Movember awareness

Movember®: The Meaning Behind the ‘Stache

Movember® is more than just an opportunity to grow a mustache-- it is an impactful movement during the month of November dedicated to addressing crucial men's health issues. It zeroes in on two primary concerns: physical health, particularly prostate and testicular cancer, and the often-overlooked aspect of mental health. This comprehensive approach highlights the importance of a holistic view of health.

Every November, Olympus Corporation of the Americas participates in Movember’s charity event to help raise awareness of men’s mental and physical health concerns. This year, Olympus employees will be invited to “grow a MO” and use their mustache as a conversation starter about men’s health or pledge to walk 60 miles in November. According to Movember’s website, “Globally, one man takes his own life every minute, of every day. That’s 60 men each we lose every hour who should still be here today.” 

Breaking the Silence

One of the most pressing issues that Movember shines a light on is men's mental health. Unfortunately, mental health often goes untreated among men as they are less likely to seek treatment than women.1 This is why Movember encourages conversations about mental health and fosters a culture of openness and support, empowering men to seek help when needed.

Olympus’ Sr. Manager, OBSA Strategy and Operations, Erin Schantz, has led many discussions about men’s mental health after her brother’s suicide in 2021. “The impact that this decision [has had on] our family has been completely devasting. We’ve made a vow not to ask ourselves, ‘What if?’ Instead, we are choosing to honor his life and share all our amazing memories of him with his children and nieces and nephews.”

In 2021, the suicide rate among males in the United States was approximately four times higher than the rate among females, even though males make up 50% of the population, but nearly 80% of suicides.3

Erin's brother Ryan

Erin Schantz's son, Callen, with her brother, Ryan.

Joseph Monteleone, Olympus’ Project Manager, Corporate Strategy Development, has a special connection to the cause after losing a close childhood friend to suicide. 

Chances are you may have a man in your life who deals with mental health challenges. These men can often be the main caregiver for others or just another guy who appears to ‘have it all together.’”

“I choose to participate to bring more awareness to this issue and hopefully spark interest so we can learn more together and save a life,” he explained. “I know way too many people who have experienced the same pain and anguish in losing a loved one in this manner. Chances are you may have a man in your life who deals with mental health challenges. These men can often be the main caregiver for others or just another guy who appears to ‘have it all together.’”

For conversations beyond small talk, Movember offers resources to help guide an initial conversation with a man in your life who may be struggling. One of their resources includes education about ALEC, which stands for Ask, Listen, Encourage Action, and Check In. Learn more here

Early Detection and Prevention

Movember's commitment to raising awareness about physical health is equally crucial. As prostate cancer is among the most common cancer affecting men,2 Movember focuses on raising awareness of the importance of regular check-ups and encourages early detection.

“Olympus values have strong alignment with Movember values, especially when you consider our urology portfolio of men’s health products to [help] make patient’s lives healthier, safer, and more fulfilling,” said Allison Bosworth, Olympus’ Executive Director of Marketing for Urology and Gynecology. “Specifically for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, a condition that involves enlargement of the prostate as a man ages, and [may] impact 9 out of 10 men in their lifetimes,4 it is important that patients are educated on symptoms and treatment options to better consider the best choice for their care.”

Allison strongly believes education and taking charge of one’s physical health can help result in a multitude of positive lifestyle changes, quality of life, and mental health.

Scott Goldstein

Scott Goldstein

Olympus’ Director of Marketing – Men’s Health and Lower Tract, Scott Goldstein, is an avid supporter of Movember, with several pictures of mustaches to prove his historical contributions. This year, he was inspired to raise awareness of the importance of early detection after hearing the story of James Casey, colon cancer screening advocate and beloved saxophonist and singer. “James is a celebrated advocate for colon cancer awareness, but [because of] his colon cancer screening in 2021 and his honesty thereafter, [he] sparked a series of cancer diagnoses in some of the men closest to him – men who may have gone months, or even years without a diagnosis, a plan for treatment, and a network of support from men who get it.”

Unfortunately, James lost his battle to colon cancer in August 2023 at the age of 40. His message continues to live on and inspire others to listen to your body, get tested sooner, and know your family history. Learn more about James Casey by visiting his website.

Take Action

Don’t miss a moment to be a Movember supporter -- you can help encourage regular health check-ups, foster open dialogues about mental wellbeing, and help change the face of men’s health. 

Help is Available

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please reach out to the National Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or dial 9-8-8, which has been designated as the national 3-digit phone number for suicide prevention and mental health crises in the United States. They are available 24/7 ready to listen to help provide the support needed.

1.    Chatmon BN. Males and Mental Health Stigma. Am J Mens Health. 2020 Jul-Aug;14(4):1557988320949322. 
2.    American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts for Men.” Last revised February 24, 2023. Accessed October 25, 2023. 
3.    Centers for Disease Control. “Suicide Data and Statistics.” Last reviewed August 10, 2023. Accessed October 25, 2023. 
4.    Franco, Juan V A et al. “Update on the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia and the role of minimally invasive procedures. Prostate international vol. 11,1 (2023)

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