Make Menopause Matter in Healthcare, Employment and Education. #MakeMenopauseMatter

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Every day I counsel women who have been struggling to get the right advice and support for their menopause symptoms.

Six years ago I had to have a total hysterectomy including removal of both of my ovaries, putting me in to immediate surgical menopause. I received no counselling or advice about the possible effects of my surgery and was simply told to visit my GP after a few weeks of leaving the hospital. Due to a lack of the right information and support I did not receive the treatment I needed at the right time.

A few months later I fell in to a very deep, dark place where I came very close to ending my own life. I was lucky; I had a supportive husband and family who got me the help I needed when I was not capable of doing that for myself.

Since then, I have become increasingly aware of just how many women are not receiving the right support and advice at menopause, from their doctors, their employers and sometimes even their own families and friends. This is all due to a chronic lack of menopause education and awareness.

I don't want women to have to continue to struggle with their menopause symptoms in the way that I did.

That’s why I’ve started this campaign to make menopause matter - calling for GPs to receive mandatory menopause education during their training.

This lack of education and awareness is costing women their health and wellbeing but it is also costing the NHS. Better education would result in quicker diagnosis and savings for the NHS.

Women also need to be better supported in the workplace. Studies show that women have very little support - some are forced to give up work altogether as a result of their symptoms.

Supporting women to remain at work by implementing a few simple adjustments is common sense. Government and business need to recognise that menopause guidance in every workplace is a win win situation.

It is also time to make menopause education and awareness a priority for our young people in the PSHE curriculum. Age appropriate education will ensure more autonomy for women and greater understanding and compassion from those around them.

A few months ago I took a look at the most recent suicide figures. The age group for women with the highest suicide rate in the U.K is 50-54. The average age of menopause is 51.

Is this the ultimate hidden cost of a lack of menopause education, information, advice and support?

Please join me in calling on the Minister for Women and Equalities and Ministers responsible for health, work and education named in this petition to #MakeMenopauseMatter.