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Police officer is commended by Force for work in raising awareness of the menopause

November 7, 2017
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An inspirational Nottinghamshire Police officer, who has been instrumental in establishing best practice for tackling the menopause, has been recognised by the Force.

Detective Constable Keeley Mansell received a Chief Constable’s Commendation at Thursday night's (2 November 2017) Nottinghamshire Police Awards, sponsored by Nottingham Trent University, the Nottinghamshire Police Federation and Mazars. 

Keeley, a police officer for 15 years, has worked tirelessly in the face of adversity to raise awareness of the menopause and the challenges it brings. Her work on this has resulted in new Force policies being implemented.

Driven by the lack of support available, she set out to change people’s perceptions and establish better workplace support for her female colleagues.

Speaking about her award, she said: "I am delighted and so grateful to receive such an award. Having written policy and guidance around such a taboo subject, the menopause, I hope other women will achieve their goals, knowing they will now have the support and guidance required within the police service."

Keeley had early onset menopause, at 38. At first, she didn’t know what she was experiencing, having gone to work feeling dreadful, not being able to do her job, walking into a room and immediately forgetting why she had walked in there and experiencing many more symptoms of the menopause. 

It reached a point where she could no longer go into work and she was signed off. Having tried different treatments, she found one that was suitable and was able to return to duty.

Rather than hide away, she decided that she would try and meet the challenges she faced head on. She undertook her own research to find out what support was available from the Force, and found that neither Human Resources nor Occupational Health had anything in place that recognised this condition or how to deal with it. 

In her own time, Keeley undertook further research around the country with other forces and employers - it was clear that the police service was not alone in not being able to recognise issues associated with the menopause. 

With her Chief Constable’s backing, she set up a working group and held meetings and a seminar to promote awareness of the menopause which quickly became oversubscribed. 

Many male colleagues attended and thanked Keeley for having the courage to bring this into the open.

Keeley’s Managers’ Guide and Policy has now been adopted by Nottinghamshire Police - it is also hoped that this will be rolled out nationally.

She is a point of contact within Nottinghamshire, regionally and nationally, and has established a network of experts including those from the medical profession.

This has all been done alongside working full-time as part of the Public Protection Team, where she manages sexual and violent offenders, and her family life with a young child.

In May this year Keeley’s immense efforts were acknowledged when she received a national Women in Policing Award at the Police Federation’s Annual Conference.

Detective Sergeant Helen Deeming, who nominated Keeley for her Chief Constable’s Commendation, said: "Keeley has battled to raise awareness despite not feeling well for most of the time and working full-time.

"She is a role model and has set up working practices that are innovative and have challenged the status quo.

"The benefits to the Force are numerous which include improving the health and wellbeing of staff and raising awareness of the menopause which affects many more people than first realised."

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