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Carmel firefighters grow out facial hair to spotlight men's health during 'Movember'

Posted at 9:01 AM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 14:36:54-05

CARMEL — Movember means funky facial hair and men's health awareness.

Mustaches look awesome on some and silly on others, but in Carmel the firefighters don’t care how it looks.

They are taking part in Movember in hopes the men on their crew and anyone else they encounter will start the conversation on men's health.

“Movember is all about men's health, so there's mental health awareness, there's prostate cancer and also testicular cancer, and all these things are private for men, you know, but we want to try to change the face of that with Movember and really talk about those things,” said Tim Griffin with the Carmel Fire Department.

Griffin is one of those whose family says he probably shouldn’t grow facial hair, but they know it's for a good cause this month.

“Normally in the fire service, we’re reactive. Right there's, a fire. We will put it out. Somebody sick? We go take care of it. Well, if we can help prevent those sicknesses, those mental health, if we can get there before it happens, if we can help that out, then we definitely want to,” Griffin said.

Now, obviously, simply growing out your facial hair doesn’t fix the stigma of men’s health, but as Renee Butts explains the facial hair is an ice breaker for the conversation.

“Everybody's growing different to the best of their abilities, the best mustache that they can, but it brings awareness and it brings everything to light so people can ask questions like what's up with your facial hair to be like, oh, this is for Movember,” Butts said.

As a woman in a predominately male career, Butts said participating in Movember is a no-brainer.

Our goal is to really highlight this. Bring this to the front, the information to the forefront, and let people know, like, hey, there are things we can do," Butts said.

"We can talk about mental health. We have early detection for cancer and testicular cancer, prostate cancer and the signs, and so we as an organization decided to highlight men's health issues that were predominantly male, so if we can't do that as an organization, then you know, what does that say about us?"

There are more ways to get involved in Movember. Of course you can grow out your facial to start the conversation that way. You can make monetary donations to Movember. Another thing you can do is run or walk 60 miles this month for the 60 men who die by suicide globally every hour.

Click here to donate!

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