Skip to Content

Women’s Mental Health

The Bedford VA is fortunate to have a robust women’s health program, staffed with a mental health psychiatric nurse practitioner with expertise and a VA certification in reproductive mental health, Dusty Behner, PMHNP-BC.

Dusty

Dusty Behner MSN, PMHNP

Nurse Practitioner

VA Bedford health care

Phone: 781-824-1515

Email: jessica.behner@va.gov

Preceptor: Dusty Behner, MSN, PMHNP

The Bedford VA is fortunate to have a robust women’s health program, staffed with a mental health psychiatric nurse practitioner with expertise and a VA certification in reproductive mental health, Dusty Behner, PMHNP-BC. NP residents will work closely with the women’s mental health nurse practitioner in the delivery of mental health services to female-identified Veterans who are involved in a spectrum of mental health programs at our facility (PCBH, MHC, Mental Health Intensive Case Management, Primary Care). NP residents will complete the VA training in women’s reproductive mental health psychiatry during this rotation and gain knowledge and skills in the evaluation and treatment of various women’s mental health concerns. NP residents will work closely with the women’s mental health social worker and psychology practicum students and may have the opportunity to become involved with program development and co-facilitation of women’s mental health specific psychotherapy groups, as well as train in cognitive behavioral therapy for menopause. NP residents may also join women’s health primary care teams and gynecology team huddles for collaboration.

  • Demonstrate proficiency in evaluation and treatment of women’s’ reproductive mental health concerns, including reproductive trauma, PMDD, infertility and perinatal loss, postpartum psychosis, mental health concerns during perimenopause, breast and gynecologic cancers, as well as depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, bipolar disorders, eating disorders, OCD, and PTSD during pregnancy and postpartum.
  • Understand the risks and benefits of psychotropic agents during pregnancy and lactation as well as the risks of untreated mental health conditions, assist with patient education and engage in collaborative, patient-centered decision making with respect to psychiatric medication management in the pre-conception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the provision of medication management services to a panel of female-identified Veterans under the supervision of women’s mental health NP.
  • Understand the biological, cultural, and behavioral factors that can influence the mental health needs and recovery of women Veterans.
  • Understand the influence of sex, gender, and reproductive cycle stages on women’s’ mental health.
  • Collaborate closely with women’s health primary care providers, gynecology providers, women’s mental health social worker and social work intern.
  • Complete women’s reproductive mental health training program and obtain VA certification by the end of rotation.
  • Complete training in cognitive behavioral therapy for menopause and provide group and/or individual therapy to Veterans in this modality.
  • Utilize resources including women’s mental health consult program, mothertobaby, lactmed, and specific women’s mental health screening tools including the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, Daily Record of Severity of Symptoms (DRSP), and Premenstrual Symptoms Screening Tool.
  • Identify care specific to populations identifying as female and elevated risks for suicide amongst non gender conforming and LGBTQIA+ veterans