What matters most to you? On the pathway to Whole Health, this is the defining question. Whole Health is about treating you, the person. We want to consider the big picture of your life, not just one symptom or challenge.

That’s why we’re encouraging women Veterans to ask themselves this question and take the first step in making health a priority. VA helps women take control of their health and build positive habits for life. By identifying what’s important, you can choose care that fits with your health and well-being priorities.

You don’t have to wait until something is wrong to focus on your well-being. Just ask Patty. After 28 years in the Air National Guard, Patty describes transitioning to civilian life and starting a new job at a VA medical center as “a little scary” and “anxiety provoking.”

“This is really an awesome benefit”

Then she learned about Whole Health. Even though she wasn’t experiencing any big health issues, she attended a Whole Health peer-led group. During a follow-up call, a Whole Health coach strongly encouraged her to meet with a provider.

“I thought, well, I’m going to get someone who isn’t familiar with what I was going to want in the civilian sector.” But to her surprise, “They were fantastic. This is really an awesome benefit for all Veterans.” Having experienced the impact of Whole Health as a Veteran and VA employee, she sees the positive impact it is having on both groups.

Each of us has the power to impact our well-being. Whole Health offers the skills and support you need to make the changes you want. It may include self-care strategies and complementary therapies such as meditation, massage, and yoga, along with your conventional medical care.

Self-care is not something you have to figure out on your own

In the Whole Health approach, you can look at all areas of your life, including areas of strength and aspects where support could be helpful to you. These areas of self-care include:

Start your Whole Health journey by exploring the Circle of Health to find self-care resources that match your needs: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/circle-of-health/index.asp

To learn more about Whole Health self care, watch VA’s #LiveWholeHealth guided meditation videos.


Story and photo by the VA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation.

Doctor in front of computer screens for telehealth appointmentsChecking on patients – 250 miles away
A car with a sign saying Thank You leads a procession of vehicles full of people showing their appreciationSC community shows appreciation for VA staff

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5 Comments

  1. Jessica Smith June 25, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Is there any consideration to build this into an app? I have struggled to find an app where you can select the number of meals, dietary restrictions, calories per meal, etc, and then select from recipes and get a consolidated shopping list. It would be cool if you could then add those recipes to a calendar for full meal planning. The app could also offer recorded and live workouts. Reading articles is helpful, but I think an easy planning mechanism would be even more helpful. Thank you!

  2. Joyce Williams June 25, 2020 at 8:05 am

    I work for a woman therapist, these practices of Whole Health is exactly what she recommends to our veteran clients to help with handling a mental issue. These practices help reduce daily stress and anxiety. Empower yourself, each step you take is a step to a stronger woman, YOU! I’m a veteran I’m joining.

  3. Kim Slininger June 24, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    I agree. Spiritual wellness is certainly missing from the equation of healing and wellness.

  4. Ebony Shider June 3, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    As a Woman Veteran I am shocked that there is nothing for homeschooling veteran moms and homemakers. Thought our health may prevent working outside the home.
    We are always on duty within our families. Let’s Think beyond just our physical health. Also raising our children is still serving our country!

  5. S W June 2, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    I’ve done some “mindfulness” exercises. The one thing that I notice is totally missing from your “whole Health” approach is spiritual awareness.

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