Tessa Dury | Staff Writer
Florida Tech’s Movember organization branch is spending the month of November raising awareness for men diagnosed with cancer or struggling with mental health.
Jonny Blackshear, a Movember student ambassador and a senior majoring in global business and finance, said this is the second year that Florida Tech has helped the Movember organization’s cause.
Anna Kayser, a senior in psychology and “Mo Sister” said, “The goal of the organization is to spread awareness to break the stigma of men’s health. The main focus is on suicide prevention, but it also goes beyond mental health.”
According to the Movember organization’s website, prostate and testicular cancer are also a major focus, as prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the United States.
Organizations like this are important to have on campuses because they raise awareness for issues that may not be common for people to talk about, explained “Mo Bro” Talha Kayani, a junior studying aerospace engineering.
“It’s everybody’s responsibility to change the culture around mental health,” said Kayser, “We all know mental health issues are very real and very common.”
Kayser has signed up with her crew team to participate in a 60 mile challenge, which consists of running a total of 60 miles during the course of the month. The number 60 is a tribute to the statistic that 60 men every hour will commit suicide.
Blackshear explained that the awareness efforts aren’t limited to only men’s mental health issues.
“Given the rollercoaster of a year that 2020 has been, we feel that while we will change the face of men’s mental health, we should also be there for the women in our community as well,” said Blackshear.
Blackshear emphasized the overall importance of supporting each other and talking about mental health, saying that “we create an environment where mental health is taken more seriously by the university and community.”
According to Kayani, Movember aims to take away any stigmas that may prevent men from speaking about their mental and physical health.
“It’s not something to be embarrassed about,” said Blackshear. “It is time to step up and deal with these tough topics, because if we are able to, we will all come out better on the other side.”
To donate to the Movember fund visit Movember’s Florida Tech website.