The 3 Ms: Me, Menopause and Mental Health


Earlier this year, I completed my Mental Health First Aider Training (MHFA) England, something I had wanted to do for a little while.
It was great at increasing my awareness of the different mental health issues and how best to sign post these. It also highlighted to me how certain things could be linked and dramatically impact someone’s mental health wellbeing.
It also highlighted for me how I was personally feeling at the time. There was one line in the training that linked a possible cause of depression to the menopause. One line??!!


Being someone of the average age in the northern hemisphere transitioning through the menopause (51.3 years), I was acutely aware of how some of the peri-menopausal symptoms I was experiencing were making me feel and having an impact on my mental health wellbeing.
I remembered a blog I had written in 2008 about “sensitive conversations”. I referenced line managers' ability to have sensitive conversations about the menopause and mental health, realising even more the need to increase awareness and educate the wider population, not only women, was critical.

This started my current path to educate myself more, enlist like-minded people to spread the word and to think about how I could support and make a difference within the world of work and encourage others to do the same.
The aims of Mental Health First Aid England are to:
  • increase awareness,
  • educate; and
  • create a community of people with this knowledge.
I believe these are also worthy aims that could apply to the menopause.


Over the past few months, I have ran some workshops for clients around “Menopause at Work” to increase awareness and consider what could be the small things that could have the biggest impact.
Some of the facts to help increase awareness for everyone.
  • The average age of someone whose periods stops completely for 12 months (The Menopause) is 51 years old, though could be anywhere between 45-55 years old.
  • 13 million women in the UK are somewhere on this journey, yet every one of them is affected differently.
  • 5% of women aged between 40-45 may experience early Menopause.
  • 1% of women under the age of 40 may experience premature Menopause.
  • There are 48 commonly reported peri-menopausal symptoms.
  • 25% of women will experience no symptoms
  • 50% of women will experience some symptoms
  • 25% of women will experience severe and “bothersome” symptoms
  • 9% of women in the working population have disciplinary action against them because of their symptoms.
  • 88% of women surveyed in Generation Menopause survey (2000 aged between 35 and 60) said they wanted workplaces better set up to deal with Menopausal colleagues.
Over the coming months I will look at this topic through different lenses:
  • Legal
  • The World of Work, including Small, Medium Enterprises
  • Educating the younger generation and people who have no symptoms

In the meantime:
Realise that you may have a friend, wife, partner, sister, colleague or an employee who may be transitioning through the Menopause;
Aspire to be an ally and create a community of people with a knowledge and who asks the question “How can I help?”; and
Do start the conversation. The 18th October was World Menopause Day. By 2025 1 billion women will be in menopause globally; that’s equivalent to the whole population of India!

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