Dublin City University has raised almost €21,000 throughout November by growing out their moustaches as part of the Movember initiative.
Movember is an international fundraiser aimed at improving men’s lives through projects focused on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
Many DCU societies encouraged their members to grow out their ronnies and clock up some kilometres to raise money for this great cause.
Georgia Mae Kerrigan took part in Movember as part of DCU’s Film Society. “I remember in the past I always saw friends and family of mine doing Movember… but I’d always thought I couldn’t participate because I couldn’t grow facial hair,” she said.
Kerrigan said she received a message encouraging societies to take part that informed her you didn’t have to grow facial hair to get involved, you could run or walk 60 kilometres or even host an event.
She said, “I thought it was great that the charity was so inclusive and there were so many ways to get involved.”
“Unfortunately, there is still a huge stigma around men’s mental health and men speaking about their emotions. I think Movember is great as it raises awareness that it’s okay for men to be vulnerable and ask for help if they need it,” said Kerrigan.
One DCU team ‘The Mo-therf*ckers’ raised €6,486. The highest amount of money raised by any DCU participating team.
Oisin Nee, a member of The Mo-therf*ckers, said: “I decided to get involved in Movember probably for the same reason most people do and that’s to try to raise awareness for men’s mental health along with raising money to fight testicular and prostate cancer.”
Nee raised €400 for the cause and said, “this was my first year getting involved in Movember having admired the work they’ve done for the past number of years.
“I suppose Movember is important to me because my family along with numerous other families have lost loved ones whether it is from mental health issues or testicular and prostate cancer,” said Nee.
Niall O’Connell a third-year student in DCU joined together with five of his friends from home and raised almost €3,500.
“I decided to get involved in Movember to try and get more lads talking about their mental health and wellbeing,” said O’Connell.
“I’m from Cavan originally and in the last couple of months our county has seen a number of young men tragically pass away due to suicide. It became the case at one point that we were nearly afraid to check our phones every Monday morning for fear of discovering another death to mental illness.”
O’Connell said he believes by more people becoming involved in mental health awareness programmes like Movember and Darkness into Light the easier it will be for men to talk about their mental health openly.
He said, “I have seen how entire families and communities have been destroyed by the passing of a loved one to suicide and I would hope that through raising awareness and discussion mental health we can prevent this from happening”.
“Unfortunately, the nature of the illness makes it very hard to tell if someone is suffering with mental health problems but hopefully by removing the taboo around mental health more people will start to talk about their problems, which is a step in the right direction.”
Image Credit: Movember