Mustache or no mustache, this moving Movember message about suicide is for everyone.

When people think of Movember, chances are the first thing to pop into their heads is an image like this:

Image via iStock.

This next one, though? Maybe not. But it's an image the actual Movember Foundation wants everyone to remember.

All photos by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for Movember Foundation.


On the morning of Nov. 1, the Movember Foundation placed 191 shoes on the shore of Australia's Bondi Beach as tribute to the 191 Aussie men that took their own lives in the past month.

Led by co-founder Adam Garone, the installation is meant to spotlight one of Australia's most pressing issues — suicide is the leading cause of death for Aussie people between the ages of 15 and 44.

"We wanted to bring awareness to the gravity of the situation and pull it out of the shadows. Very few people know the extent that this is impacting our community," Garone told The Daily Telegraph.

More than a tribute, the moving installation is also a message for men dealing with mental health issues that they're not alone.

"There are going to be a lot of men who read this article and will see the images that we did today who are in a really dark place," Garone added to The Daily Telegraph.

"What we want to try and inspire is for them to think differently about how they’re tackling this and for them to talk with their mates, their partner or to seek some kind of help," he said.

Yes, Movember is a time for super fun, outlandish facial hair. But let's not forget the meaning behind the mustache.

From its humble beginnings as a bar bet to becoming one of the world's top NGOs, the Movember Foundation has used the mustache as a conversation starter for important men's health issues around the world.

Along with mental health and suicide prevention, the Foundation is also at the forefront of tackling prostate and testicular cancer. In fact, the NGO has raised over half a billion dollars since it started and has used funds to form scientific super teams to help produce significant treatment breakthroughs.

Understanding what Movember is all about makes the mustache that much more meaningful. Even if everyone can't grow one, one thing we can all do is contribute to the cause.

Here's to that little conversation starter sparking more action.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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