Menopause can have a huge effect on individuals in the workplace, with many saying that the symptoms have negatively impacted their ability to do their job.
When we talk more openly about the menopause and when the right support is in place, we can improve health and wellbeing – as well as retain talent, experience and skills.
A menopause implementation lead has been appointed for the North East and North Cumbria, who is working across the system to share best practice, resources, and connect to the Women’s Health Strategy for England.
Although the menopause is a natural process (in the main), occurring between 45 and 55 years of age as sex hormone levels decline, it can affect women at any age. In fact, as many as 1 in 100 will experience a menopause before they are 40 years old. Whilst menopause affects all women, symptoms can also be experienced by trans men and non-binary people born with ovaries.
Symptoms can have a physical impact, or impact on our mental wellbeing and can last over a decade. Dealing with the symptoms of menopause is reported as ‘very difficult’ for around 77% of women, and research by the Fawcett Society highlights that:
As the NHS records around 77% of its workforce as women, who will all experience menopause, this is a huge issue and we are committed to support our colleagues to stay well.
Across the North East and North Cumbria we have the highest rates of suicide among females aged 45-49 years, we have significantly high prescribing of anti-depressants, and we know from the national work on the Women’s Health Strategy for England that although women live slightly longer on average than men, they do so in more years of disability and ill health. These factors could be part of the menopause or could come at the same time, making symptoms of the menopause worse for some of us.
The North East and North Cumbria Menopause Implementation Lead is a new role, working across the system to support and share some of the excellent work already underway, to make links where there are resources to develop and share, and to connect to the Women’s Health Strategy for England.
Jacqui McBurnie is working to this role, and as well as facilitating what's already happening in the system, Jacqui is a resource to input and support more directly where gaps are identified. Jacqui's key aims are to achieve transformation in culture and awareness, on policy rollout, sickness reporting, to support key projects and to improve the wellbeing of our colleagues. The hope is to help those experiencing menopausal symptoms to feel recognised, more energised, and also to feel more connected to their team and to their organisation.
Contact Jacqui via email: [email protected]