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Movember Joins Largest Cross-Sector Effort to Shift from Awareness to Action for Mental Health Awareness Month

Movember Joins Largest Cross-Sector Effort to Shift from Awareness to Action for Mental Health Awareness Month

Global men's health charity joins more than 1000 partners to encourage and empower people to take action and programming mental health-related virtual panels for men, veterans and BIPOC communities

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading global men's health charity, Movember is taking on Mental Health Awareness Month by leading and participating in a number of events this week to help amplify the importance of mental health.

To address a global mental health crisis in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and amid the continued struggle of systemic racism, Movember has signed on as a founding partner in the inaugural Mental Health Action Day on Thursday, May 20th during Mental Health Awareness Month, along with more than 1000 organizations, brands, government agencies and cultural leaders. This open-source movement to shift culture from awareness to action on mental health has added more than 800 partners since its announcement one month ago. Cultural and political leaders are among the new partners who are committed to encourage and empower their followers, fans, and constituents to take action on their mental health.

On Tuesday, May 18th, Movember will join ViacomCBS Veterans Network along with military organizations, Wounded Warrior Project, Home Base, GI Go Fund, FourBlock, Operation Homefront and the Student Veterans of America for a panel discussion about Destigmatizing Mental Health in the Veteran and Military Family Community.  The panel's opening remarks will be given by Wounded Warrior Project CEO, Mike Linnington, Lt. GEN., U.S. Army (Ret.) and Jack Hammond, Home Base Executive Director, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Ret.).  Movember ambassador and U.S. Army Veteran, Author and Rebirth Podcast Host J.R. Martinez will be joining the panel which will be moderated by Jim Axelrod, Chief Investigative Correspondent for CBS News.

"As a veteran we know there is trauma that each of us has to deal with and making mental health a priority is crucial in staying healthy. For men, we're dealing with an added layer of masculinity and trying to break a stigma that it's okay to open up and to ask for help. There are too many times where we have lost  people close to us because they were isolated and didn't feel they could turn to anyone. We need to be able to normalize asking for that kind of support," said J.R. Martinez.

The Movember Sessions series continues for the month of May with two events this week. Last year, the men's health charity programmed a number of virtual panels including a conversation around BIPOC mental health. They are continuing this discussion and on Thursday, May 20th  and Friday, May 21st

Movember will again be hosting two virtual panels addressing the issues around Mental Health within BIPOC Communities. On May 20th, the panel discussions will center around BIPOC Mental Health as it relates to mass media consumption. Keith Nishida, National Program Director of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) will be moderating the discussion which includes various professionals within the media and corporate industry. The panelists include: Damon Phillips, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives for the NBC Sports Group, Justin Rhodes, Senior Director National Digital Content for WETA, Mac Hawkins, founder and principal of Pragmatic, a film and television literary consulting company and Nerses Aposhian, Commercial Real Estate Associate for IDS Real Estate and co-host of the The Founder Hour podcast.

On May 21st, the panel discussion will focus on mental health as it relates to the workplace for BIPOC communities. The second day panel will be moderated by John Eligon, National Correspondent for the New York Times. Panelists for the second day of conversation include: James Alva, founder of Adelante Partners Inc., Love Odih Kumuyi founder of global consulting firm, Unsiloed, Sedrick Spencer, Western Director of State Government Affairs for Biogen and Katrina (KT) Thornton, Sr. Director – Global Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the Kellogg Company.

Some of the topics that will be discussed over the two days will be:

  • How mass media is affecting the mental health of today's population, focusing on portrayal and treatment of BIPOC communities
  • Social media content and the rapid speed at which content is shared
  • How publicly sharing your story can impact your mental health and help others who are struggling
  • Diversity and mental health in the workplace
  • How organizations are creating safe, supportive, and inclusive environments
  • How companies are supporting employees based on current events and how DEI strategies are being developed and implemented

"We're thrilled to be a part of this initiative and Movember's mission to help men live happier, healthier and longer lives requires all of us to take action. We know for many men, opening up and being vulnerable is a challenge and while we are constantly educating everyone about breaking down barriers, we need to find ways to get through to them," said Movember US Country Director, Mark Hedstrom.

He continues, "Having these panel discussions about mental health as it relates to BIPOC communities and destigmatizing mental health within the veteran and military communities is just one way we can help these men across the country. Staying socially connected and having these conversations allows us the opportunity to better educate ourselves and understand how we can all support men in all of these communities."

To wrap up the month The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride (DGR) is calling on motorcyclists all over the world to join in their 10th anniversary ride which will be held across the US and around the globe on Sunday, May 23rd.

The global event, which spans 107 countries, brings together the motorcycle community and their passion for classic style bikes to support and raise funds for Movember. Over 340,000 riders have taken part in the event since 2012.

Movember's Global Director of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Brendan Maher, said, "The annual DGR event is essential in helping Movember to fund mental health programs that help to save the lives of men both in the US, and around the world. Now more than ever we need the DGR community to ride dapper and donate to the cause to stop men dying too young."

Most recently, a portion of the funding has been used to support the motorcycling community itself. $779,000 has been injected into nine recently announced projects which were selected from ideas crowd-sourced around the world, as part of the DGR Social Connections Challenge (DGRSCC). The projects will be rolled out over a 12-month period, with the aim of improving social connectedness, life satisfaction and mental wellbeing among motorcycle riders.

In the US, one project has been funded through the DGR Social Connections Challenge initiative. Motorcycle Therapy which will be based in Colorado Springs brings together motorcycle riders from any branch of the armed services who are in active duty, retired or veterans and who are living with a mental health challenge, are socially isolated and at risk of suicide. This project involves the creation of small build groups over nine weeks that encourage natural friendships to occur by leveraging positive momentum, a safe space for sharing, along with the riding activities to encourage and promote participants' ability to tackle their personal problems. Future goals include creating opportunities to experience different types of motorbiking (ie. track days, multi-group riding, etc.) without the risk of financial commitment, which could be a barrier to vets on pensions/fixed income.

Media contact: Sheryl Tirol, US PR Manager sheryl.tirol@movember.com  

About Movember

Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men's health on a global scale, focusing on mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. The charity raises funds to deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programs that enable men to live happier, healthier and longer lives. Committed to disrupting the status quo, millions have joined the movement, helping fund over 1,250 projects around the world.

In addition to tackling key health issues faced by men, Movember is working to encourage men to stay healthy in all areas of their life, with a focus on men staying socially connected and becoming more open to discussing their health and significant moments in their lives. The charity's vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men's health. To donate or learn more, please visit movember.com

About Mental Health Action Day

Mental Health Action Day is an open-source movement of brands, organizations, government agencies, and cultural leaders to drive culture from mental health awareness to mental health action. The first Mental Health Action Day will take place on May 20, 2021 with a mission to encourage and empower people to take their first actions on mental health -- whether for themselves, for their loved ones or for their communities , because mental health is health. Learn more at www.MentalHealthActionDay.org   

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SOURCE Movember



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