UK TV has a responsibility to help change the narrative around menopause and help women get the support they need

Ex Emmerdale & Hollyoaks actress Natalie Anderson calls for soaps and dramas to get behind normalising menopause after an in-depth discussion about peri/menopause, with Diane Dan-zebrink campaigner and founder of makemenopausematters and Jules Castenskiold from Bloom UK.

Natalie is passionate about raising awareness of issues that impact women, and has just been announced as the latest Smartworks ambassador joining Meghan Markle, she has been using her platform to talk to experts and raise awareness and education of the impacts of peri/menopause for the last three years. As World Menopause Day approaches Natalie wanted to delve even deeper into the conver-sation.

On The Capsule inconversation podcast, Natalie and her guests discuss normal-ising the menopause. Starting with education of younger generations in schools, in our workplaces, and most shockingly, in our health systems as it currently isn’t mandatory that GPs have to study menopause, something that effects 51% of the population. Natalie thinks that a great start would be to see the menopause conver-sation happening on mainstream tv.

Natalie says “Our soaps our incredibly powerful in that they play a huge part in moving the dial on social issues and shifting awareness, they have always joined in cultural conversation and have often been the leaders in normalising taboo and stigmatised topics. Some of the most ground breaking moments in our social climate have been generated by the soaps tackling a particular is-sue, opening up important conversations in every day households. I can’t wait for the day I see peri and menopause cropping up in my scripts, not as a big storyline but as part of the ‘everyday’ moments soaps capture best. Their realism and relatability is what speaks to audiences, the celebration of the normal and it’s with this power that menopause can become a normal conversation and more women will start getting the support they need.”

Bloom UK have created the workplace menofesto, a support framework for busi-ness leaders to demystify and destigmatise peri/menopause of which businesses such as Boots and Channel 4 have got behind. Their aim is to change the narrative and give all people, not just women, a real understanding of what peri and meno-pause is and therefore give women the support they need enabling them to stay in work. On the podcast they talk about the importance of education and support, there are almost 50 different symptoms and sadly some are a lot more serious and scary than the “hot flush”

Diane Danzebrink says, “it doesn't just directly affect women. It can affect transgender and non-binary friends, family, and colleagues, but it also affects the other half of the population too. Relationships break down, people end up leaving their jobs. Tragically, we know from the ONS and the Samaritans that regularly the highest rate of suicide amongst women is between the ages of 45 and 54. There's no research (to state this is due to the menopause), but it's far too much of a coincidence.”

Diane shares her personal story that led her to campaigning and start meno-pausematters, a campaign to support women in menopause through mandatory education. Diane was catapulted into early menopause after an operation. Her symptoms were so severe she almost took her own life. She also speaks about the success for the campaign, the challenges and next steps needed if we want real change.

Join Natalie, Diane and Jules for this truly educational, informative and inspira-tional conversation.

/# Available to listen from Sunday 16th October, 8pm on Spotify, Apple, Google and wherever you get your podcasts from.