Women Veterans Health Care
Trauma-informed Health Care
VA understands that trauma may affect the lives and health of many women Veterans before, during, and after military service. VA health care staff are specifically trained to help you feel comfortable and safe at every appointment, in each exam room, and across all VA medical facilities.
We acknowledge the role that trauma may play in your life, and we are committed to providing you with safety, trust, choice, collaboration, and empowerment at every opportunity.
What is trauma-informed health care at VA?
Trauma is defined as events or circumstances experienced by an individual resulting in physical, emotional, or life-threatening harm, with adverse effects on your mental, physical, and emotional health, as well as your social and/or spiritual well-being.
Trauma-informed health care means that your provider understands and acknowledges the role this trauma may play in your life and is committed to enhancing your care by working to establish your feelings of safety, trust, choice, collaboration, and empowerment during health care visits. We pay close attention to your preferences and to the physical environment, and work to deliver care with absolute support and compassion.
How does trauma-informed care apply to my health care?
VA exam rooms are safe spaces where you may choose to let your provider know about what you have experienced. VA clinicians are trained to know how different traumatic experiences may affect your health, health care needs, and your experience with the health care system. They are particularly sensitive to traumas that may be related to military service.
Additionally, to help you feel safe and comfortable during your visits, you can request a certain gender for your provider, or request a chaperone for any visit.
Using trauma informed care principles your VA provider will explain every step of your exam, and allow you to have control so that you can stop at any point.
- If you are not comfortable coming in to VA, you can request a telehealth appointment. If you have experiences with trauma that may be affecting your health we can help connect you to the right treatment and resources.
We can also connect you with a mental health provider who can work with you on stress management, coping strategies, or to talk about the impact of trauma on your life.
Where can I find more information, help, and resources on trauma-informed care?
VA has additional trauma services and resources, including, but not limited to:
- Mental Health and PTSD
- Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
- Sexual Assault
- Intimate Partner Violence
- Racial Trauma
You belong at VA, where you have options when it comes to how you receive your care.
Call or text 1-855-VA-WOMEN to connect with care you can trust or speak with your VA health care team about your options.
The Women Veterans Call Center is your guide to women's health
If you have questions or can't find what you're looking for, you can call, text, or chat online with the Women Veterans Call Center (WVCC) at 855-829-6636 to get help and find available resources and services in your area. Trained women representatives can also help you with issues such as:
WVCC representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET, and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.
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