With 84 per cent of UK women feeling unheard by healthcare professionals, Dorset Mind is now offering local women a menopause pathway
Last year, the government surveyed 100,000 women for its Let’s Talk About It women’s health report. The results revealed that 84 per cent of the women surveyed felt they were not heard by healthcare professionals. And only 64 per cent said they felt comfortable discussing menopause-related issues.
At Dorset Mind we are committed to challenging the stigma surrounding mental health – promoting open conversations about mental wellbeing. These discussions are beneficial in helping individuals realise they are not alone and we know it reduces the risk of suicide.
As some staff and volunteers at Dorset Mind experience their own menopause journeys, we understand the impact of menopause on so many aspects of women’s lives, including mental health, empathising with the numerous challenges associated with menopause. Symptoms such as anger, irritability, anxiety, forgetfulness and low mood can affect women throughout this stage of their lives.
In partnership with the NHS, Dorset Mind now offers a menopause pathway through its Active Monitoring service. This consists of six weekly sessions for patients with mild to moderate mental health issues. The menopause pathway – along with other available pathways addressing anxiety, depression, stress, grief and more – guides patients throughout their sessions. Referrals can be made by healthcare professionals. There is often no waiting list.
Mery Zanutto, Dorset Mind’s Active Monitoring team leader, played a crucial role in the development of the new menopause pathway:
‘I am a former Advanced Surgical Practitioner as well as having experienced the menopause journey both naturally and finally surgically induced, so National Mind felt I was a good asset in providing both clinical and personal experience into the materials. Due to the increased awareness and demand for support services among patients in the past couple of years, we needed to be able to address and respond to the increasing number of enquiries.
‘Our new pathway focuses on perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause which, together with the two additional resources of The Role of Hormones and How to Best Manage the Menopause Treatment, will provide people with basic knowledge.’
Ensuring that women not only feel heard but also have their concerns taken seriously is essential. Throughout their healthcare journey, this includes discussions of symptoms, subsequent appointments, treatment options and follow-up care.
Dorset Mind is proud to offer Active Monitoring support in GP surgeries across Dorset for individuals aged 11 and above. Currently available in 12 Primary Care Networks, the service can be accessed without a waiting list.
More information about the specific GP surgeries offering this support is available on the organisation’s website
While Dorset Mind provides valuable support, it’s important to note that GPs remain the primary resource for