Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Women’s health emerging priorities series highlights mental health

Image of A woman holding her hands near her face. Mental health issues among military women can affect how they transition in many ways, be it housing changes, deployment or leaving the military and getting acclimated to civilian life. Women veterans are more than two times as likely to commit suicide as the general population. (Photo courtesy of National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services)

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Total Force Fitness | Depression | Psychological Fitness

Transitioning from being an active service member to veteran or beneficiary can affect the mental health of women in ways that differ from men.

The effects of these transitions are an emerging priority at the Defense Health Agency, attendees heard at a Feb. 25 virtual clinical communities’ speakers’ series event sponsored by the DHA Training and Education Directorate’s Continuing Education Program Office (CEPO) in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Emerging Priorities in Women's Health day-long event included a discussion of women’s mental health issues, including reproductive cycles mental health; intimate partner violence; cardiovascular disease; human papillomavirus and opportunities to eradicate cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer; COVID-19 in pregnancy and its effects on maternal-fetal health; ethical considerations in women's health care during the pandemic; and updates on select DHA Women & Infants Clinical Communities initiatives.

The mental health portion of the program included information on resources for female service members transitioning from active duty; sexual assault/harassment; and suicide prevention.

"Women veterans are more than two times more likely to die by suicide as the general population," VA clinical psychologist Jennifer Strauss told event attendees.

"In FY 2019, 43% of women Veterans Health Agency users had diagnosed mental health issues," she said. That compares to "26% of male VHA users who had a confirmed mental health diagnosis," she added, underscoring the need for DOD and VA prioritization of women's mental health needs.

She noted that women often have "more complexity of care" than men, such as higher rates of depression and anxiety, and higher rates of mental health and medical comorbidities.

One of the concerns of health care providers and patients is a "lapse in health care during and after transitioning," said Holly O'Reilly, a clinical psychologist at DHA's Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE). "Those with a strategic plan in place or a strong support network fare better than those without” when it comes to transitions."

The PHCoE offers an "excellent referral hotline 24/7," and there are numerous clinical support tools to aid in transitions, she said. Patients and providers can access these tools at https://pdhealth.mil.

The event highlighted current evidence-based practices, policies, recommendations, and initiatives. The primary focus aimed to enhance the quality of patient outcomes and population health by providing advanced continuing education (CE) opportunities for health care providers across the Military Health System. Recordings and CE credits from Feb. 25's event will be available from April 12 for six months for home study at the J-7 CEPO website.

There are other series this year: Youth in Transition on April 22; Exploring Evidence-Based Practices in Modern Medicine Primary Care on June 24; Exploration of Innovations in Health Care Aug. 26; and Promising Practices in Military Health Care on Oct. 28. Information about the programs and speakers is also available at the CEPO website.

You also may be interested in...

A Matter of Life or Death: Seeking Help and Overcoming

Article Around MHS
5/25/2022
Military personnel at computer

For Tech. Sgt. Jilayne Michelsen, a Command Post Control Operations Specialist, assigned to the Ohio National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing, having the ability to ask her husband for help during her darkest hour, saved her life, her family and her military career.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | Depression

How Health Care Providers Can Mitigate Burnout

Article
5/25/2022
U.S. Army Soldiers load a simulated patient on to a New Jersey National Guard UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter during a combat lifesaver course run by the Medical Simulation Training Center on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, April 14, 2022.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

“No one is immune to burnout. Healthcare providers are very good at rescuing others. We train for it and practice it daily. Unfortunately, we often do so at the expense of our own health and wellness.”

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness

Ask the Doc: Yes, I Binge Drink. But am I an Alcoholic?

Article
5/25/2022
Ian Bell, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron True North social worker, tries on vision impairment goggles at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Dec. 20, 2021. The vision impairment goggles represented a range of different blood alcohol concentrations, from less than 0.06 BAC, which simulates how reaction time and abilities are affected after just one drink, to 0.25, a very high level of impairment caused by binge drinking.

Dear Doc: I kick back on the weekends and down a six-pack or two at a time. I know this is called binge drinking, but I don’t think I’m an alcoholic. Should I be worried?

