Moustachioed man poses for his portrait in a barbershop
Mo Bro Jason AndersonImage by: James Baker
Moustachioed man poses for his portrait in a barbershop
5 July 2022

Jason’s Story: Starting an Unstoppable Movement at Work

Mo Bro
Jason Anderson
3 minutes read time

A good friend of mine called me one afternoon a few years back. He was going through some very personal, very hard times and I could tell he was reaching out for help. I didn’t know how to connect with him, and tried to use humour to help minimize or, looking back, to avoid the real issue. He died in a preventable accident 2 days later. I truly believe if I knew about the ALEC model he would still be here today raising his children, joining us for dinner parties with his wife, and talking smack in our fantasy football league. He was a good man, and I think about him a lot.

" A human’s first skill from birth is the ability to cry, to ask for the help we need. This isn’t taught. As adult men, we should not be ashamed and instead be fearless in asking for that help. "

After joining Movember through my workplace, Neptune Bulk Terminals, the conversations started happening. What started as nine members has turned into 30, and that only took 3 years. I think that through connecting with every facet of the company, we can not only make a more substantial impact on men’s health, we can build a safer workplace for the boots on the ground. When you feel comfortable speaking with anybody about a concern on site, you can stop an incident before it happens. The benefits are enormous. Within our industry, being able to show vulnerability and ask for help when you are struggling has been seen as a weakness. This could not be further from the truth.

The camaraderie it’s brought to the team is huge. There’s a genuine spark that happens here in November. One of the greatest things we’ve learned is that anyone can be a Mo Bro! The support shown by our team’s Mo Sisters will attest to this. They have been a big part of who we are as a team. My wife Rishelle for example, has had a lot to do with all the fundraising ideas we use, along with the support from every single woman at the company, it really means a lot to know that they all care. We would be nowhere near as good of a team without them.

People are having fun, and I see real connections being made. People talk and smile more. I would relate it to that feeling at work just before a big holiday. For one month, I see that people feel free -- feel allowed even -- to talk about the things that are happening to them and their loved ones. You share more, hear more and are more willing to help others, or to just let them know: I am here. I am listening. You are not alone.

We’ve seen a huge culture shift at work with Neptune supporting this employee-driven movement by helping the team grow into something unstoppable. People are beginning to feel comfortable enough to share. It is inspiring to hear so many different stories of why people are joining in the fight. The fact that everyone I talk to is affected in one way or another by the very things Movember is working to change, assures me that what we are doing is making a difference. From sick fathers to people who have experienced a loss from suicide, it means a lot that a foundation like Movember exists not only to help guide people through the hard times, but to show us that things do and will get better, if we all work together.

Even if you think your team is too small or you doubt you will hit your fundraising target, or you are questioning what changes you can really make -- just do it. These are all the things I considered too. The best part about Movember is the conversations you have, the good and genuinely kind people you meet, and the lives you really do affect. It can be the culture change you are looking for to elevate your company to the next level, and the folks at Movember will do whatever it takes to help you grow that culture from the ground up. See you in Movember!

Support Jason’s efforts to raise funds and awareness for men’s health.