Women experience mental health differently than men

Are you transitioning to life after service?

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This change can be difficult. The process of transition can present mental health challenges for Veterans and their families, which may affect women in unique ways. This is something to consider as you decide whether you or your family want to access any of the mental health services VAC offers.

Here are some key factors to consider when thinking about mental health during and after transition:

In Canadian Veterans

  • Overall, the likelihood of mental health problems for Veterans is greater than in the Canadian general population.
  • Further, women Veterans released from the Regular Forces are 1.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with one or more mental health conditions compared to male Veterans.

Globally

  • Depression is the most common mental health problem for women.
  • Despite being common, mental health problems are underdiagnosed by doctors.
  • Although women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men, many women experiencing emotional distress or psychological disorders are still not properly identified or treated.
  • Depression accounts for close to 42 percent of women’s neuropsychiatric conditions. Among men, this number is about 29 percent.
  • Women are more likely to seek help from, and disclose mental health problems to their primary health care physicians, whereas men are more likely to seek specialist mental health care and are the principal users of inpatient care.

We are working to better understand the unique transition experiences of women Veterans, including mental health challenges they may face. This is important since it helps to develop resources and services that support all Veterans during and after transition.

For more information, read about understanding mental health. There, you can also learn about the resources and services available to Veterans and families.

*Note: Data included in this article were gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO) and The Canadian Armed Forces Veterans: Mental Health Findings from the 2013 and 2016 Life After Service Surveys.

Date published: 2020-01-29


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