Scott Air Force Base News

Women & PTSD—an ever concerning issue

The topic of women and PTSD with a focus on veteran care will be discussed at the Women and PTSD event scheduled for noon Feb. 23 at the Scott Medical Group, Deltgen Auditorium.
The topic of women and PTSD with a focus on veteran care will be discussed at the Women and PTSD event scheduled for noon Feb. 23 at the Scott Medical Group, Deltgen Auditorium.

Women are the fastest growing veteran population in the United States.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, women comprise 9 percent of the veteran population but that number is projected to increase to greater than 30 percent by the year 2030.

The topic of women and PTSD with a focus on veteran care will be discussed at the Women and PTSD event scheduled for noon Feb. 23 at the Scott Medical Group, Deltgen Auditorium. Col. Laurel “Buff” Burkel, Air Force Wounded Warrior Ambassador, will be the featured guest speaker.

As the number of women in the military has grown, they are filling a greater variety of expanded roles such as combatants. In the 1990s, more than 40,000 women were apart of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, serving in war zones as part of missile crews and aboard U.S. Navy ships.

The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services reported in 2015 that close to 300,000 females have been deployed overseas in support of combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, directly supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

With such a large number of females being deployed in combat zones, there are gender disparities related to physical health conditions, mental health issues, environmental exposures, and socioeconomic factors that can contribute to female veterans’ vulnerabilities. Many health conditions, if recognized in a timely manner, can be improved and shift the health trajectory.

Clinicians play a critical role in identifying health risks and helping female veterans start the journey towards wellness. There is increased attention for female veterans with specific mental health and emotional needs.

Many of these female veterans suffer in various ways related to their time in service. Studies recommend community solutions where local organizations coordinate and connect female veterans to available reintegration services, especially mental health assessment, support, and treatment.

There is a need for increased support and action for female veterans regarding post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health services. In the United States there are 20 veterans committing suicide every day. A female veteran’s risk for suicide is six times higher than women that have not served in the military.

Many of these female veterans suffer in various ways related to their time in service. Studies recommend community solutions where local organizations coordinate and connect female veterans to available reintegration services, especially mental health assessment, support, and treatment.

The topic of women and PTSD with a focus on veteran care will be discussed at the Women and PTSD event scheduled for noon Feb. 23 at the Scott Medical Group, Deltgen Auditorium. Col. Laurel “Buff” Burkel, Air Force Wounded Warrior Ambassador, will be the featured guest speaker.

A panel of Veteran Affairs members, Wounded Warrior advocates, medical professionals, mental health, and female veteran advocates will also discuss challenges related to identification, treatment, and services available to female veterans.

The goal of the event will be to improve awareness of healthcare delivery and discuss the significance of PTSD on female veterans. To provide the most benefit to female veterans, it is crucial to deliver the correct options at the appropriate timeframe.

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