This November, members of the NYU men’s hockey team are growing out their mustaches in support of Movember, a global charity dedicated to raising awareness about men’s physical and mental health. Through encouraging men to take an active role in their health and raising funds for local and global men’s health projects, the organization hopes to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.
Movember focuses on suicide awareness for men while also emphasizing the importance of testicular and prostate cancer screenings. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men died by suicide 3.54x more often than women in 2017. Prostate cancer is the second-most common form of cancer in men, according to the American Cancer Society.
“We just thought it’d actually be a great idea as a team of 28-plus guys to make a team page and that’d be a great way to help and raise awareness,” Stern sophomore and forward Jake Geller said. “It’s a group of 18-to-25-year-old guys who all care about men’s health. It just made sense as the perfect fit for us.”
Movember also challenges the taboos surrounding men’s mental health wellness and sucide prevention.
“Especially for men, there is this stigma that you have to be tough and that mental illnesses are weaknesses,” Steinhardt senior and goaltender Adam Salisbury said. “Whereas that’s just not the case, and it’s very important to know that. That it’s not a weakness.”
SPS junior and forward Richard Doherty is a longtime supporter of Movember and his own personal struggles have helped him understand the importance of having a support system.
“It’s such a big change moving to the city,” Doherty said. “You get to experience anxiety for the first time. And my family was there to support me through it. I was worried that other people were experiencing something similar to what I was experiencing.”
He hopes that by growing out their mustaches, the team can show solidarity and encourage other men to take active roles in their health.
“I want to save somebody’s life,” Doherty said. “I want to help someone recognize they might be going through something, whether it be mental or physical [and] go get checked up on it.”
According to their team page, the Violets have raised over $3,500 in support of Movember, and their mustaches speak for themselves. The fundraiser will continue until the end of the month.
However, Doherty believes there is more to the fundraiser than the money raised. He hopes that the fundraiser’s exposure will lead to at least one man getting the medical help they need.
“That’s more than a donation,” Doherty said. “I think with the NYU community, we can push somebody to get a check-up. I think that’s way more important than any money we raise.”
A version of this article appears in the Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 print edition. Email Bin Cho at [email protected]