Going through the menopause can be a hugely difficult time – and knowing your employers understand this and support you could be a vital part of getting through it.
Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System is proud to announce it has achieved Menopause Friendly Accreditation through Henpicked for its commitment to focus on staff wellbeing and create an environment of open discussion as well as providing staff with support and training.
A loss of hormones and oestragen and progesterone, usually experienced by women between 45 and 55 can lead to a range of difficult symptoms, some which can affect mental health.
An independent panel of experts from the organisation Henpicked awarded the ICS the accreditation which recognises how staff experiencing, or impacted by, menopause can be more open, have honest conversations with colleagues and managers, and ask for reasonable adjustments.
As well as awareness across the ICS and manager training sessions there are also online sessions available to all staff.
There is also a session for men, delivered by men, during which staff, family and friends can explore and discuss ways to support those going through menopause as well as dispell some of the myths.
Amanda McEvoy, workforce transformation programme manager for the ICS, said it had taken 12 months collaborative effort from all partners to achieve the accreditation.
“Menopause can have such an impact in peoples lives. So many suffer in silence and feel like they’re alone.
“As a workforce that is approximately 80% female and 75% of those staff are in the age bracket for menopause (45-55), this is a huge issue for employers.
“Many staff report symptoms making them feel so bad they have considered leaving their role. These colleagues have a wealth of experience and knowledge that we could potentially lose if they leave.
“As employers within the ICS we are committed to having an open culture when it comes to menopause at work and have invested in making this vision possible through the training and awareness sessions as well as the Staff Support Service recently set up.”
A joint ICS menopause policy for each organisation within the ICS, including County Councils, East of England Ambulance Service, NHS trusts, community voluntary organisations and Herts and West Essex ICB, has also been agreed.
If you work in health and social care in Hertfordshire or west Essex, you can find out more about support available on your staff intranet and on the My Health My Way website.
If you need further help, email the Staff support Service which has a wealth of information, workshops and therapies on offer to help manage symptoms.