How Can We Help with the Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans

Serving in the military is not without challenges. Here are some ways to specifically help with the mental health needs of women veterans.
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Help with the Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans

Like their male counterparts, women in the military need mental health support for the trauma experienced during service.

Many women veterans do not seek help because they fear backlash or comments about their ability to perform their duties.

Often, women veterans are left out of the conversation about mental health and the military.

It’s time to start changing the narrative.

Moreover, it’s time to support women veterans by helping them receive the mental health help they need to live happy and healthy lives.

Why are we focusing on Women Veterans’ mental health needs

Women Veterans experience higher rates of PTSD and mental health diseases than their male counterparts.

Women make up only 11 percent of the veteran population, but at least 30 percent of those veterans require mental health assistance.

In addition, women Veterans face many challenges that contribute to the need for mental health services.

Indeed they deal with things such as sexual trauma from service, relationship difficulties, balancing family duties and military service requirements, trauma from service-related incidents, and more.

It’s clear from the statistics above that Women Veterans need mental health assistance as much, if not more, than their male colleagues.

There is no better time to break down walls and support women veterans seeking mental health help.

How can we support the mental health needs of Women Veterans?

We can support women veterans and their mental health needs in various ways.

Here are some of the top ways to help:

First, to help,  we can increase access to mental health care.

Typically, the military and veteran services are geared toward males.

We can start supporting the mental health needs of Women Veterans by creating medical care and mental health services that assist the unique challenges that Women Veterans face.

Addressing these concerns starts by working with Women Veterans and Women Veterans groups to understand the type of care they need and the types of care they are missing. Then, doctors, therapists, and other mental health professionals can train to treat and care for the unique needs of Women Veterans.

Increasing access to mental health care and providing adequate treatment options creates a supportive community to help Women Veterans heal. The suicide rate of Women Veterans is double that of male veterans and is on the rise.

Therefore it is critical to address this issue promptly.

Second, we can increase awareness of the unique challenges Women Veterans face.

Another way to support Women Veterans’ mental health needs is by creating education and spreading awareness of the unique challenges faced by Women Veterans. Sharing Women Veterans’ stories and experiences of life in service and at home can go a long way in increasing awareness.

Spreading awareness of the struggles and experiences common among Women Veterans can break down the stigma and encourage Women Veterans who are struggling to seek help.

Increasing awareness also includes promoting groups designed specifically to support and understand Women Veterans’ challenges. A few fantastic Women Veterans support organizations include:

  • From Fatigued to Fabulous focuses on the unique problems Women Veterans face;

  • Operation Reinvent helps Women Veterans re-enter society after service;

  • Women Veterans Rock supports Women Veterans with families;

  • She S.E.R.V.E.D. Inc. connects Women Veterans with support services for mental health, employment, shelter, and more.

The first step is getting the message out and spreading the word. Share with your friends and family on social media and anywhere you can.

Volunteering with Women Veterans groups is also a great way to spread the word and learn about the types of help Women Veterans need.

Third, we can address the root causes of Women Veterans’ mental health struggles.

A third way to support Women Veterans with their mental health struggles is by addressing the root causes contributing to their trauma. By addressing and putting a stop to issues unique to Women Veterans, such as in-service sexual abuse.

An alarming number of women don’t report sexual assault because they are afraid of retaliation or want to move on. By supporting Women Veterans and encouraging them to report the assault, the military can address and work to resolve the root cause of the problem.

Another root cause of Women Veterans’ mental health struggles is bias against mothers and Women Veterans with familial duties. The struggles of re-entry magnify when single mothers are deployed. Active women service members may spend months or years away from their families and children, and dealing with the re-entry back into the home and motherhood can be very turbulent.

Developing resources and programs and actively supporting Women Veterans with families and the struggles that come along with family life can address the trauma and mental health issues that arise from long service periods and time away.

We have to start somewhere.

The first step to supporting the mental health needs of Women Veterans is to start: start by spreading awareness.

Talk to the Women Veterans in your life and your community, Volunteer to help assist them.

Take the first step to protect and support the women who sacrificed to serve this country.

Were you encouraged by what you read?

Then, would you share this article with a friend, co-worker, or family member?

Or, maybe you can send it to a friend or family member?

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Blessed wife of Randy for over 25 years, mom to two great college students, blogger, women's ministry coach, speaker and author who is amazed by God's grace-

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