Emergency services staff in the UK are set to receive a unique type of workplace training which will see employees educated on how to support colleagues who may be going through the menopause.
The classes – which will be run by self-styled “Menopause Doctor” Louise Newson – come as bosses try to stem to flood of older women who are leaving the services.
“There is a problem with policewomen working through the menopause and policemen not understanding them,” said Solihull-based Newson.
“Menopause is taken as a bit of a joke,” she added. “The attitude is; ‘You’re a bit moody,’ but it can affect women very seriously – and it’s time we destigmatised it.”
The 46-year-old said around 10 per cent of menopausal women consider giving up their job because of symptoms such as hot flushes, which can make working in a uniform particularly difficult.
She also said managers – both male and female – could be unsympathetic to employees as the symptoms of menopause can vary greatly between different women.
The West Midlands Police and West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service are among the early adopters and Newson says the sessions will include tips on how to help those they suspect are going through the menopause.
“Having a culture at work where it is possible to talk about the menopause will help,” she stressed.
Newson’s words echo that of Dr Heather Currie, chairman of the British Menopause Society, who said: “In the past, menopause has been a bit of a taboo. Anything that can change that would be excellent.”
The initiative comes after Dame Sally Davies, England’s chief medical officer, urged employers to make their workplaces more menopause-friendly.
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