A leading reproductive and mental health charity has announced their inaugural reproductive themed event, Marginalised and Menopausal.
Designed to shed light on the unique needs and experiences of historically marginalised communities during their journey through the menopause, the event will feature talks from a host of keynote speakers, including This Morning’s own Dr Nighat Arif, and Wolverhampton-based GP and educator, Dr Aziza Sesay. The event – hosted by community led reproductive and mental health charity, Cysters – will be held at Aston University on February 3rd, 2024.
About more than just hot flashes and hormones, the event will address and discuss the specific needs and experiences of marginalised folk who have experienced, or are experiencing, the menopause, creating a safe and inclusive space to share. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently announced that women going through the menopause would be offered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as an alternative treatment option, or in addition to, HRT.
While this is a step forward in Menopause treatment – the first update in almost a decade, in fact – many feel that it isn’t enough. Hoping to rewrite the narrative and ensure that no one is left behind during discussions and decision making, Marginalised and Menopausal will be a safe and welcoming space for people going through this transformative stage of life to open up, share their experiences and connect with likeminded individuals.
Facilitating these discussions will be a host of experts, doctors and educators, including Dr Nighat Arif – Resident Doctor on This Morning and BBC Breakfast; Wolverhampton-based GP and educator, Dr Aziza Sesay; women’s health expert, Meera Bhogal; and Director of Women's Health at Holland & Barrett and menopause expert, Lina Chan.
Discussing the event and what she hopes it will achieve, founder of Cysters, Neelam Heera-Shergill, commented: “We’re so unbelievably proud and excited that we’re able to host this event. More and more we’re hearing about the varied experiences of marginalised people who are going through the menopause, but the treatment suggestions are always the same!
“This event will hopefully help people to identify what else is out there and bust a few myths in the process. We want to educate those in marginalised communities especially, not only to ensure they’re making informed decisions about their healthcare, but also to ensure that their voices are heard and represented in the conversation.
“We’ve got some great speakers in attendance so we’re certain it will be an event to remember - hopefully the first of many!” Sharing her thoughts, Dr Nighat adds: "Creating safe and educational spaces for marginalized groups around menopause is not just a necessity; it's a profound commitment to ensuring every individual feels seen, heard, and supported.
“I am proud to be working with Cysters and to keynote this conference and wholeheartedly back this long-term project that strives to empower and uplift those often overlooked in the discourse on menopause. Together, we embark on a journey of knowledge, compassion, and lasting change."
On her thoughts about the importance of spaces like this, Dr. Aziza Sesay comments: "Ensuring there are safe and educational spaces for marginalized groups navigating menopause is a crucial step towards breaking down barriers and fostering true inclusivity.
“As a trustee for Cysters, I am immensely proud to contribute to this initiative, dedicated to providing every individual with the resources and information they deserve on their unique menopause journey. Together, we're rewriting the narrative, ensuring no one is left unheard or unsupported."
Marginalised and Menopausal will be taking place at Aston University Conference Center on February 3rd, 2024.