New menopause support group set up in York

A woman smiling and holding a cup
The sessions will be held at York St John University [Getty Images]

A new support group for women going through the menopause has been launched in York.

The group was set up by York Women's Counselling Service (YWCS) after it surveyed more than 300 women in the city about what help they needed.

Many of the respondents said there was a lack of supoport for the psychological symptoms of the menopause.

Therapist and trainer Stef Bricklebank, who is leading the sessions, said she hoped the group would provide an "open and honest space for women".

Stef Bricklebank
Stef Bricklebank will facilitate the new support group [BBC]

The results of the survey, which was completed by 313 women in the city, found the three most common symptoms of menopause reported were tiredness and lack of energy, memory problems and difficulty sleeping.

It also found that most women who took part were offered medication by their doctors rather than counselling or support.

Nearly half of those who responded said going through the menopause had led to difficulties with close personal relationships.

Ms Bricklebank told BBC Radio York the group would provide a safe space for women to talk about and explore the effects of the menopause.

"We asked people who completed the survey what they would want in a group and the highest thing was to gain insight and knowledge, [followed by] hearing other people's stories and a safe and confidential space to talk about symptoms and how it's affecting their lives," she said.

She said the group was open to all women whether they were going through the menopause, in perimenopause or if their bodies have just started to change.

"I'd love for post-menopausal women to be there, telling us about what its like at the other end. Let's learn from these women," she added.

The first support group will start on 5 June and run through to 10 July, with six sessions at York St John University.

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