Improving recognition and support for women experiencing the menopause
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AbstractMenopause most commonly occurs in women aged 45-55 and may last for many years. The experience of menopause is a very individual one though many common symptoms are reported such as insomnia, hot flushes, anxiety and poor memory. Many workplaces have no recognition of the disabling effects that menopause can have nor any supportive infrastructure. Nor do workplaces have well informed managers or staff, unsurprising when women themselves often cannot recognise menopause. In addition, symptoms can be interpreted as mental illness. Medical research tends to conceptualise the psychological effects of menopause as psychiatric disorder, but this is not necessarily helpful when treatments for menopause will alleviate experiences rather than the potential inappropriate prescribing of antidepressants for example. Professional awareness is poor generally but there are many actions that can be taken to improve recognition and support; evaluate your services, introduction of specific assessment and information resources for staff and patients and also provide reasonable adjustments. Taking individual responsibility for improving knowledge and skills in this area will mean we can all contribute to a better and more effective environment for women where they feel that their needs are addressed, without having to wait for access to ‘specialist’ services, if available.
CitationCollier, E., and Clare, A. (2021). 'Improving recognition and support for women experiencing the menopause'. Mental Health Practice, pp. 1-10.
JournalMental Health Practice