Grow­ing a mo in at­tempts to pre­vent men dy­ing too young

Western Times - - NEWS - James Liveris [email protected]­ern­starnews.com

MEN of the south­west have put down their ra­zor blades this Novem­ber in a bid to ad­dress the ele­phant in the room.

There are a lot of peo­ple do­ing it tough in this drought and with the state of men’s health in cri­sis, the blokes of this re­gion are band­ing to­gether to sup­port Movem­ber to stop men dy­ing too young.

Ac­cord­ing to a 2016 re­port from the Grif­fith Univer­sity’s Aus­tralian In­sti­tute for Sui­cide Re­search and Preven­tion, the sui­cide rate among men in the south­west and Dar­ling Downs re­gion sits at 75 per cent, much higher than the state fig­ure.

In Roma, Nathan Moody and Stephen Brown, who make up the Shot Foxes Band, will be host­ing a Show Us Your Mo event with live mu­sic and a spit roast at The Com­mon­wealth Ho­tel on Fri­day, with all pro­ceeds be­ing do­nated to the cause.

Mr Moody said this was their first time do­ing Movem­ber, but they hoped to turn into a yearly thing.

“Just in gen­eral out here, sui­cide and de­pres­sion is bloody bad so this event will be about aware­ness, and what bet­ter place to make peo­ple aware than the pub – this is our hos­pi­tal,” he said.

“It’s def­i­nitely the ele­phant in the room, men’s health out here.

“Whether it’s young men, old men, Abo­rig­i­nal men, it doesn’t mat­ter, it’s al­ways the ele­phant in the room and it doesn’t get spo­ken about.

“There is a lot of ex­ter­nal pres­sure in the bush for blokes, and we’re the ones that tend to bot­tle it up so it’s im­por­tant to re­it­er­ate to peo­ple that it’s okay to talk about it and there are peo­ple to talk to.”

Charleville Mulga Mo Bros, a group of eight old blokes who cy­cle to­gether, have raised more than $3800 in sup­port of their mous­tache ef­forts.

Team mem­ber Robert Eckle said as most of the mem­bers were get­ting to their 50s it was time to start think­ing about their health.

“There seems to be a lot more sui­cides than what we used to get, and ob­vi­ously there’s the prostate and other is­sues with men’s health,” he said.

“And that’s why our cy­cling group is such a good thing.

“We get out and all have a go at each other and pull the piss out of each other but it’s more of a mate­ship re­lease and that’s why we went for this Movem­ber.

“So we all dou­ble dared each other to do the Movem­ber and it’s sort of gone a lit­tle bit mad.

“We were hop­ing to raise $1000 be­tween the lot of us, but we are well into the $3800 mark go­ing into the 4000.”

Mr Eckle said de­spite be­ing called names like Ivan Mi­lat since grow­ing the mous­tache, it had been a bit of fun.

“We’re over­whelmed with the re­sponse we’ve got, we were not ex­pect­ing it, it’s been ex­cel­lent,” he said.

“The best bit is that it’s go­ing to a re­ally good cause.”

In St Ge­orge, the Mara­noa Me­chan­i­cal team have put the ra­zors down and are hop­ing to raise $500.

Team mem­ber Will Sal­mon said it was their sec­ond time elect­ing to sup­port Movem­ber.

“Most of us were on train­ing wheels last year, but we are veter­ans now,” he said.

“It’s for a good cause, and it at­tracts at­ten­tion, which is a good thing be­cause it’s sur­pris­ing how many peo­ple don’t know what Movem­ber is all about.

“It’s im­por­tant be­cause we blokes don’t like to talk usu­ally and there is noth­ing like a mo to break the ice.”

PHOTO: JAMES LIVERIS

MO TOWN: Roma Men’s Shed pres­i­dent Michael Stuhm­cke, The Com­mon­wealth Ho­tel owner Ben Can­non and mu­si­cians Stephen Brown and Nathan Moody.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

The Mara­noa Me­chan­i­cal team with a progress up­date on their mous­taches.

PHOTO: LEONIE ECKLE

Charleville Mulga Mo Bros.

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