We spoke with first-year Associate Jack Donohue, about Movember, men’s mental health, and mustaches.

Movember has arrived at L.E.K. this year via the spirited ambition of some young members of the firm’s Boston office.

Movember is an annual fundraising event, founded in Australia, involving the growing of mustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and suicide prevention. The organization sponsors a wide variety of activities with the ultimate goal of helping men live happier, healthier, and longer lives.

According to the Movember Foundation, globally, on average, one man dies by suicide every minute of every day. In the U.S, four out of five suicides are men. Moreover, in the United States, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Globally, more than 1.4 million men are diagnosed with the disease each year. Testicular cancer, another one of Movember’s focus areas, is reportedly the most common cancer in young American men.

Jack Donohue, a first-year associate who joined the firm July 2021, was looking for more ways to get involved during remote work. He set his sights on creating an L.E.K. Movember team, after four years of participating in the fundraiser alongside his lacrosse teammates at Tufts University.

For Jack, raising awareness about Movember’s causes is equally as important as raising funds. Jack comes from a home with an open approach to talking about mental health, recalling his family never shying away from conversations around emotions and mental well-being. However, when he made his way to college he realized not all people, especially men, were open to talking about mental health struggles. That’s where the mustache comes in.

The silliness and public act of growing a mustache is a ‘conversation’ piece, according to Jack. Providing people with something tangible to start a conversation around encourages folks to talk about the issues Movember is tackling. “Any other month of the year I’m probably not going to ask someone about their mustache, but in November, it creates an opportunity to ask questions and raise awareness with your friends around preventable and treatable men’s health issues”, he says.

If you don’t have the ability to grow a mustache, there are still ways you can participate in raising funds and awareness. Jack took a note from his old lacrosse team and linked Strava, an app that tracks walks, runs and bike rides, to the fundraising page, to encourage people to ‘move for Movember’.

Jack set an ambitious goal for L.E.K.ers to raise $10K in support of Movember. If you would like to help Jack reach his goal, you can support Movember through this link at any time.

If you or someone you know is suffering with mental health issues, you can speak with someone immediately at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-237-8255.