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Movember means men’s mental health for Unmasked

Members of Unmasked at their 2018 spring gala. Photo courtesy of Chandrika White

Ohio State’s Counseling and Consultation Services and student organization Unmasked will host a carnival night on Friday to raise awareness for men’s mental health issues.

This is part of CCS’ annual “Movember Campaign,” a campaign based off the worldwide initiative during the month of November, called “Movember.” This initiative aims to bring light to issues of men’s physical and mental health. Unmasked, a student organization which generally deals with issues of sexual assault in South Asian culture, was chosen by CCS to plan and host the event.

The event will feature a series of games, activities and information booths, as well as food and drinks for guests. The goal is to bring awareness to issues of men’s mental health, while also providing attendees with a fun and low-stress environment, said Kunal Madan, events lead for Unmasked and third-year in neuroscience.

“We’ll be having a lot of relaxing games, nothing high stress, just very simple carnival themed, type games. We’ll be having a lot of information there, so we’ll have different stations with all those games and we’ll have information in terms of resources,” Madan said. “All these things, they seem fun and innocent, but at the same time we’re trying to also raise awareness and get people comfortable with the idea of talking about their mental health.”

CCS’ Movember Campaign features other events aside from Unmasked’s carnival night. Throughout November, there are 10 different events which aim to tackle different sides and perspectives of men’s mental health issues. These events are in a variety of formats such as panels, lectures, discussions, training sessions and film screenings.

According to CCS’ website, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for men aged 18 to 34 and men are less likely to seek help for mental health issues. With that, CCS built their campaign with the goal of “destigmatizing help-seeking behavior.”

Unmasked shares a similar goal to that of CCS’ campaign, but it aims to address mental health issues for all people and set them in the right direction for betterment. However, with this Movember Campaign event, Unmasked wants to discuss men’s mental health for it’s often overlooked.

We decided it would be a good idea to make a difference because this is definitely an issue that does not get enough attention,” Madan said. “Specifically focusing on men’s mental health for us was a big thing because we think it’s something that’s overlooked a lot.”

In planning this event, Unmasked has furthered its effort to give men’s mental health more attention by reaching out to communities of men on campus where discussing mental health might be more stigmatized.

“Part of my job was to contact fraternities and invite them to come out to Movember because the most important thing for us is not necessarily number of people who come but more so if we’re getting out the message to the right audiences,” Lalitha Pamidigantam, university liaison for Unmasked and third-year in public affairs, said.

Unmasked’s carnival night is free for all students and takes place at Younkin Success Center 150 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Individuals looking to learn more about CCS’s Movember Campaign can visit https://ccs.osu.edu/movember-2018/.


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