West Lothian Council is supporting the work of Endo Warriors West Lothian in raising awareness of the condition Endometriosis and the debilitating effect it can have on those with the condition.
A meeting of West Council Executive heard of the range of support being provided to the group to support their work and details of the Council's continued support and participation in Endometriosis Awareness Month.
Endo Warriors West Lothian is a local independent support group set up to raise awareness of Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a painful condition that affects around 1 in 10 women and for which there is currently no cure. It takes an average of eight years for a woman to be diagnosed, despite Endometriosis being the second most common gynaecological condition in the UK.
Living with Endometriosis can have significant impacts on women's home and work life. Endo Warriors West Lothian run regular support meetings at St. John's Hospital, Livingston and Spire, Edinburgh to help women who are struggling on a day to day basis with the impact of the condition.
Officers worked with Endo Warriors West Lothian to consider the menstrual health materials, developed as part of a multidisciplinary project in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh's Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Reproductive Health, the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Young Academy of Scotland and NHS Lothian. Members of the Secondary Depute Headteacher Support Group and their colleagues noted that the materials could complement existing curriculum
courses in Human Biology, Personal and Social Education and Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood to raise awareness amongst young people and their parents/carers.
Endo Warriors West Lothian have subsequently been invited to attend a virtual
network meeting of the West Lothian Health and Wellbeing Champions to provide an overview of Endometriosis and share the menstrual health materials.
The meeting also heard how the council participated in the 'Light Up Yellow' campaign as part of Endometriosis Awareness Month in March 2020 and the lanterns in the roof of the Civic Centre were 'Lit Up Yellow' to show support.
Educational materials were also shared via the council's digital channels.
Council Executive agreed for the council to participate and undertake activities during the awareness month in March 2021.
West Lothian Leisure have also offered their support for March 2021 with Howden Park Centre due to take part in the 'Light up Yellow' campaign for the weekend of 6-8 March 2021.
As part of a collaborative approach, Council Officers and West Lothian Leisure will provide further support for Endo Warriors West Lothian to identify the location for a 'Thinking Tree', a dedicated community space for awareness and reflection. It is proposed that the 'Thinking Tree' be located within the 'Walled Garden' situated beside Howden Park Centre.
Executive councillor for Education David Dodds said: "The council is pleased to continue to the support the efforts of the Endo Warriors West Lothian group in their vital work in raising awareness of Endometriosis. It is a condition that has gone undiagnosed for many women and girls for far too long.
"Through work with education officers, there will now be more material on the subject being implemented during teaching of relevant subjects. This is designed to help give our pupils a vital understanding of the conditions and will hopefully lead to more of our young people recognising the signs and feeling confident in seeking help."