the realm of testicular and prostate cancer research, as well as breaking down the stigma of men talking about their feelings
- Talk to a friend and ask them how they are truly feeling
This is a matter of life or death.
Around the world, men die on average of four-and-a-half years earlier than women, and for primarily preventable reasons. As the leading charity tackling mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer on a global scale, Movember is on a mission to stop men from dying too young, Movember funds groundbreaking health projects, – 1,250 and counting – uniting experts from all over the world to accelerate research, progress, and change.
Jerry Jones, director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion – Health Programs at the Movember Foundation, told the Michigan Chronicle in a statement that Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health on a global scale.
“One of the secrets to this community’s success has been its ability to collaborate at both the grassroots level – our supporters from across the globe are the heart and soul of Movember – as well as with our clinical and corporate partners to advance the health and well-being of men around the world,” Jones said. “In addition to tackling the key health issues faced by men, the charity’s mission is to motivate men to stay healthy in all areas of life, with an emphasis on social connection, talking more often and openly about their physical and mental health, and reaching out in tough times.”
Jones added that Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.
“This focus on helping men stay connected with our own physical and mental health has resonated with me. Since joining Movember last year, I have become much more active by going to the gym regularly as well as practicing meditation as a way of tending to my mental well-being,” Jones said.
“Movember is a game-changer for me and for men around the world.”
For more information go to us.movember.com.