Movember

Movember takes place every November, as a way to raise awareness of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

“Our fathers, brothers, sons and friends are dying by suicide, every minute of every day.

We won’t accept this. To make change happen, Movember views mental health through a male lens. We focus on early intervention, engaging men and working to their strengths. By 2030, we aim to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25%.

Men with prostate cancer and testicular cancer face an uphill battle before, during and after treatment. But with useful tools and straight-shooting advice, we aim to lighten their load so these men can live life to the fullest.

Globally, men die on average 6 years earlier than women, and for largely preventable reasons.

So we’re shining a light on the health risks men need to know about, increasing awareness to stop men dying too young.”

What you can do

  • Grow – grow a moustache through the month of November to raise awareness and funds for Movember.
  • Move – over November run or walk 60km on behalf of the 60 men we lose to suicide every hour across the world.
  • Host – throw a Mo-ment event and gather your friends, family or coworkers to raise spirits and funds on behalf of Movember.

If you have concerns regarding your physical or mental health this November, book in to speak to our supportive and understanding GPs. Atticus Health is now a HALT-friendly clinic, supporting and prioritising mental health.

Asthma Awareness

Spring is the season for new flowers, animals being born and, unfortunately, a rise in asthma risk. Asthma Australia uses the beginning of September as the time to draw awareness to the increased risk to asthma sufferers. 1 out of every 9 Australians suffers from asthma and 80% of those also deal with the associated problems that come from hay fever. This year Asthma Australia’s theme is ‘Asthma in Disguise’.

Thunderstorm Asthma

Thunderstorm asthma is the phenomenon that occurs during grass pollen season, which in Victoria is typically from October to the end of December. Asthma Australia advises that this time of year brings about more frequent reactions of asthma and hay fever. The storms that happen over spring and summer cause winds to carry the pollen seeds over long distances and become concentrated in the wind just before a thunderstorm. These smaller concentrated particles can get further into airways than regular pollen and thus trigger more cases of hay fever and asthma.

How to Protect Yourself

The first step to take if you are unsure how to deal with asthma is to book in with your GP to make an Asthma Action Plan. This way you can work with you GP to find the best way to handle your asthma and hay fever problems year round.

Once you are aware of your sensitivity to increased pollen, whether it be due to asthma, hay fever or a combination of the two, the next step is to be aware of the pollen count before you plan your daily activities. AusPollen is an app and website that has experts gathering information on pollen counts to forecast the daily pollen risk for up to a week in advance in your area.

If you find yourself faced with a high pollen count day and your healthcare professional has advised you to be cautious of the risks this carries, you can take steps to avoid excessive exposure. Staying inside as much as possible, while keeping house and car windows closed can minimise pollen exposure. Avoid hanging clothing on outdoor clotheslines during these high-pollen periods, and instead hang indoors or use a clothes dryer. Recommend children who experience asthma or hay fever to take their school lunch breaks in the library, or other indoor options that are available. Always keep whatever prevention method your GP has recommended on hand during thunderstorm asthma season.

Asthma First Aid

If you are suffering from a severe asthma attack, the best course of action is to call 000.

If you are experiencing a mild to moderate asthma attack, it is important that you follow the 4 Asthma First Aid steps.

1 – Sit the person upright.

2 – Give 4 separate puffs of blue-grey reliever puffer.

3 – Wait 4 minutes.

4 – If symptoms have not improved, call 000 to tell the ambulance that there is an asthma attack.

To have constant access to these steps, download the Asthma App.

Extra Help

For those of you used to dealing with symptoms of hay fever and allergic rhinitis, you are used to the associated costs that come with care. Asthma Australia has combined a list of tips to assist with managing your symptoms while saving money.

 

Dry July

For over 10 years, Australians have been going alcohol-free for the month of July as a way to raise funds and awareness for people affected by cancer. Since it began in 2008, more than 160,000 have abstained from alcohol in July, and collectively raised upwards of $37 million for various cancer organisations.

Why Go Dry in July?

By going dry for July, you can help raise awareness for those affected by cancer. That includes those who are diagnosed, as well as all their friends and family. Cancer is Australia’s leading cause of death, with 1 in 2 men and women having a diagnosis by the time they turn 85. The Cancer Council estimates approximately 50,000 cancer-related deaths for 2019.

While these figures are shocking, the survival rate for cancers can be as high as 90%, according to the Cancer Council. Many awareness organisations offer personal stories from survivors, such as the National Breast Cancer Network Australia. Continuing to raise both awareness and funds offers the opportunity to further research and to assist those coping with diagnoses.

Abstaining from alcohol can also provide many personal health benefits. Medical News Today conducted a study into the effects of participants who went without alcohol for one month and found that the participants felt a higher awareness of their relationship with alcohol, and an increased ability to control their future drinking. They also experienced higher energy levels, weight loss and a better quality of sleep. The Sleep Foundation confirms that affect that alcohol has on the quantity and quality of a person’s sleep.

Who Will You Be Supporting?

The organisations involved in Dry July include:

Each state also has local organisations involved. Some of Victoria’s local participants are:

  • Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre – a centre focused on developing innovative cancer therapies and international research programs, with the best of patient-centred care and medical treatment.
  • Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre – a world-class cancer centre providing care, treatment and research for the people of the Grampians Region of Victoria.
  • The Alfred Hospital – Alfred Health provides the most comprehensive range of healthcare services in Victoria through their 3 hospital campuses, large network of community programs and 14 statewide services.

For full information on the organisations involved in Dry July, visit the beneficiaries section of their website.

How Can You Help?

If you think Dry July sounds like the challenge for you, get started right away. Sign up on the Dry July web page as an individual or a team. Once you have committed yourself, begin spreading the word. Chase up friends, family and colleagues who you think would be up for it, and encourage them to join you on the journey.

To begin fundraising, Dry July offers assistance to help you reach out across various platforms. They provide social media images, pre-written emails, posters and more to help you seek support. For additional resources and fundraising tips, head to the fundraising section of the website.

If you are having reservations about being unable to abstain from drinking for the whole month of June, there is a way to make Dry July work for you. Dry July offers participants to purchase ‘Golden Tickets’ as a way to buy a night or day of drinking. For example, if you have a special occasion that falls directly in the middle of July, but still want to participate in Dry July, you can buy yourself one of these Golden Tickets, and add to your fundraising pool for a night free of obligations.

Need Some Further Motivation?

To get you started, here are some  scrumptious non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy while you commence your month without alcohol:

Caramel Apple Pie Mocktail

Sparkling Berry and Pomegranate Mocktail

Carrot Cake Smoothie

Classic Banana Smoothie

Healthy Breakfast Juice

If you or someone you know is dealing with issues from alcohol addiction, visit Reach Out for information and support.