Growing Awareness of Men's Health
Toronto Police Service members launched their annual Movember fundraising campaign by opening the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).
Chief Myron Demkiw said the Service has had a long history of supporting Movember and helping to change the face of men’s health through their annual fundraising and awareness campaigns.
“These campaigns aim to break the silence around critical health issues and encourage us to have meaningful and sometimes difficult conversations about our physical and mental health,” he said. “The moustaches are a great way to start these conversations.”
Movember is an annual month-long fundraising event where participants grow moustaches or take pledges over the course of the month of November to raise awareness of prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.
The Movember Foundation is the largest global men's health charity and aims to stop men dying too young and to help men live happier, healthier, longer lives.
Toronto was Canada’s highest fundraising police service last year, raising $27,000 and winning Movember Canada’s Great Canadian Police Challenge. In the past 13 years, more than 800 Service members have helped raise over $300,000 through Team Follicle Force.
Chief Demkiw was joined by Deputy Chief Rob Johnson and TSX Managing Director with responsibility for Exchange Traded Products Graham MacKenzie to open the market.
Chief Demkiw noted that policing across Canada has experienced a challenging year and members and their families have been greatly affected by several tragic events.
“Our Service has a wide variety of wellness initiatives and resources for our members and it is vital that we avail ourselves of these supports when we need them and that we continue to tackle the stigma around talking about our physical and mental health,” he said. “I have been very vocal about my commitment to prioritizing our members’ well-being, especially their mental health. Similarly, our partners at Movember have brought increased focus to mental health, particularly among first responders.”
The Toronto Police Association is once again offering a fund-match incentive of up to $10,000 for ‘Team Follicle Force’ this year.
For a third straight year, Mounted Unit horse Draper – a six-year-old Clydesdale – is the face of the TPS campaign with his elaborate moustache.
“When Draper first came to the unit, his moustache was epic,” said Sergeant Kris McCarthy. “In the first two weeks with us, everybody downtown knew his name and it was clearly because of his moustache. With a campaign like Movember, I thought it would be useful to use Draper as that face of the Follicle Force team.”
Shane Demerchant, Movember Canada’s Community Manager, thanked TPS for its support over the years.
“Movember in Canada has been around for 17 years and Toronto Police have been a major supporter,” he said. “They have been one of the top police services in the world when it comes to embracing this campaign aimed at helping men living healthier and happier. It also helps that Chief Myron Demkiw is committed to members’ well-being.”
Donations can online for Team Follicle Force here.