Local hockey tournament pushes men to ‘speak up’ about physical, mental health issues

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“No Shave November” is coming to a close, but not before a local tournament that promotes men’s health got the chance to celebrate those locks.

Goons for Good celebrated its annual Mullets and Mustaches hockey tournament this past weekend at the University of Minnesota’s ice arenas. Although players got to go at it in “Just for Fun” and “Competitive” divisions while competing for best hair, the overarching goal was to make men more aware of their health.

“The goal for the tournament will be to raise awareness of the need for men to speak up about their own mental health and physical health issues and seek help when they need it. Testicular Cancer, Prostate Cancer, and Mental Health awareness,” tournament organizers wrote.

A study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health discussed the relationship between societal expectations of men and men’s resistance to receiving health care.

“Masculine norms, or men’s adoption of what they perceived to be the idealized male behavior, seemed to be exhibited by all participants. This was seen as the overarching theme that influenced the rest of the domains/levels. This theme included language such as ‘men don’t go to the doctor,’ ‘push through pain,’ and ‘men avoid going to the doctor’ in fulfillment of what they perceived to be societal expectations of them as men,” the study’s authors wrote.

When it comes to mental health, men also seem to have more difficulty seeking help; citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, the National Institute of Mental Health says men are less likely to receive mental health treatment than women over time, and men are more likely to die by suicide than women.

One Mullets and Mustaches attendee spoke with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Sunday about encouraging men to get screened for illnesses.

“My goal through all of this, some people fight it silently but I am not a silent guy, so my whole goal is if one person that I know gets checked because of me, then it’s all worth it,” cancer survivor Brian Vesall said.

Money raised by the tournament will support the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation.

Visit the following links to more about the causes behind Mullets and Mustaches, No Shave November and the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation.

Here is a list of suicide prevention and mental health resources:

If you believe someone is at risk of suicide, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests you:

  • Ask questions about whether the individual is having suicidal thoughts.
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • Seek help from a medical or mental health professional. If it is an emergency situation, take the person to a hospital.
  • Remove any objects from a person’s home that could be potentially used in a suicide.
  • Do not leave the person alone, if possible, until help is available.