A MOvember to Remember

By Mr. Derek Doucet

Did you know that 60 men will die by suicide in this hour alone? Did you know that on average men die 5 years before their female counterparts? Why is this? I believe it is because men are either stoic, stupid or misguided. We have been led to believe that being a man means “sucking it up”, we have been led to believe that “real men” don’t cry, we have been led to believe that we do not need to talk about how we’re feeling. We have been led to believe…

Movember’s aim from the beginning has been to “change the face of men’s health” and Adam Garone (founder) thought the best way to do that was to “Grow the Mo.” Movember aims to raise awareness and funds about prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s mental health with a focus on suicide prevention. Can you spot a bro who is feeling low? is a video that helps to inform everyone about the signs of depression. Men inconsistently seek support when suffering from depression. We are encouraging men all over the world to “Be a man of more words” in an attempt to keep our beloved MoBros & Non-Binary Mos in our lives for as long as possible.

At Lakefield College School we always have, and we continue to redefine what it means to be a man. Movember allows us to have some fun, and in that fun, we have conversations. (Click here if you’re wondering how to support a friend in need). We share stats, we raise money, we raise awareness, and often long after graduation, our MoFolks go on to lead their own Movember teams. Long after they have left, they are still taking care of themselves, still seeking support when their health is failing, still making time to connect and talk with friends, and still making time to move and be active so they can be at their healthiest. They are doing the 5 things everyone should be doing, especially men, as a part of their daily routine.

This year’s campaign has changed quite a bit. In early meetings, we decided we wanted to refresh a little. Through the lens of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) we realized that we needed to continue with the fun events but also offer something for everyone who wants to be allies for men’s health. Something that aligns well with the serious tone of what’s behind the Mo. We wanted to create memorable MOments and messages that would lead to some small action that would make a difference.

The LCS MOs began the month with a great initiative called Why do you MO!?  Students passed in the halls to speak about the men who mean a lot to them. The men they will talk to about their health. We had a felt moustache crafting event that allowed students to create a MO they could show. Masks have prevented what has come to be the “nod” of fellow MO bros & Non-Binary MOs acknowledging each other as they pass in the halls or in the street, a subtle “we’re in this together” or “I have your back.” Connor Rutherford was quick to foresee this issue and so he designed a MO mask which was sold by the business club. We have a few left so if you would like one, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We did a fun balloon shaving event to foster smiles and laughter, all great ways to keep spirits high. We have a Strava group with many committing to sixty kms of walking or running to honour the 60 men who will die by suicide in the next sixty minutes. We have some who have logged over 100kms already and more who are aiming to by MOnday.

We introduced a new event called Movember Spotlight created by our SICs of DEI Lily Bowman and Catherine Kim during a brainstorming session. It was a fantastic event that saw people speak about what the men in their lives mean to them and how ideas of “masculinity” affects how we talk about men’s health among others. It was a truly wonderful event. 

Friday saw us doing a crowd favourite - the Fire Truck pull. This is a key event in our campaign as its focus is on the power of one vs the power of many. There is not a single person who can pull that tanker truck filled with water on their own. However, when supported by their friends and working together, they can achieve great things. As we embrace this idea, we can see how as more and more people get going with Movember, we can, in fact, change the face of men’s health. 

Our campaign came to a close with an event that clinched our 2015 Most Creative Canadian Movember Campaign award: the MOlar Bear Dip. This is a time when staff and students alike brave the icy waters of Lake Katchewanooka to cause a stir, a ripple on social media that will lead to many asking why? The why provides a fertile thinking ground for those people to learn more about their health as well as the health of their loved ones. The tone is that we’re all in this together, even if it hurts a little, and let me be the first to say that it actually hurts quite a bit. In our Head of School Ms. Kee’s blog, she mentions that “If tone is set at the top, so too is wellness.”

LCS students Lily '21 and Catherine '21 introduced a new event to our Movember activities called Movember Spotlights. It was a fantastic event that saw people speak about what the men in their lives mean to them and how ideas of “masculinity” affects how we talk about men’s health among others. It was a truly wonderful event. Watch the video on the LCS YouTube page.

Be well MOfolks.
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4391 County Road 29, Lakefield Ontario K0L 2H0   705.652.3324   admissions@lcs.on.ca

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Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

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