‘Life changing’ CBT for Menopause programme rolled out after successful pilot | Press Releases

‘Life changing’ CBT for Menopause programme rolled out after successful pilot

CBT Therapist Kerry Clifton

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) has launched a series of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) support groups to help women manage symptoms of menopause. 

This follows a successful pilot delivered to staff across the Trust over a period of twelve months, attended by over thirty colleagues and delivered across a variety of locations.  

The six week Managing the Menopause Skills for Wellbeing course will now be available to residents living in the Wigan and Salford boroughs and can be accessed via a referral from a patient’s GP or local Talking Therapies provider.  

CBT can be an effective tool in helping to manage the symptoms associated with menopause. While CBT doesn't directly alter hormone levels, it focuses on changing patterns of thinking and behaviour, which can alleviate distress and improve coping mechanisms.  

It can help adopt healthier lifestyle behaviours such as regular exercise, balanced nutrition, stress management, and relaxation techniques. By addressing unhelpful behaviours and promoting positive coping strategies, participants can better manage menopausal symptoms and improve overall wellbeing.   

The six week Managing the Menopause Skills for Wellbeing course offers a holistic approach to managing menopause symptoms by addressing the cognitive, emotional, and behavioural aspects of the experience. By learning practical skills and strategies, course attendees can be empowered to effectively cope with menopause-related challenges and improve quality of life.  

Kerry Clifton and Jo Hicks, CBT Therapists at GMMH, initially offered the course to GMMH staff pilot groups after consulting with colleagues across the Trust about their challenges with Menopause symptoms. The results of the pilot were overwhelmingly positive, with each group seeing a significant drop in their anxiety and depression scores, as well as noticeable improvements to menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats.  

CBT Therapist Jo Hicks    CBT Therapist Kerry Clifton

The programme was so popular that four further groups were offered to GMMH staff. GMMH CBT Practitioners for Wigan Talking Therapies, Molly Rudd and Sarah Reilly, joined the pilot to deliver the Menopause support groups to staff within the Wigan locality.    

Feedback from the pilot groups was overwhelmingly positive with participants citing that they learned new information about the menopause in general as well as developing strategies to manage current symptoms.  

A GMMH staff member who completed the pilot said:  

“I really liked the group setting, knowing I am not alone. For me the support I received was life changing.”  

Kerry Clifton, CBT Therapist at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH), said:   

“One question posed was ‘how can we support our colleagues across the trust with their experience of the menopause?’ Jo Hicks and I felt that as CBT therapists, we could deliver a group to colleagues, understanding the need to provide support for their perimenopause journey.   

"We had been researching work completed by subject experts, Professor Myra Hunter and Dr Melanie Smith, regarding a CBT group for hot flushes and night sweats, which helped us to develop the programme.”    

As a result of the success of the pilot, the first group has been delivered to Salford residents, with positive feedback helping to develop future groups. These groups are now being rolled out in Wigan and Bolton, and staff menopause groups will continue to run.   

Visit: www.gmmh.nhs.uk/wigan-talking-therapies to self-refer to the service or call 01942 764 449 to find out more.

That's TV interview

Kerry Clifton, CBT Therapist at GMMH, spoke to That's TV about our recently launched CBT for Menopause programme, which has been described as ‘life changing’. Watch below! 

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