Dedicated to a Cause: Cultivating an Unconventional Mustache for Movember.
“There’s a social stigma surrounding mental well-being at the moment and that’s more or less my stance on it,” he stated.
“Particularly in recent years, specifically in North Battleford with adolescents and males facing suicides, it’s something that I’ve taken to heart.”
He elaborated that the year began on a positive note, but its outcome largely depends on the year itself and the level of commitment from the participants.
“As a team, we have managed to raise approximately 0 this year,” he mentioned, pointing out that he is nearing the $500 mark. His strategy for fundraising has been to share the donation link with his close circle. Since 2020, he has personally gathered almost $1,700.
“At the end of the day, I believe that every contribution matters, and if it can assist someone in receiving the necessary support, then I have fulfilled my role.”
According to Michele Winterholt, the CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CHMA)– Battlefords Branch, mental well-being poses a challenge not only at a local level but also across various social groups. However, there is still an attached stigma concerning the mental health of men.
“I believe we have witnessed advancements in this field and a greater acceptance of the fact that all races, genders, and mankind experience emotions,” she commented.
Nonetheless, certain sectors of society continue to hold on to traditional mindsets. Winterholt urged increasing education and fostering open communication as crucial steps in eradicating this stigma. She added that in the Battlefords area, several other organizations are running gender-specific mental health groups for men.
“It’s wonderful to witness,” she commented, referring to the collaborative efforts within the community.
According to Statistics Canada, men consistently exhibit higher rates of suicide compared to women, with suicide being the leading cause of death in 2021 for 144 men in the province, compared to 67 women.
Figures like these are the driving force behind Penner’s unwavering dedication.
“I believe that sometimes people simply need someone to lend an ear…and being compassionate and showing love can make a significant difference,” he remarked.
“I do believe that many individuals struggle with their inner demons.”
Penner himself openly admits to seeking support from someone occasionally and believes in the power of conversation as a beneficial tool.
“Being a role model for younger men is not a negative thing,” he acknowledged. He mentioned that when he moved to the area to pursue hockey at a young age, he was always told to “toughen up.”
Meanwhile, Winterholt stressed the importance of establishing connections with individuals and identifying the gaps in services within northern communities.
“I think it’s crucial to maintain advocacy,” she added.
“Movember is a truly impactful initiative that sheds light on men’s mental health, which is essential…and hopefully, it will assist more people.”
Penner mentioned that it took some maturing before he grasped the true significance of the cause.
“Does it directly contribute to improving my mental well-being? I’m not entirely certain, but it does bring some enjoyment, and I believe that having fun can positively impact people’s mental health.”
Individuals can contribute to Penner’s cause online.
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