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VIDEO: Nottinghamshire Police is leading the way on Menopause Awareness Day

October 18, 2020
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A police officer who pushed Nottinghamshire Police to become a national leader on menopause policy is calling on people to learn more about the condition, as part of a national awareness campaign.

Keeley Mansell, who championed policy change and training on the subject for Nottinghamshire Police, is urging people to gain a greater understanding during Menopause Awareness Month this October.

The Detective Constable, from the force's public protection team, was diagnosed with early onset menopause seven years ago and discovered there was no support or guidance to help ease her sometimes debilitating symptoms. She said: "People seemed embarrassed to talk about it with me and it was it almost joked about even though I sometimes felt really poorly. This was also the case elsewhere, I couldn't find any guidance or policies in place at any other organisations.

Keeley, 44, led the way in creating Nottinghamshire Police's policy which has now been in place for three years and is now the force's lead practitioner of menopause.

Her work has received national attention and she is regularly asked to talk about it by many publications, and has appeared on national television, including on ITV’s Lorraine Kelly.

The force’s policy is supported by the National Police Federation who have released national guidance on the menopause and is working to embed a recognition among all police forces that the menopause as a serious issue.

Keeley says there is still a long way to go though: "It is a taboo subject still and it's not easy for people to talk about something so personal but we need to do this, we need to buck the trend so it is taken seriously.

"It's also something men need to feel comfortable to talk about too as they may be experiencing a loved one going through the menopause and may also need some support and advice."

Keeley continues her pioneering work in raising awareness of the menopause, and as well as championing it within Nottinghamshire, she also attends the national Menopause Action Group along with representatives from police forces across the country.

The force has recently been working with the University of Nottingham who have been reviewing the policy and, following the results, will be relaunching an updated version and looking at conducting a training package for supervisors and managers.

Deborah Garlick, from Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace, said: "‘It's clear that with the right knowledge, employers can offer real and meaningful menopause support at work, and it’s crucial they do.

"Many people still don’t understand how it can affect someone at home and at work. Thankfully we’re seeing inspirational organisations, like Nottinghamshire Police take action, getting people talking about it and supporting their colleagues.

"Five years ago we couldn’t find an employer with a menopause policy, Nottinghamshire Police was the first force to launch theirs and are leading the way.

"At some point soon, employers will look unusual if they don’t have one, and it's about time this was the case."

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