Menopause as a subject is less taboo now than it used to be, but there are still very few opportunities for women to come together and talk openly about Menopause. Yet peer support is so important. Why is this?
However supportive partners might be, this stage of life can feel quite isolating. It is easy to feel that we are alone, and no-one else is experiencing what we are. It’s true that everyone experiences Menopause in their own way, but nevertheless there are common symptoms and feelings. So really there is no better way to combat feelings of isolation than to share what is happening to us with female friends. Simply talking and sharing can make us feel so much better.
Peer support also gives an opportunity for women to share ideas, tips and hints. What works for one woman may not necessarily work for another. What is right for one woman may not necessarily be right for another. However, the experts in Menopause are the women going through this stage of life, and the sharing of ideas, tips and hints always means there is a chance a woman will stumble across something that can make a huge difference to how she is feeling.
Peer support also offers women support – it’s in the title! Support can make the difference between an individual being able to cope or not. If a woman is having a bad day with the Menopause, just knowing there is someone she can call and chat with, makes such a difference. This is why a Menopause friendly workforce is so important. Some women do not like sharing with their Manager that they are going through the Menopause. There are several possible reasons for this, but the main ones are embarrassment or concern that their Manager will overlook them for promotion or increased responsibility. Having a female ‘Menopause Champion’ in the workforce – someone women can go to and discuss their symptoms and – not only really helps but can sometimes make the difference between a woman leaving her job or staying.
At Menopause and me, we offer something called a Talk Shop, which gives women an opportunity for Peer Support. We look at facts about Menopause, at symptoms and at Tips and Hints for living well with Menopause. Most importantly, though, it gives women an opportunity to talk openly, to share ideas and to gain support. The Talk shop routinely runs for six two-hour sessions, either in the workplace or in a community group, but is flexible enough to fit whatever timescale is preferred. We can also offer a Talk shop for men which routinely runs for three sessions.
The benefits for women attending the Talk shop include:
- An opportunity for women to talk openly about Menopause in a safe, relaxed environment
- A chance to focus on the main symptoms of Menopause
- Gaining support and sharing ideas
- Not feeling alone and ‘The only one’
- Building a network
- Moving forward
Whether you are an employer looking for Peer support for your female employees, or an individual woman who feels you might benefit from the Talk Shop, do please contact us if you would like to discuss this further. We would love to hear from you.