Healthy Living in the North

Thinking health beyond Movember

Katryna Roos

Katryna is an advocate for men’s health. She wants to get men and women talking about health!

Twenty odd years ago when my parents got married, my dad sported a moustache; maybe it was the style or maybe it was the cold Manitoba winter. The moustache didn’t appear very often in my childhood and I hadn’t seen it for a while until it made an appearance two years ago when he participated in the wildly successful month of Movember. I’m proud to say that in the Maritimes, where I’m from, there seemed to be no shortage of Mo Bros. The past few years my younger brother also became a Mo Bro along with countless male friends of mine. Because of these wonderful men whom I care so much about, I’ve come to believe in the importance of Movember and the massive amounts of facial hair it brings. Now we’ve just gone through that time of year again, when men everywhere grew a “stache” for a cause, but what is the cause?

Movember is an initiative that was started in Australia in 2003 to raise money and awareness about men’s health and in just a decade it’s come a very long way. At first, I’ll admit I didn’t understand why men insisted on growing the stache, it was like walking right into the 80s, but I couldn’t deny how well it got people talking about this cause. And that is the point – to get people talking about men’s health. Movember is not just about the fundraising; the symbolic moustache is a walking billboard, telling men to be aware of their health.

The fundraising and message spreading is not just for men either. Any woman can become a Mo Sister and show the men in their lives how that they care about them, that even though they can drive us crazy at times, we want them around for years to come. Passionate Canadian women have taken the initiative to raise awareness and funds to support their furry lipped Mo Bros. Check out to see the contenders for this year’s Mo of Fame, to donate, or just for more information.

Now, even though Movember is over for this year, let’s keep talking! Let’s talk about men’s health and how to keep the wonderful men of Canada healthy and happy. Gentlemen, gentlemen! Studies have found that you just don’t want to talk about your own health. Enough of this “tough guy” attitude! Man up, and come in to your local clinic or doctor’s office for regular checkups. A simple talk with your doc could save your life. What should you be talking about? Prostate cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes! There are so many easy to treat diseases that no one wants to talk about. If treated early these issues could be very simple, but left untreated they can be deadly, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. For a great read filled with more information on the risks men are taking when it comes to health, check out the Chief Medical Health Officer’s Report “Where are the Men?”

So if you’re one of these wonderful Canadian men we’re talking about, come talk to us! And ladies, if there are any men in your lives you care about, fathers, brothers, sons, husbands, or friends, tell them you want them to be here for years to come and to do that they need to talk about their health. Come on Canada, let’s talk!

Katryna Roos

About Katryna Roos

Katryna is a Maritime girl who graduated from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. After moving to Dease Lake in June she began working as a public health/acute care nurse at the Stikine Health Centre. She’s loved getting to know the community and all the wonderful people of Dease Lake. In her spare time she enjoys coaching the Bantam and Midget hockey players, playing in the Rec hockey league and exposing northern BC to maritime music. The Trews, Joel Plaskett, or Great Big Sea anyone? (Katryna no longer works with Northern Health, we wish her all the best.)