“Movember” Highlights Men’s Mental Health on Campus

The sight of a purple handlebar moustache pasted onto an iconic campus statue might be good for a chuckle. The issues that the moustaches there to highlight, however, are no laughing matter.

This November, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), along with other campus partners such as the Interfraternity Council; Multicultural Student Affairs; and the Center for Awareness, Response, and Education, is probing issues of masculinity and mental health with a lineup of “Movember” programming that students won’t want to miss.

The month kicks off on Wednesday, November 1 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM in Norris, with a FIFA tournament and outdoor games available to all who attend. Free hot drinks will be provided, as will free fake moustaches. (Hey, it’s only the first of the month-- it takes some time to grow a real one!) For the whole rest of November, stop by NU Galleria at Norris to write down your reflections and challenge “rules of masculinity.”

Later in the month, be sure not to miss a free Power Yoga class on Monday, November 6 at 12:00 PM at Henry Crown Sports Pavilion. Yoga has been shown to improve physical and mental health. Men are specifically encouraged to attend, but all are welcome!

Movember isn’t just about fun and games, though. The month also features a number of lectures that seek to educate the Northwestern community about mental health and masculinity. On November 6, “Ripped, Buff, Toned, Swole, Bulking, Cutting, Losing Control: Men, Body Image & Disordered Eating” (7:00 PM, Kresge 2420) focuses on the issues facing the estimated 10 million men in the United States who struggle with disordered eating at some point in their lives. Myths will be busted, and knowledge will be shared!

Then, on November 16, Sexual Health and Assault Peer Educators (SHAPE) and Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault (MARS) will present “Hooking Up 101” (7:00 PM, Kresge 2435). From examining the definition of a “hookup” to discussing the hard facts on campus sexual encounters, this workshop is sure to broaden your perspectives.

 Finally, on November 20, “Boys Will be Boys, but Do They Have to Be: Finding Agency in Masculinity” (6:00 PM, Multicultural Center 107) will give participants an opportunity to reflect on the harmful aspects of performative masculinity and learn how to stay true to their values in the face of external pressure.  Free pizza will be provided!

Movember is about a lot more than just moustaches-- it’s a time for all of us to examine issues of mental health among men, expand our definitions of masculinity, and make our world a better place for people of all gender identities. It’s a monumental goal that will take much more than a month to make a reality, but Northwestern’s Movember programming is an excellent place to start.