mental health, military and veterans studies, women's health, self-reporting, anxiety, depression
Due to the expansion of leadership roles in the military for women, female military personnel now face stressors equal to, and yet unique from, their male counterparts. This pilot study surveyed 73 female U.S. Army officers regarding their experiences of leadership and mental wellness within the military. A mixed-methods survey was distributed via 2 private Facebook groups for female Army officers following an anonymized convenience sampling. This anonymous, patient-centered protocol was used to protect against known stigma surrounding disclosing mental health concerns in the military. Respondents were asked a series of questions including perceived mental health status and access to behavioral health services. Most respondents reported feelings of stress related to their roles as officers (86.6%). Self-reported feelings of anxiety (83.6%) and depression (65.7%) were high. In contrast, only 30.1% had ever received a formal diagnosis of anxiety or depression by a mental health professional. Our survey confirmed a large percentage, 65.7% of respondents, reported avoiding mental/behavioral health services. Female military officers are able to recognize their feelings as symptoms of anxiety and depression; however, many take active steps to hide these symptoms from their family members and senior officers and avoid seeking professional care.
Roche R, Manzi J, Bard K. A patient-centered study examining self-identification of mental health challenges among female military officers. J Patient Cent Res Rev. 2021;8:134-9. doi: 10.17294/2330-0698.1776
May 14th, 2020
September 15th, 2020