Barriers and facilitators to mental healthcare for women veterans: a scoping review
journal contributionposted on 2023-09-01, 14:54 authored by Lauren Godier-McBard, Abigail Wood, Manjana Kohomange, Graham Cable, Matt Fossey
Background Traditionally, veteran research and support have centred on the requirements of a predominantly male population. However, as female participation in the Armed Forces increases and their roles diversify, consideration of women’s unique mental health needs is imperative. Women veterans are at greater risk of post-service mental health challenges than their male counterparts, and female mental health outcomes have deteriorated in recent years. Aims To determine the provenance of these outcomes, a scoping review considering both barriers and facilitators to female veteran participation in mental health services was conducted. Methods A review was carried out following the 2020 Joanna Briggs Institute Scoping Review framework. Twenty-four papers were identified, with all but one originating from the US. Results This research indicated that whilst women experience barriers common to male veterans (e.g. help-seeking stigma), they also experience unique gender-specific barriers to accessing mental healthcare services (e.g. lack of gender-sensitive treatment options, feeling uncomfortable) and such barriers result in under-utilization of services. Conclusions Literature indicates that consideration and mitigation of these barriers might improve access and health outcomes for women veterans. Further research is required outside the US to understand the barriers to mental healthcare experienced by women veterans internationally.
Publication titleJournal of Mental Health
PublisherTaylor & Francis
- Accepted version