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Ask The Doc

Holiday Food Safety Tip: Cook Food Thoroughly

Infographic
5/25/2022
Holiday Food Safety Tip: Cook Food Thoroughly

Use a thermometer to ensure your food is cooked to the right minimum internal temperature.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness

Holiday Food Safety Tip: Wash Your Hands

Infographic
5/25/2022
Holiday Food Safety Tip: Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands often is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness

Holiday Food Safety Tip: Keep Cold Food Cold

Infographic
5/25/2022
Holiday Food Safety Tip: Keep Cold Food Cold

Don't let your cold dishes sit out on a counter for more than 2 hours. Keep it chilled at 40 degrees or less.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness

Feeling Burned Out at Work? Here Are Some Tips to Feel Better

Article
5/24/2022
Feeling burned out? Tips to understand and avoid burnout.

The good news is that burnout can be mitigated. There are numerous steps that individuals and leaders can take to reduce burnout and its impact.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness

Managing Burnout

Video
5/19/2022
Managing Burnout

Burnout is really a state of extreme exhaustion caused by chronic overwhelming stress. Lt. Col. Catherine Callendar, Air Force Deputy Director of Psychological Health, gives some advice on coping with burnout. Learn more at health.mil/mentalhealth.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | Psychological Fitness

Together for Mental Health: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Article
5/13/2022
Every May is Mental Health Month. If you know someone in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line: 800-273-8255. (Photo: MHS Communications)

Health is wealth, especially when dealing with mental well-being. Growing up, kids are taught if they are hurt physically in any area, to seek help. The same should go for anyone’s mental health.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | Psychological Fitness

Fort Riley Summit Tackles Mental Healthcare Shortage

Article Around MHS
5/6/2022
Soldier speaks at podium

Dozen of civilian partners within the local TRICARE network recently collaborated with Fort Riley leadership for an all-day, first-time ever Mental Health Summit April 28. 

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

MHS Minute | April 2022

Video
5/3/2022
MHS Minute | April 2022

The MHS Minute highlights some of the outstanding work taking place across the Military Health System, including major milestones, events, notable activities, and much more. Help us get the word out about all of the unique, meaningful, and fascinating work taking place across the MHS by watching and sharing the video, which you can download from DVIDs: https://go.usa.gov/xuy7M. This month’s topic is mental health awareness. Check out the entire playlist: https://go.usa.gov/xtAAq

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | Psychological Fitness

Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Current Events

Article
4/29/2022
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Rocio Romo, public affairs specialist at Space Launch Delta 30, spends quality time with her son at Cocheo Park on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. We celebrate Month of the Military Child in April to celebrate military children whose parents serve the United States. (Photo: U.S. Space Force Airman 1st Class Kadielle Shaw)

Parents can help reassure children who are troubled by news events they see on TV and social media.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child - Celebrating Military Kids | Children's Health | Psychological Fitness

Helping Your Child to Cope with Grief and Losses Related to COVID-19

Article
4/28/2022
Shirley Lanham Elementary School students perform Taiko drumming during a Month of the Military Child celebration aboard the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, April 6, 2022. (Photo: Petty Officer 2nd Class Ange-Olivier Clement, Naval Air Facility Atsugi)

Many military children have lost loved ones to COVID-19. How parents can help with the grief.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child - Celebrating Military Kids | Children's Health | Psychological Fitness | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

How to Help Military Children Reconnect After Two Years of the Pandemic

Article
4/25/2022
Airman 1st Class Rocio Romo, Space Launch Delta 30 public affairs specialist, and her son pose for a photo at Cocheo Park on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, March 25, 2022. During the month of April, we celebrate Month of the Military Child to highlight the sacrifices military children make on the home front while their parents serve the United States. (Photo: Airman Kadielle Shaw, Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs)

How parents can help children stressed by more than two years of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child - Celebrating Military Kids | Children's Health | Psychological Fitness | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Resources Provide Help: You Are Not Alone

Article
4/22/2022
Military personnel posing for a picture

Life is full of ups and downs. But sometimes life events—financial strain, relationships, isolation, emotional or sexual abuse, stress, and misuse or abuse of alcohol or drugs—can lead to depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide for some. It’s important to remember that you are not alone.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | Suicide Prevention | Suicide Prevention | Psychological Fitness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 17
Refine your search
Last Updated: April 09, 2021

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.