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On Our Minds is the name of KERA's mental health news initiative. The station began focusing on the issue in 2013, after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Coverage is funded in part by the Donna Wilhelm Family Fund and Cigna.

Trauma Treatments Developed With Civilian Women Are Helping Female Veterans


Transitioning from military to civilian life is notoriously challenging. For female veterans, the process involves several unique barriers, many that are just now being acknowledged. 

Tara Galovski, is director of Women’s Health Sciences Division National Center for PTSD and director of WoVen (the Women’s Veterans Network). She talks to Think host Krys Boyd about the research paving the way for healthy re-entry.

Galovski says many veterans enter military life at a young age — some as early as 17 — and are unaccustomed to the rhythm of civilian life when they return.

"Just the order and kind of the regimen of military service is really a completely different lifestyle than civilian life," Galovski says. "When people transition, they're transitioning across every domain of functioning typically."

While Galovski says the nation's veterans are doing well on the whole, there are promising treatments for those dealing with the aftereffects of trauma. She says some of the top evidence-based treatments for post-traumatic stress, cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure, were developed with civilian women who had experienced sexual trauma.

"So our best treatments for PTSD specifically have actually been developed with women, " she says, "and so women respond very well to those treatments."