The Mo movement

November is an important month for many Kiwis, as it signifies the incredible campaigning for Men’s mental health led by Movember. This year marks Angus Cameron’s fifth as a ‘Mo Bro’ and second as a community ambassador.

The movement is important to Angus, whose passion stems from a desire to be a part of the much-needed change. “I want to be a part of making a positive difference in other people’s lives. The stats around men’s health, particularly in New Zealand, aren’t great and men are dying too young. The movement that Movember has started around educating us about these stats and the work they are doing to help save men’s lives is something that I want to be a part of and help where I can.  Also, a couple of years back I lost my cousin, Dan, to suicide. So, he is a key motivator for me personally.”

The statistics are staggering when you start to look into the state of Kiwi’s mental health. The most recent data shows 607 people died by suspected suicide during the last year. Angus believes for this to change, there needs to be more education, and more talking. “The more people that are aware of their mental health and how that can be affected, as well as how other people’s mental health can be affected by completely different things, is key for us to be better equipped to have those conversations and seek help when working through mental health issues.”

From his work with Movember, Angus has gained some extremely valuable lessons and tools to share with those struggling. “My piece of advice would be that you don’t have to go through it alone. If you are struggling, then don’t be afraid to speak up and let someone know. Yeah, it might feel a little awkward or unnatural when you do it but what you’ve done by speaking to someone about it is taken a huge step forward in helping yourself get your mental health back on track.”

As a nation, we are lucky to have inspiring individuals like Angus, who stand up for those struggling. We all need these kinds of role models, and he sure has his as well. “My Dad always has been and always will be a role model for me. He has set the tone right from the start and continues to set a good example for me. I also consider some of my close friends great role models, they have all done well in their respective fields and we all keep each other honest and push ourselves to be better friends and people.”

How Angus looks after his mental health.

  1. “Exercise – whether it is getting out for a bike, walk, gym session, a game of golf or even getting into the garden at home, it always clears the head and gives that sense of accomplishment. When I am exercising, I always feel my healthiest.”
  2. “Take a rest day – some days I do just like to blob on the couch and be a bit of a hermit. Life can get pretty busy sometimes and you feel like you’re jumping from one thing to the next, so I do enjoy having days where I literally do nothing and just take some time to slow down and relax.”
  3. “Talk – when I do have those days when I am feeling a bit flat, I do try to talk to someone. Normally, to my partner Jess. She’s good at asking questions, getting information out of me, and putting things in perspective. I’m definitely not the most forthcoming sometimes but it is something I am working on and when I do talk, I feel better for it.”

Movember has funded over 1250 men’s health projects globally, and are making a true difference in mental health and suicide prevention, as well as prostate and testicular cancer.

“I am extremely proud of the way New Zealand men can now acknowledge mental health issues, and their desire to be part of the solution for themselves, their friends, and whanau,” says Movember Country Manager, Robert Dunne.

“As a nation, it’s important we continue to open up, reduce stigmatising language and promote help-seeking and help-offering behaviour. At Movember, we are lucky to have a trusted voice in mental health and an engaged community to advocate on our behalf. We understand our responsibility to communicate constructively and compassionately about suicide and suicide prevention and fund initiatives locally that help Kiwi men to do the same.”

Check out the website to see how you can be a part of Movember 2021.

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