Mental Health

The gender dimension of mental health is related to the power and control that women and men have over the factors affecting their psychological well-being. Gender-specific risk factors for common mental disorders that disproportionately affect women include gender-based violence, socio-economic disadvantage, low income and income inequality, low or subordinate social status and unremitting responsibility for the care of others. Gender differences occur particularly in the rates of common psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and sleep disorders – areas in which women suffer more than men. Studies show gender bias among physicians in the diagnosis, treatment and prescription of mood-altering psychotropic drugs. Women’s high exposure to sexual violence makes them more prone to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). More research is needed to develop effective prevention campaigns and services and to make treatment more gender-sensitive and readily available.

Review of Combat Stress in Women Veterans Receiving VA Health Care and Disability Benefits

As directed by the Conference Report to Accompany the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-117), we conducted a review to assess the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) capacity to address combat stress in women veterans. We assessed women veterans use of VA health care for traumatic brain injury (TBI), post­ traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health conditions, and whether the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) properly adjudicated women veterans’ disability claims for these conditions.
URL: 
http://www.va.gov/oig/52/reports/2011/VAOIG-10-01640-45.pdf

Self-Inflicted Deaths Among Women With U.S. Military Service: A Hidden Epidemic?

Prospective analyses of National Health Interview Survey and National Death Index data found an adjusted risk of suicide among male veterans twice that of nonveteran males (1). That study also examined data for 11 female veterans and 246 female nonveterans who completed suicide and found that women with past military service were more likely to complete suicide (adjusted hazard ratio=3.62, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.95–6.73)

URL: 
http://www.mentalhealthportland.org/?p=7725
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