Veteran Health - Assistance for Female Veterans
Today we are happy to present a guest blogger, Doug Karr, a veteran seaman with the US Navy.
Women are among the fastest growing segment of the population that are seeking health services from the Veterans Administration health services. With the current military actions occurring around the world, female soldiers are playing even more important roles in the military today. As a result, women’s health care issues have come to the forefront of health care needs.
Women and Trauma
One of the areas that health care for female veterans has received a great deal of attention is how women are affected by trauma that is different from their male counterparts. Women have higher rates of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than men; or at the very least are more willing to seek treatment for their symptoms. Unfortunately, because more women are affected by mental health distress, they are also more stigmatized and perceived by their colleagues as unable to handle the stress of being deployed in dangerous situations.
Female soldiers also are experiencing higher rates of physical trauma than ever before. Veteran’s Administration hospitals are providing services to women for traumatic brain injuries, limb loss and other severe injuries that have not been seen very frequently in the past. This is because women are more likely to be deployed to dangerous environments in the current military actions. Even though they are in support positions, they are still subject to the potential dangers that their male counterparts are exposed to and run the risk of injury.
Long Term Care
Unfortunately, one of the unaddressed issues for women veterans is often what the long term effects of military service can be for females. Recent news reports indicate that women have higher rates of homelessness, depression, PTSD and other stressors than men, especially within a few years of returning home to civilian life. Often, this is because women also hold more family responsibilities in the form of raising children and maintaining personal relationships with family.
Just like health concerns like mesothelioma and asbestos cancer that have arisen from asbestos exposure, female soldiers should be on the lookout for symptoms that can arise from events that occurred during their years of service. If a health care issue can be attributed to a service-related injury, you may be eligible for disability payments and additional health services from the Veterans Administration.
The needs of female soldiers should not be ignored or forgotten. Women have long-term health needs that are uniquely different from men. Aside from immediate health concerns upon returning home, female veterans should seek and receive health services for cardiac care, menopausal symptoms and breast cancer screenings, among others.
Special thanks to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.