Naomi Watts takes on The Impossible: Hollywood star, 54, becomes new US face of vocal campaign group fighting to end the taboo of menopause
- Menopause Mandate is expanding to US, which will be headed by Naomi Watts
- It aims to end the ‘outrageous’ taboo which still surrounds the menopause
It’s the outspoken campaign group that has helped boost menopause awareness across the UK.
But now Menopause Mandate is expanding to the US, with Hollywood star Naomi Watts heading its new division across the pond.
The 54-year-old, twice nominated for best actress at the Oscars, has been vocal in her quest to end the stigma surrounding ‘the change’, taking aim at how affected women are made to feel like ‘unsexy, infertile, crabby old ladies’ and bemoaning at society for making menopause a ‘dirty word’.
Her arrival to the campaign group, which turned one today, was announced in the Houses of Parliament by chair Mariella Frostrup, who said members are ‘thrilled’ to be joined by Naomi.
Menopause Mandate has gained thousands of supporters since it began, launched a hotline, published a book and held a rally.
It aims to end the ‘outrageous’ taboo which surrounds the menopause and boost the support and advice women receive from the health service and society.
Menopause Mandate is expanding to the US, with actress Naomi Watts (pictured) heading its new division across the pond
Menopause Mandate celebrates its first birthday at the Houses of Parliament today. Pictured from left: Michelle Griffith-Robinson, Lisa Snowden, Penny Lancaster and Lavina Mehta MBE
Menopause Mandate celebrates its first birthday at the Houses of Parliament today. Pictured from left: Thorrun Govind, Michelle Griffith-Robinson, Lavina Mehta MBE and Penny Lancaster
Mariella, journalist and chair of the group, told those at the event: ‘I’m delighted to confirm Menopause Mandate is heading to the US, where my stateside counterpart will be the supernova actor Naomi.
‘Who could possibly be better qualified to head up our US takeover and lead our community there?
‘We are thrilled to be joined by such an inspiring, pioneering and downright fabulous woman.’
Radio DJ and presenter Jo Whiley, as well as author and scriptwriter Emma Kennedy, were also confirmed as two new UK-based patrons.
Carolyn Harris MP, Lisa Snowdon, Penny Lancaster, Michelle Griffith Robinson, Lavina Mehta and Cherry Healey are all patrons of Menopause Mandate, attended the event.
It included three panels about menopause, chaired by TV presenter Cherry Healey and Penny Lancaster.
Menopause Mandate also launched a series of short films, sponsored by London-based pharmaceutical company Theramex.
Aimed at healthcare professionals, the videos feature pharmacist Thorrun Govind, and British Menopause Society accredited menopause specialist and trainer Dr Juliet Balfour, who runs an NHS menopause clinic.
Free for all GPs, pharmacists and their teams, subjects covered include the diagnosis of perimenopause and menopause, the correct prescribing of HRT, the truth about testosterone, how the HRT PPC works, advice for those with breast cancer and what lifestyle advice can be offered.
Mariella Frostrup (pictured), journalist and chair of the group, told those at the event: ‘I’m delighted to confirm that Menopause Mandate is heading to the United States where my stateside counterpart will be the supernova actor Naomi Watts’
Menopause Mandate celebrates its first birthday at the Houses of Parliament today. Pictured from left: Alex Mahon and Mariella Frostrup
Menopause Mandate celebrates its first birthday at the Houses of Parliament today. Pictured from left: Thorrun Govind, Michelle Griffith-Robinson, Lisa Snowden, Penny Lancaster and Lavina Mehta MBE
Ms Govind, who is also Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England, said: ‘Pharmacists are a key part of the community and these free, fast and accessible films will support them in supporting their patients, whilst recognising the pressures they are under.’
The event also covered the Menstruation, Menstrual Health and Menopause in the Workplace standard from British Standards Institution (BSI).
The BSI, which sets standards for organisations in the UK, published the document last year that offers guidance on how to build a menopause-inclusive environment.
Ms Harris said: ‘When I think back to this last time last year and remember the anger and frustration felt by so many of us, I feel a real sense of pride at how far we have come.
‘On Menopause Mandate’s first birthday, we are celebrating the achievements of everyone who has joined us on our mission to get better access to menopause support and treatment for all.
‘We are seeing real progress but there is still a lot more to do, and I am excited to see what we will be celebrating this time next year.’
WHAT IS THE MENOPAUSE?
Menopause is when a woman stops having periods, and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.
It usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55.
It is a normal part of ageing and caused by levels of the sex hormone oestrogen dropping.
Some women go through this time with few, if any, symptoms.
Others suffer from hot flushes, sleeping difficulties, mood swings and brain fog, which can last for months or years and might change over time.
HRT replaces the hormones and is the main treatment used to treat symptoms — which can be severe and disrupt day-to-day life.
Menopause happens when your ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone oestrogen and no longer release an egg each month.
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