Women's Health Portal

 Mental Health and Substance Abuse for Women

Last Updated: November 19, 2018
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Knowing how to successfully navigate stressful times is a vital skill.  These resiliency resources provide a variety of information related to managing stress and improving one's ability to endure hardship.

Boosting Resilience through Spirituality External Link (non-government) Experiences such as traumatic events during your military career can lead to questioning your values and trying to make sense of what happened. Spirituality can help you cope by connecting you to something bigger than yourself. For some, it may be a relationship with your unit, family or nature. For others, it may be a relationship with a Higher Power and religious practices. However you express it, spirituality can create values and beliefs to give life meaning.

Counseling Services Military OneSource  External Link  (non-government) Sometimes strength means asking for help. Military OneSource connects you  or immediate family members  to that needed help, whether it involves spouse education and career opportunities, matters specific to families with a member with special needs, financial and tax counseling or other important issues. Military OneSource offers a call center and online support to connect you to the program or professional to make sure that you receive the assistance you need. Military OneSource is available 24/7 online and by telephone. No matter where you serve or live, you always have support.

Combat & Operational Stress Control (APHC) Combat is more stressful than any training. Security and support operations can also involve heavy stress, even without combat. Mental and physical fitness will help you endure the stress of combat and military operations.  The day-to-day stress that comes with stability and support operations (SASOs) can at times be as bad as that of major combat.  Emotionally distracted Soldiers can endanger the mission, the unit, and themselves. Knowing how you can help yourself, the Soldiers in your unit, your battle buddy, or your family members is important. Often, just talking to a friend, leader, or health professional who listens, tries to understand, and praises their strengths, is all people need to find their own answers. This link provides resources and useful tools to help if someone you know is in distress.

U.S. Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign External Link  The Army provides Ready and Resilient (R2) capabilities to Commanders and Leaders to enable them to achieve and sustain personal readiness and optimize human performance in environments of uncertainty and persistent danger.

Substance Abuse & Dependency

Alcohol and drug abuse often leads to addiction, which can severely damage your life and your career. The following links provide information on drug and alcohol abuse prevention resources.

Alcohol and Substance Misuse (APHC) Alcohol and Substance Misuse is a key component of public health and also a top National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy External Link. One of the focus areas of prevention is to lead a healthy lifestyle.  This strategy encourages avoiding or stopping risky behavior to help you get healthy and stay healthy.  The alcohol section of this link includes drinking levels, excessive alcohol use, drinking problems, and more.  The medication section of this link  includes information on over-the-counter medication and resources.

Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)  External Link The primary goal of the ASAP website is to provide soldiers, commanders, ASAP personnel, Unit Prevention Leaders (UPL) and all other members of the Army community with an informative, user-friendly online environment. Those utilizing the site have access to a multitude of information on our Biochemical (drug) Testing Programs, Risk Reduction Program (RRP), Soldier Assistance Program (SAP), Employee Assistance Program (EAP), alcohol and drug abuse prevention training materials, as well as general information about our Agency.

DoD Tobacco Cessation Program: UCANQUIT2 External Link  UCanQuit2, a U.S. Department of Defense program, is an educational campaign for the U.S. military. Launched in February of 2007, the mission of the campaign website is to help U.S. service members quit tobacco—for themselves and for the people they love. The UCanQuit2  website provides the opportunity to learn more about tobacco cessation, develop a plan for quitting, and get help around the clock. You can get answers about quitting tobacco, signup for a texting program that provides daily motivation, or join us on social media to chat with others who are working to become tobacco free.

American Dental Association (ADA) Meth Mouth  External Link (non-government) ADA provides information on how methamphetamine use affects dental health. 

Suicide Prevention

Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously. The following resources promote suicide awareness and provide information on effective suicide prevention strategies.

Army Suicide Prevention Program (ASPP) External Link As an integral component of Army’s Ready and Resilient Campaign (R2C), ASPP improves readiness of the Army through the development and enhancement of Army Suicide Prevention Program policies, training, data collection and analysis, and strategic communications designed to minimize suicide behavior; thereby preserving mission effectiveness through individual readiness and resilience for Soldiers, Army Civilians and Family members.    

2020 Army Strategy for Suicide Prevention External Link In attempt to reduce suicide rates in the Army, the 2020 Suicide Prevention Strategy will attempt to shift its culture by increasing the emphasis on leader involvement to protect and promote life. Leaders become better prepared when they are educated and equipped with the policies, programs, and training to promote a healthy climate and reduce risky behavior in the Force. The key elements of the Army's approach are:

  • Leaders at all levels, from Senior Mission Commander to squad leader, sustain a visible and active focus on Soldier, Army Civilian, and Family issues impacting resilience and Health of the Force
  • Increased emphasis on health promotion, resilience building and risk reduction to promote suicide prevention.
  • Improved education, awareness and intervention. 
  • Enhanced access to quality behavioral health care.
  • Increased screening and documentation of risk indicators that may lead to suicide including all traumatic brain injuries.
  • Improved leader awareness of high risk behavior.

CDC Weekly (May 2013) External Link From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate for women increased 31.5%, from 6.2 to 8.1. Among women, suicide rates increased with age, and the largest percentage increase in suicide rate was observed among women aged 60–64 years (59.7%, from 4.4 to 7.0).

Suicide Prevention Resources (APHC) Information on stress control, sexual assault, social work, suicide prevention and workplace violence.

Tobacco Use

Women and Smoking: A Winnable Fight External Link Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and premature death in the United States and the risks associated with smoking are even higher in women.  Check out this recent article about women's Winnable Fight against smoking.

Smoking and How to Quit External LinkThe US Department of Health and Human Services has compiled a useful collection of Women's Health information and resources about smoking and how to quit. Different women need different resources as they try to quit.  The information on this site provides tobacco cessation support for the long and short term.

Rising E-Cigarette Use Tied to More Smoking Teens External Link (non-government) Teens who have tried electronic cigarettes may be more likely to smoke regular cigarettes, according to the authors of a new study.

Tobacco-Free Living (APHC)  Since tobacco use is both a readiness and a health issue, it is important to provide effective interventions to become Tobacco Free.  Tobacco-Free Living benefits the military community as a whole because tobacco-free individuals are stronger, healthier, and better able to perform their mission and responsibilities.  Being tobacco-free also benefits each person by giving them an opportunity to maintain a healthier lifestyle and decrease the health risks associated with tobacco use.  Tobacco-Free Living initiatives implemented across the enterprise support a tobacco-free community and promote the health and personal readiness of military personnel, family members, retirees, employees, and patients/patrons on MEDCOM campuses.