Men’s Health Month is growing in Whanganui with the ultimate beard challenge.

This June, the Tane Hauora Collaborative group have jam-packed a 30-day calendar full of events to help men talk about “what matters to them”.

The first activity to pencil in the diary is the beard challenge.

On Thursday,  Mitre 10 Mega between 12noon and pm will be dealing out fresh shaves ready to sign up to grow the “beard to beat all beards” in a month.

Whanganui District Health Board promoter Karney Herewini said the local campaign was aimed at encouraging men to talk about “what matters to you”.

“Men’s health is not about what’s wrong with you, it’s about the long game – being fathers, sons, brothers, partners, mates or whatever matters … being around and being able.”

During the month Ngā Tai o Te Awa will be showing rugby games on the big screen in a free, family-friendly environment for the community to attend.

Whanganui Rugby Union has lent support to the campaign and is organising a skills and drills session open to men and their families on Sunday, June 11, from 1pm to 3pm at Cooks Gardens.

Matt Rayner from the Whanganui Regional Health Network said they were aiming to make men’s health a priority by encouraging men to get regular checks.

“We’ll be targeting men who haven’t been to see their GP in the past three years and are at risk of falling off the register,” Mr Rayner said.

Use the hashtags #MenStartTalking, #WhatMattersToYou and #WMTY17 – and talk about Mens mental health and why it is important.

“Men’s health impacts on everyone, so let’s get talking and start conversations to help get on top of the things we keep bottled up,” Mr Herewini said.

For more information about up coming events email Karney Herewini at karney.herewini@wdhb.org.nz