Musselburgh: find out what men thought of menopause pain simulator

Musselburgh: find out what men thought of menopause pain simulator

Malcolm Cutt, director of finance and corporate strategy development, and professor Richard Butt, deputy principal, and Bruce Laing, deputy director of campus services at QMU, trailed the MenoVest last Thursday at the university.

The MenoVest allows people to experience hot flushes, brain fog and other symptoms often encountered during the menopause transition and is part of a larger menopause event, which aims to raise awareness, understanding and empathy for women going through menopause at work.

The ‘Menopausitivity Day’ at QMU has been developed in collaboration with the menopause awareness organisation, ‘Over The Bloody Moon’.

It forms part of the university’s plan to support people through menopause, by developing a supportive culture and promoting awareness, across different age groups and genders.

The menopause is when a woman stops having periods and usually takes place between the ages of 45 and 55.

There are nearly 50 different associated changes of menopause, including hot flushes, brain fog, joint pain, sleeplessness, and depression.

QMU is keen to promote menopause awareness as part of its ongoing support of women’s personal and professional development.

Bruce Laing thought that it was important to take part in the event.

He was fitted with the Menovest by Lesley Salem, from ‘Over The Bloody Moon’, which he wore while working at his desk in the afternoon.

He said: “The unexpected bursts of heat were distracting. It was difficult to concentrate on my normal tasks and I actually found it challenging to speak and interact normally with colleagues while I was wearing it.”

The University is the first higher education institution in Scotland to bring Lesley, founder of ‘Over the Bloody Moon’ to campus to demonstrate the impact of MenoVestTM – an immersive, training tool.

Lesley said: “This is a topic that everyone needs to understand better at work, because when people are supported, they thrive and so does the team around them. The productivity and health of individuals and the collective team are paramount to the success of the organisation.”

“We run workshops, events, and training and often find that it’s just those directly impacted by menopause that show up.

“We wanted to find a way to include men in the conversation. Only by ensuring there is intersectional support and engagement, can we remove the stigma of menopause at work.

“The most common way of educating on menopause is sharing information but this often doesn’t build empathy.

“Rather than story-telling, MenoVestTM is a story-doing activity that is immersive and demonstrates the very real impact menopause can have for some, in and out of the workplace.”

Kirsten Baird, general manager at QMU Students’ Union, has helped to shape the Meno(pausitivity) event.

She said: “Menopause affects everyone, whether it’s you, a family member, friend or colleague. Sixty-seven percent of QMU staff and seventy five percent of our students are female, so it’s essential we provide a range of support within our wider university community.

“It’s also important that we create understanding and empathy amongst our student populations as many of our graduates, particularly those working in the allied health professions, will encounter patients and clients who are going through menopause.”

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East Lothian Courier
Craig Bathgate

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