In recognition of Congress declaring March as National Women’s History Month (1987), LACDMH’s Veterans Peer Access Network (VPAN) will honor all women who have served or currently serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

In 1971, women made up one percent of U.S. military and were not allowed to serve in combat or hold military occupational specialties like infantry, artillery, and combat aviation. The trajectory of women in our military has changed. In 2022, women made up around 18% of the Department of Defense’s active-duty force. Now, all jobs are open to women.

In addition to the increase of the active military women population, there are also around two million women in the general veteran population. It’s important to highlight that they have unique experiences and treatment needs. Studies suggest that women veterans experience PTSD at higher rates than men in service. The Veterans Administration screens all veterans who seek care for a history of military sexual trauma and have found that one-in-three women report having experienced military sexual trauma as compared to one-in-fifty men. Compared with their male counterparts, women also have higher rates of depression, eating disorders, and other behavioral health conditions. In 2018, the suicide rate among veteran women was 14.8 per 100,000—almost twice the rate for non-veteran women.  See below for resources available to women veterans experiencing mental health challenges and needing resources/support.




    1. Schultz, Dana, Kyleanne M. Hunter, Lauren Skrabala, and Jeannette Gaudry Haynie, Improving Support for Veteran Women: Veterans’ Issues in Focus, RAND Corporation, PE-A1363-3, September 2022. As of January 25, 2024:
    2. Military Celebrates Women’s History Month > U.S. Department of Defense > Defense Department News