Meet our Menopause & Menstruation Champion
World Menopause Day is held every year on the 18 October to raise awareness of the menopause and the support options available for improving health and wellbeing.
This year, to help raise awareness of this often overlooked and still stigmatised subject, we caught up with Sam, Menopause and Menstruation Champion at SARSAS.
This role, which Sam does alongside her main counselling role, was created as part of the Menopause and Menstruation Policy which SARSAS introduced in 2020. And although Sam has only recently taken on the role from her predecessor, she’s keen to get going and has lots of ideas about how she wants to support SARSAS employees.
“The role of Menopause and Menstruation Champion is really about holding a safe space for people so that they feel able to have conversations about anything they may be experiencing. It’s about encouraging openness because I’m amazed at how little focus we give to our bodies. Even though today, thankfully, more conversations are being had, we still don’t acknowledge how parts of our lives and what we live through impact us,” says Sam.
Reflecting on her own experience, which we’re sure will be echoed by many women, Sam said, “I think about how little I knew, both about having periods when I was a teenager, but also in later life going through perimenopause and then the menopause. It’s ridiculous, really! So, I feel very strongly about the subject matter and I’m excited that it’s something recognised within SARSAS.”.
Over the coming months, Sam’s hope is to start an online meeting for SARSAS employees to have the option to attend, wherever they are in their mensuration cycle. Depending on what people want from the meetings, she’s keen to consider themes, such as nutrition, sleep, relationships, work, mental health, and how they all feed in and can have positive and negative influences on an individual’s symptoms and overall experience.
Sam wanted to stress that she’s not here to be ‘the menopause expert’ but rather to act as a facilitator. By sharing information that might be useful, whether in form of a book, film, article, podcast, as an invitation to engage, Sam hopes that SARSAS staff will be feel encouraged to share their own helpful resources with each other.
“My main aim as Menopause and Menstruation Champion at SARSAS is to open the conversation and say, “do you know what? It’s actually ok to talk about all this!” If everyone at SARSAS can say this is a normal part of life and there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, then we’re going to be able to provide a much better service to our clients who will also be going through their own journeys. Ultimately, it’s all about shared experience,” Sam concludes.
Thank you to Sam for giving us such a thoughtful insight. Keep a look out for more updates coming soon!
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