Motion on menopause awareness passes at Cornwall Council

At Full Council today, Cornwall Councillors have supported a cross-party motion on menopause awareness raised by Conservative councillor Simon Elliott.

The motion calls upon Cornwall Council to work with partners to promote the use of materials that can be used to ensure that young people, and the wider community, understand the impact of the menopause and common symptoms that they may notice in women in their families.

Along with this, it calls upon the council to work with organisations to ensure that Cornwall Council and its staff are Menopause Aware and have an understanding of the opportunities to engage with healthcare professionals, and others, should they be concerned over symptoms that they might be experiencing.

Commenting, Cllr Elliott said:

“I am delighted to see my motion on menopause awareness has passed today, with strong cross-party support from around the council.

“As I said in the chamber today,”

“...the whole of the symptoms of the menopause, depression, anxiety, hot flushes, sleepless nights, you feel yourself worthless...it’s a horrible state. And you come back to your GP and she’s telling you ‘no, it’s normal. Just get on with your life.’ ”

“That is a quote from the 2018 report “Reproductive health is a public health issue”.

“From conversations with friends, family and colleagues, as well as those working in the field of Menopause Awareness, I have learned that, for many women, the perimenopause can have such an impact as to affect careers and day to day life.”

“For an obvious group of people, menopause awarenes is directly relevant, however unless the rest of us have an awareness as well, we cannot support our colleagues, mothers, sisters and anyone else going through the menopause.”

“So what can we do in terms of education and as employers.”

“Firstly, the new Relationships and Sex Education advice for schools now includes the Menopause. We need to work with partners to ensure that good materials are disseminated through the channels we have open to us, so that anyone who needs information, can find it easily.”

“Secondly, as a large employer, Cornwall Council needs to lead the way in ensuring that managers are aware of what they can do to help staff (and not just provide desk fans!), and help all staff to be supported in their role, especially when they are having a difficult time.”

“Finally as Councillors, we can ensure that we play our part in directing bodies that we work with to the supportive resources that are out there.”

“For all of these reasons, I am delighted my motion has passed today and I hope it will be of assistance to all those dealing with the menopause and their families and colleagues going forward.”