“A Hidden Community”: The Experiences of Help-Seeking and Receiving Mental Health Treatment in U.K. Women Veterans. A Qualitative Study
Campbell GM., Williamson V., Murphy D.
Women veterans are often underserved in both the research into and provision of mental health treatment. This study explored women veterans’ experiences of mental health difficulties, help-seeking, and treatment provision. Semistructured telephone interviews with 19 U.K. women veterans who met criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder were conducted and Reflexive Thematic Analysis was used in analysis. Three superordinate themes encompassing participants’ experiences were developed: (a) attitudes toward mental health and help-seeking; (b) the need to acknowledge the uniqueness of women veterans; and (c) the structural elements of care provision. The findings indicate that women veterans have additional gender-specific challenges and needs concerning tailored pathways into help and support, as well as the environment and modality of treatment delivery, as distinct from veteran men.