I have been thinking a lot about the stresses on individuals and families over the past 24 months, and the reality of mental health for all of us. I’ve been struck by the helplessness we have all experienced, possibly for the first time. And that need for escape to be so intense. 

But as restrictions ease in Australia and other parts of the world, what about those who still feel that way, who may have felt like that before the pandemic hit and perhaps even felt like taking drastic consequences as a result? 

I’ve participated in Movember in the past, liking it both for its fun and for tackling the often unspoken issues related to mental illness and men’s health. This year, I feel an even more urgent need to take action.

In considering what I could do, I started to prepare for what Movember would take. It’s been a couple of years since my November was dominated by the topic of facial hair, and I hadn’t yet said anything at home. But when the TV ads for Movember began running, my wife turned to me and asked, “So, will you be ruining November again this year?”

I didn’t offer an explanation about why I was considering it. I simply instantly responded: “Yes.” That was it.

Today is the first of November and the start of my Movember campaign. For me, Movember is as much about connection as it is wellness, exercise and awareness. The focus is on men’s health but it isn’t only for men - over 5 million men and women participate each year. At Iress, we’re building a strong team eager to get involved because everyone can participate. Everyone can contribute.

I encourage you to do something. Think about a guy you know who has been affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health issues or may even have contemplated suicide. Have a conversation with a mate. Go for a walk. Make a connection. Grow a mo. Or get creative and draw one on!

Do something. 

Don’t take today for granted.

If you want to join or donate, everyone is welcome here

And if you’re still feeling the strain as we approach the end of COVID year two - please don’t keep it to yourself. Help is available. The simple act of talking, of staying connected, can make a big difference.