A first clinically-led programme for workplace menopause advocacy is being launched in East Yorkshire.
An award-winning leading nurse expert is behind the nationally innovative programme, helping businesses support both women and men in the workplace.
Tracey Dennison, who runs her own private practice East Riding Aesthetics and Wellness, says educating employers about the effects of menopause is vital for the wellbeing of staff and the whole company. She says understanding the range of issues that emerge, what changes and how it impacts bodies and minds is massively empowering.
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“I have an absolute passion to support women through their perimenopausal and menopausal years,” she said. “There are too many ladies struggling unnecessarily with symptoms which are having a massive impact on their lives. Their work life, their relationships, every aspect of their day-to-day functioning can be affected.
“Symptoms like brain fog, anxiety, mood swings and fatigue are all really common symptoms when we hit the perimenopausal years and many women genuinely feel that they are experiencing early onset dementia or other serious conditions – and they don’t realise that their symptoms are actually perimenopause-related.
“That’s why we want to empower workplaces to provide support, education and signposting to all employees – regardless of gender – so that those experiencing troublesome symptoms can access help and so that everyone is aware of the issues and how to offer meaningful support.”
The Menopause Advocates Programme will train key personnel within companies to be a point of contact for all staff to offer support, education and signposting to other helpful services, including counselling, menopause yoga and nutritionists. In addition, advocates will be given on-going education to keep them up-to-date with the latest information as well as having membership of a closed private forum to input and ask questions.
A consultation with Tracey Dennison at her Molescroft Clinic in Beverley. (Image: Tracey Dennison) The consultant nurse practitioner at East Riding Aesthetics & Wellness said: “Whilst it is really difficult to know exactly how many women have left their jobs due to perimenopause or menopause, as there are no statistics to directly correlate this data, a survey last year of 2000 women, aged 45 to 67, found that more than one million women in the UK could be forced from their jobs because employers are failing to support them as they go through the menopause and this is having a direct impact on their decisions to leave the workplace.
“This is just unacceptable and we need to be far more proactive. Critically, my programme is not just for women because men also need to understand that all people born female will experience this stage of their lives and it will affect them too, be it within their relationships, work environment or socially.”
Training for the first advocates starts imminently, and four intakes are planned annually.
Initially training as a registered general nurse at Huddersfield School of Nursing in 1993, she has completed degrees to advancing practice and is Masters-level qualified in aesthetic medicine. She is also a member of the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses, British Dermatology Nursing Group, International Cosmetic Association of Nurses, British College of Lifestyle Medicine, British Menopause Society, International Menopause Society and Newsome Health Menopause Society.
Businesswomen are being invited to hear from Tracey Dennison at an event this week.
She says understanding the range of issues that emerge, what changes and how it impacts bodies and minds is massively empowering.
It’s the latest event being organised by the Women in Business networking group which supports and encourages inspiring decision-making women.
Ms Dennison, who has a practice in Beverley, said: “I see so many women needlessly suffering from symptoms of the menopause without any support or idea of where to get help. I’m absolutely passionate about educating women regarding symptoms and symptom management. I am also raising awareness amongst men who might not be aware of how these biological changes are affecting the women in their lives and how they can offer constructive support.”
The event will also hear from employment law specialist Caroline Neadley, a partner from Hull law firm Rollits, who is also deputy chair of Women in Business. She will focus on how managers can support women in the workplace during menopause and the legal issues they need to be aware of.
Last year, research showed that 10 per cent of women leave their jobs because of menopausal symptoms while many more reduce their hours or pass up promotions.
Ms Neadley said: “To fully support employees experiencing menopause symptoms it is essential for managers to appreciate their legal obligations and the arrangements that can be put in place to support employees, including a menopause policy and menopause advocates. I will be providing an insight into this, as well as giving tips on where to start and practical guidance on implementing a menopause policy.”
The paid for Menopause Support and Training event takes place on Thursday, March 30 between 6pm and 8.30pm at Drewton’s Library on the Drewton Estate, South Cave. To book, click here.
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