Men’s health charity Movember and national depression initiative beyondblue have hit back at what they say are “incorrect facts” spruiked by rival fundraising campaign Homovember.
Victorian mental health advocate Rob Mitchell placed an advertisement in this week’s Southern Star Observer which shows a picture of a dead body with a rainbow tag tied around the toe, saying, “Cause of death: neglect”.
“A dead bro grows no mo,” the advertisement says.
“All the millions of dollars raised by ‘Movember’, none of the funds are specifically targeted to GLBTI people.
“We will only reduce GLBTI youth suicide by funding programs we know work.”
Movember chief operating officer Jason Hincks said the ‘dead bro grows no mo’ advertisement is wrong because Movember does fund programs “for all men, including the gay community,” through beyondblue and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA).
“It’s disappointing that the creator of these adverts didn’t speak with us to check his facts,” Hincks said.
“We’ve always offered transparency and open dialogue to anyone approaching the organisation and would have readily educated him on our broad range of men’s programs — all of which are inclusive of, and some specifically focused on, the gay community.
“His actions are irresponsible and misleading and on behalf of the Movember community we’re hurt that he’s calling into question the values and diverse nature of our organisation.”
PCFA CEO Dr Anthony Lowe said money donated from Movember goes into a range of programs including the Shine a Light program which is aimed at supporting and educating gay men affected by prostate cancer.
Beyondblue deputy CEO Nicole Highet said the organisation has allocated Movember funds to three gay-specific research programs to better understand depression and anxiety in the gay community, including research into the impacts of alcohol and drug use on the diagnosis and management of depression in gay men.
New Mardi Gras chair Peter Urmson has also spoken out in support of Movember saying Mardi Gras’ Team HoMo would continue to support the campaign.
“We do so with a strong understanding of the support that Movember delivers to the LGBTQ community,” Urmson said.
“I look forward to supporting the cause again this November as I understand the importance of the fundraising Movember delivers to benefit our community.
“I am proud to be associated with Movember and encourage our community to support it. Our issues should not be aimed at the Movember organisation.”
Mitchell said he was continuing with the campaign because he believes beyondblue has not been doing enough in the area of LGBTI mental health.
“Why is it that good things aren’t done on the back of the evidence?” Mitchell said.
“Why are the good things, and they are only pissant good things, only initiated after completely out-there activism?
“Why are we having to push and shove them every step of the way?”
Lifeline can be reached on 13 11 14 and The Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service can be contacted via 1800 184 527; Melbourne 03 9827 8544; Sydney 02 8594 9596; Brisbane 07 3017 1717.