Menopause can affect women's mental health in multiple ways. Mental health first aid training helps employers to support their female employees during this time. 
The effects that menopause has on the body and mind have long been taboo. Many women don't discuss it, even amongst themselves or with their doctor, or are even unaware of what is and isn't normal to experience. 
Fortunately, the discussion around menopause is opening up. One of the most misunderstood issues relating to menopause is how it can affect the mind and mental health. However, understanding of this subject has improved over time. 
How Menopause Affects Mood and Mental Health 
Women experiencing menopause can experience a variety of emotional and mental health symptoms caused by the changing hormones in their bodies. Symptoms such as sadness, irritability, aggressiveness, stress, and difficulties concentrating are all common. 
There may also be a link between menopause and depression. Women seem particularly susceptible to it in the perimenopausal period (before menopause starts) and straight after menopause. This can include feelings of sadness, emptiness, irritability, or feeling empty or numb, as well as other symptoms. For some women, it might also include suicidal thoughts and feelings. Menopause can increase the risk of depression, particularly for women with a history of clinical depression. Women who have experienced severe PMS or postpartum depression may be more likely to experience more severe mood swings during perimenopause. 
How Can Employers Help? 
Employers can support women in the workplace by being aware of the possible effects of menopause on mental health and being sensitive to the issue. Mental health first aid training is also extremely beneficial to employers and their staff. They can learn to recognise the symptoms of mental health problems and how to address them in the most helpful way. 
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