Movember’s sirens and ‘staches: Toronto’s First Responders talk mental health

Toronto Fire Services' Movember truck. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN VIEIRA)

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In November, some of Toronto’s first responders ditched their razors and embraced no-shave Movember.

And for the first time, Toronto’s Fire Services, police and paramedics collaborated and organized the “911 Toronto Emergency Services Movember Challenge” on behalf of the Movember Foundation, an idea created by the police services.

Together, first responders have raised over $61,000 for Movember.

First responders often cope with more than challenges to their physical health. Most often, any sign of weakness while on the job is hidden. As a result, first responders rarely open up to speak about their mental health. However, the Movember campaign helps first responders by letting them know it’s normal to speak up and not be embarrassed to share their feelings.

Every year, the foundation challenges men across Canada to grow a moustache to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer and testicular cancer, as well as for mental health, and suicide prevention.

The Toronto Observer spoke to the captains of all three teams about the goals of the challenge.