A woman who became suicidal during menopause is launching a pop-up cafe on Saturday 16th February to help save women from the suffering she endured.

Organiser Jo Brizland-Cullen is hosting the Menopause Cafe in Monton on Saturday morning to support women through what can be a challenging time of life.

The social event is part of a growing national network designed to tackle the stigma around menopause which can have a dramatic impact on women both physically and psychologically.

She said: “It’s my first menopause cafe. I find out about it from Google and spoke to one of the members in Scotland. I have signed a petition that they organised that was heard in Parliament about raising the issue to support women in the workplace.

“I decided to speak out and do something after suffering with symptoms and severe depression that led me to an aborted suicide in 2017.

“I used to sit in work and everything was like white noise to me. I had headaches for three days so bad one time that my GP sent me for a test as a possible ischaemic attack. I felt so lonely and confused until I spoke to other women and started reading about it more.”

The event is open to anyone, male or female, old and young. The event page states: “Our only agenda is to create conversations about the menopause: no speakers, no promotions.”

 

An informal and friendly environment is what the cafe is all about; a place to talk about menopause comfortably alongside drinking a classic cup of tea with a side of cake.

The cafe is about breaking down the taboo around menopause, increasing awareness of the impact of the menopause on those experiencing it, their family, friends and their colleagues and reflecting on the ‘third stage of life’.

Jo said: “The menopause has got to be talked about as lives could be lost. Why should women’s health not be important? Years ago women would retire at 50 and not talk about it but in today’s lifestyle women work a lot in high pressured jobs and have families, children and ageing parents who may need support.

“With the retirement age increasing women are going to be at higher risk of poor mental and physical health, increasing the risk of dementia, heart disease and diabetes unless adequate support and issues are raised.”

The Menopause Cafe is open from 9-10am on Saturday February 16 at Transcend Therapies, 222a Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9LJ. Entry is free but there is a small charge for refreshments.

The menopause is a natural process of ageing which affects all women. It is when women stop having periods, resulting in no longer being able to get pregnant naturally. In some cases, periods will stop suddenly, although, they usually become less frequent over what can be months or years before they completely stop.

The average age a woman reaches her menopause in the UK is 51 as the usual age the menopause occurs is between 45 and 55 years of age. One in 100 women experiences the menopause before reaching the age of 40. If this is the case, it is known as premature menopause.

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According to the NHS, the main symptom that the menopause is happening is your periods becoming irregular or stopping without any reason. However, there are other symptoms that are quite typical for women to experience…

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The Menopause Cafe format was Inspired by Kirsty Wark’s BBC programme “Menopause and Me” and launched by Rachel Weiss in Scotland in 2017. It has now spread throughout the UK.

 

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