It’s officially Movember, the month when men grow mustaches in support of men’s health awareness, spotlighting issues like prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s suicide.
While the health advocates at UCHealth appreciate the support of furry-lipped friends, they want men’s health to be a priority that lasts beyond just this month. So they launched the MANtenance campaign, which is promoting the maintenance of men’s health.
“What we’ve done is expanded men’s health awareness beyond these really ‘heavy’ topics that affect men, like colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and testicular cancer,” says Bill Smith, manager of corporate partnerships at UCHealth. “These are important issues, and early screenings for detection are important, too. But we are also focused on really promoting everyday health for men.”
Smith says the various events associated with MANtenance — including Nuggets games for fathers and their kids, family-friendly yoga with Denver Broncos’ CJ Anderson and a Facebook live panel with the Broncos’ Chris Harris Jr. — are opportunities to bring families together to talk about men’s health.
“This isn’t guys in a room talking about these issues,” Smith explains. “It’s opening up the dialogue to be able to talk to your kids about it, your wife, your friends and family, as well.”
Anderson and Harris Jr. aren’t the only big names taking part in MANtenance. Colorado State Rams athletic director Joe Parker, Colorado Buffaloes Men’s Basketball head coach Tad Boyle and Governor Hickenlooper have all taken the MANtenance pledge. Others throughout Colorado have joined them, earning an entry to win signed gear from the Denver Broncos, the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche.
“There are so many ways for people — and especially men — to get engaged with the MANtenance campaign,” says Smith, adding that UCHealth is offering monthlong tips ranging from fifteen-minute stress tactics to muscle building tactics that anyone can do at their desks. “We held a free flu shot clinic for men that was really well attended, but it’s one of those things that’s really easy to do and takes two minutes, but [we] just don’t do it.”
Addressing masculinity, strength and pride are all part of the MANtenance campaign. In his video for UCHealth, Anderson talks about avoiding doctors' appointments when he was younger.
The topic of “redefining strength” will also be discussed in a Facebook Live panel on Tuesday, November 14, in which Harris Jr. will be joined by Lululemon ambassador Tyrone Beverly and UCHealth psychologist Justin Ross.
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“The purpose of this event is, again, to invite the conversation around men’s health and how we talk about masculinity,” Smith says. “So often, men have this invincibility complex — like nothing can ever happen to us until something does. We hope this will be an opportunity for discussion with the Facebook Live option.”
UCHealth’s MANtenance campaign continues throughout the entire month of November, and Coors Field, Union Station, Sports Authority Field at Mile High, and the City and County Building will be turning blue in support of the effort.
The UCHealth Facebook Live panel will take place on Tuesday, November 14, from 7 to 8:45 p.m., and will be streamed live on the UCHealth Facebook page.
For more information on UCHealth’s MANtenance campaign — or to sign up and take the pledge — visit UCHealth online.