25 January 2020

The day at the beach that changed my life forever

Mo Bro Andrew Newman talks about losing his father to suicide and why men need to open up more.
Mental Health | In the Barber Chair

I first learned about Movember in 2018 from a work colleague. I walked into the office the day after Halloween sporting a moustache from my costume. Excited, he yelled: “Love that Mo! Looking forward to a successful Movember. What is your Movember goal?”

My moustache sparked that conversation. Prior to that, I thought Movember was just a bunch of bros growing Mo's for no good reason.
Little did I know, there was a lot of connection between Movember and myself.
When I was a sophomore in college, I was enjoying the beaches of Charleston where I went to University. It was the day before our finals. This was always a joyous day for students because we had off from class for “Reading Day.” Let’s just say, very little “reading” took place.
I was away from my phone for a couple of hours as I enjoyed the beach. When I went to check my phone I had hundreds of missed calls from close family and friends. The first person I called back was my mom. I will never forget the tone of her voice as she explained to me that my father had taken his life by suicide. I fell to the ground in complete shock.

Matthew, my father, was a charismatic, funny, family-oriented man who never missed a sporting event. Never in a million years could I have seen this coming.

Andrew and his father matthew 

With the support of my friends, they managed to get me up, back to my apartment and on a flight back to New Jersey. It was and still is a blur. Looking back I am reminded of the power of support and community; how much of an intrinsic human need it is mentally and emotionally.
That day at the beach changed my life forever. I have learned to never take anyone or anything for granted because in the blink of an eye....one of the most important people could be gone.
As I grew older, I realized not only how important it is that men support each other, but also how important it is to share how we are feeling and to advocate for mental health.
It’s okay to not be okay.  Know that before you do something drastic, there are people in your life who care about you deeply.

Start that conversation with a friend, family member or loved one. The simplest word or act can save a life

Visit Movember.com/talk to learn more.