Skip to main content

Military Health System

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...

Suicide Prevention Draws Awareness at Madigan

Article Around MHS
9/27/2022
Command Sgt. Maj. Albert Harris speaking at Madigan Army Medical Center

The numbers shock and offend the senses – roughly one active duty service member ends their life each day; add in Reserve and National Guard components and the number rises to an average of 1.5 per day. Madigan Army Medical Center’s Department of Behavioral Health hosted a National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month event on September 22, to raise awareness among the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., community and honor those who have passed.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Suicide Prevention | Psychological Fitness

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Expands Opportunities to Help

Article Around MHS
9/9/2022
Infographic for Military Crisis Lifeline

The nationwide kickoff of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, operated 24/7, provides a new tool that expands the opportunities for professional counseling.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health is Health Care

#BeThere - September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Article Around MHS
9/7/2022
#BeThere infographic for Suicide Awareness Month

Suicide rates among military members continue to increase year after year.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health is Health Care

#BeThere_Marine Mark Wahlberg & Will Ferrell

Article Around MHS
9/7/2022
Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell

PSA video with Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell bringing attention to suicide prevention and promoting the DSTRESS Line and Community Counseling Centers.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Health Center of Excellence | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Mental Health is Health Care

Mental Health Office Helps AUAB Members Maintain Readiness

Article Around MHS
8/30/2022
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Melissa Leonardo smiles for photo

Comprehensive Airman Fitness is comprised of physical, social, spiritual and mental fitness. Being physically fit to fight and maintaining a war fighter spirit are crucial to completing the mission.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Spiritual Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | Depression | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Anxiety | Stress | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Mental Health is Health Care

Battalion Hosts Critical Medical Training

Article Around MHS
8/24/2022
Military personnel in combat training exercise

Allied Forces North Battalion conducted a week-long Combat Lifesaver Course July 25-29.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Education & Training | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability | Global Health Security Agenda

New Army Policy Better Enables Victims to Report Sexual Assault

Article Around MHS
8/19/2022
Military personnel at Sexual Assault Prevention Program

A new policy recently implemented by the Army is designed to help remove possible barriers that may prevent Soldiers from reporting sexual assault.

Recommended Content:

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention | Women's Health

BACH Resumes Mom & Me Breastfeeding Support Group

Article Around MHS
8/11/2022
Military medical personnel weighs newborn

Blanchfield Army Community Hospital’s breastfeeding support group, Mom & Me, has resumed in-person meetings, Mondays from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Women’s Health Clinic.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Children's Health

Cervical Cancer Screening Available at NHB

Article Around MHS
8/9/2022
Military medical personnel in cancer screening exam room

Walk-in availability for cervical cancer screening – also known as a Pap test or Pap smear – will begin at Naval Hospital Bremerton’s OB/GYN clinic, Sept. 2, 2022.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health

Yoga Shield: Building Mental and Physical Resiliency

Article Around MHS
7/27/2022
Military personnel doing yoga

More than 30 Airmen assigned to the Ohio National Guard’s 178th Wing and the Iowa National Guard’s 132nd Wing began a week-long, 60-hour yoga training program July 18 at the 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Psychological Fitness

Mind-Body Mental Fitness

Article Around MHS
7/27/2022
Mountain view

The lifestyle of active duty service members and their families comes with unique stressors that can often be compounded by living overseas. What most people don’t realize is that stress is a normal part of life. The feelings of stress are just indicators that something in our life needs attention, and even presents a possibility for positive change and growth.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Physical Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Stress | Mental Health is Health Care

August Performance Triad Month

Article Around MHS
7/21/2022
Color graphic depicting aspects of wellness.

As part of its August “P3 for All” campaign, the U.S. Army Public Health Center is encouraging all Army leaders, soldiers, family members and soldiers for life to embrace the synergy of sleep, activity and nutrition, the core components of the Performance Triad, along with the important elements of mental readiness and spiritual readiness.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | Sleep

US and Multinational Participants Visit Georgian Rehabilitation Center and Meet Ukrainian Families

Article Around MHS
7/15/2022
Military personnel accepting award

Multinational participants visit the Georgian Rehabilitation Center to not only observe Georgian rehabilitation processes and systems, but also to deepen alliances with Georgian civilian medical counterparts and witness the positive impact on Ukrainian families.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability | Psychological Fitness | Social Fitness

JBLM Army spouse combats PTSD with physical fitness

Article Around MHS
7/13/2022
Military personnel in physical training session

Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but anxiety disorders like PTSD, which affect 40 million adults, are the most common psychiatric illnesses in the U.S.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Wagging tails and smiling faces: Therapy dogs bring comfort to Medical Center staff

Article Around MHS
7/6/2022
Military personnel with support dog

Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune staff are receiving comfort and support from four-legged friends. For the past several months, Beasley the Basset Hound, has been making her rounds in her Red Cross volunteer vest, providing treats for humans in the form of pets and cuddles.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Psychological Fitness
<< < 1 2 3 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 3
Refine your search
Last Updated: April 09, 2021
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery