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...

inTransition PSA Blocks video

Video
6/16/2021
inTransition PSA Blocks video

This video explains how the inTransition program can help with change in military status

Recommended Content:

inTransition Videos | Psychological Fitness

inTransition Profile video: Retired Army Captain Joel Serrano

Video
6/16/2021
inTransition Profile video: Retired Army Captain Joel Serrano

Captain Serrano discusses how important the InTransition program has been for him and can be for other veterans.

Recommended Content:

inTransition Videos | Psychological Fitness

Total Force Fitness Reintroduction

Video
2/17/2021
Total Force Fitness Reintroduction

The Military Health System is reintroducing Total Force Fitness. The Total Force Fitness concept focuses on a service member’s entire health throughout their career, connecting eight dimensions of fitness to optimize health, performance, and readiness holistically.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Environmental Fitness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | Spiritual Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Social Fitness | Financial Fitness | Mobile Apps

Sleep and TBI

Video
2/8/2021
Sleep and TBI

Sleep disturbances are common for service members and veterans following a mild TBI, also known as concussion.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Provider Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Total Force Fitness

Military midwives as educators

Video
10/15/2018
Military midwives as educators

Within the military, midwives serve as educators. Kwuan Paruchabutr shares how midwives ensure that all medical staff are well trained in women's health care.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

Video
9/20/2018
What to Expect at Your First Appointment

You’ve reached out for help, you’ve found the right provider, now Kristin Gwin from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center shares what to expect at your first appointment.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Suicide Prevention | Mental Health is Health Care

Kristin Gwin, Walter Reed Social Worker Talks About Getting Help

Video
9/12/2018
Kristin Gwin, Walter Reed Social Worker Talks About Getting Help

Kristin Gwin, a Social Worker at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center understands that getting help can be an intimidating process. She offers advice on how to get started by letting a professional know you want help.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health is Health Care
<< < 1 2 3 4 > >> 
Showing results 46 - 52 Page 4 of 4
Refine your search
Last Updated: December 28, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery