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~ Springfield-Greene County Health Department (SGCHD) is once again promoting the annual Movember movement, encouraging men to prioritize their health during the month of November. Since its inception in 2003, Movember has been dedicated to raising awareness and taking action in key areas of men's health, including testicular cancer, prostate cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention.

To mark this month-long focus on men's health, SGCHD is partnering with the Healthy Living Alliance of the Ozarks to launch a new campaign specifically targeting men's mental health. The campaign aims to encourage men in the community to initiate and continue conversations about mental health with their peers. This can be as simple as asking a friend or loved one, "Hey man, you good?"

According to Jon Mooney, Assistant Director at SGCHD, conversation is a powerful tool in breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health and building connections with those who can offer support when needed. "When we talk about our experiences," Mooney explains, "it makes them less daunting and easier to confront."

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In addition to promoting open dialogue about mental health, SGCHD also encourages men to take preventative measures such as annual physicals, cancer screenings, self-tests, and exercise. These efforts can be complemented by seeking support from trusted individuals such as doctors, spouses or partners, family members or friends.

To assist in starting these often difficult conversations about mental health, resources and guides are available on MentalHealth417.com. Furthermore, community leaders have joined forces for a series of campaign videos discussing mental health. Mayor Ken McClure and Director of Health Katie Towns kick off Movember by demonstrating how to initiate these conversations in real-life scenarios alongside Missouri State University President Clif Smart, Fire Chief David Pennington and President of Mercy Springfield Communities David Argueta.

As part of the Movember campaign's efforts to raise awareness and take action, men are also encouraged to grow a mustache as a symbol of their commitment to improving men's health. Since 2003, 5 million people globally have grown a mustache in support of this cause. More information about the Movember movement can be found at us.movember.com.

Media outlets interested in covering this campaign can contact the Health Department PIO Team by calling or texting 417-380-2556 or emailing [email protected] SGCHD's mission is to "help all people live longer, healthier, happier lives." For more information, visit health.springfieldmo.gov or follow SGCHD on Facebook and Twitter at @SGCHD.

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