One of Francesca Amato’s favourite memories as a little girl was of her dad volunteering at the school tuck shop.
“He worked at night,” she said. “So he made sure to try and spend as much time with us in the day.
“He would feel bad when we wanted an ice cream or something and would end up buying them for our entire class.”
Her memories are made painful though by the knowledge that three years ago he took his own life at the age of 54, leaving her hurt and questioning how this caring family man could feel so bad that he could do such a thing.
Francesca is now 30 years old and raising money for mental health, with her whole family getting on board to support Movember and what it stands for.
“Movember is one of the only charities that focus on this in a relaxed manner so that the young and old get involved in raising awareness on these tough issues,” Mrs Amato said.
She would like there to be a greater understanding of male mental health.
“I think although mens mental health is acknowledged far more than before, it is still not enough. This society puts a lot of pressure on males to be the strong ones. This makes them feel that they have to suffer in silence, and majority of the time you do not even know that they are suffering.
“Personally I believe you don’t have to always fall under being depressed to commit suicide. Sometimes it’s just not knowing at that point of time that there is another option, that it’s OK to not feel OK.”
“Every minute we lose one man to suicide. Something needs to change and fast.”
Mens health all around the world is in crisis and with November soon approaching, so are the moustaches that have become a well-known part of the global charity culture since the beginning in Adelaide 15 years ago.
Movember is responsible for raising awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
The organisation encourages people to help make a difference through growing a mo, getting moving, hosting a fundraiser or solely just by donating.
Growing a Mo
Males begin the month with a cleanly shaven face, not shaving until the month is over.
Movember has guidelines on how to grow a moustache, style guides and specific rules.
People who choose to raise money for Movember have a target of exercising 60kms over the month. This number represents the 60 males that are lost to suicide every hour globally.
Hosting a crew
People are also able to host an event in the local community to raise donations with Movember, including the option of having a trivia quiz event.
For more information go to Movember Australia and donate.
Main picture by Simone Ramella/Flickr.