Voice of Veterans: Military Mothers Face Their Own Battles

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Voices of Veterans: Military Mothers Face Their Own Battles

Thursday, November 16, 2023

6:00pm - 8:00pm EST


Presenter: Dani Koulermos, US Army Disabled Veteran, LCAT-P


This workshop is approved for 2.0 continuing education credit hours for licensed social workers, licensed mental health counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists and licensed psychologists

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Workshop Description

Moms are still a rarity in the military. The experience of motherhood in service consists of less than 7% of the US population and make up 17% of Active-Duty Military members as of 2021. The Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative presents a panel that will consist of 4 mothers who have served and/or is still serving in the US Armed forces who will being sharing their rare lived experiences. Women are the highest rising demographic in the US Military and face many adversities including physical demands, professional gender-based bias, sacrificed time away from their families, and more. Through hearing lived experiences from panelists, participants will be able to better identify barriers to healthcare and mental health services and describe multiple aspects of military culture that directly female service members and mothers in the military. Participants will be able to better understand military policy and procedures involving pregnancy and childbirth and how this impacts service members physical and mental health. Participants will be able to better understand and recognize the symptoms of Post Partem Depression and how these manifests in the female military community. Participants will learn about the current data and statistics of eating disorders within the US Military as results of vigorous physical training and specific height and body standards according to each branch of service.


Learning Objectives

After the completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify barriers to healthcare and mental health services as a woman veteran as well as while in service.
  • Describe military policy and procedures involving pregnancy and childbirth while in service.
  • Identify symptoms of Post Partem Depression.
  • Identify at least 3 statistics about eating disorders in the US Military.
  • Identify multiple aspects of military culture that directly female service members and mothers in the military

This workshop is approved for 2.0 continuing education credit hours.

NASW-NYS is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (Provider ID #0014), licensed mental health counselors (Provider ID #MHC-0053), licensed marriage and family therapists (Provider ID #MFT-0037) and licensed psychologists (Provider ID #PSY-0088).

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Dani Koulermos, US Army Disabled Veteran, LCAT-P is a prior active-duty service member who was Enlisted into US Army as a Military Police Officer in January of 2012. Dani spent 4 years in the military where she was honorably discharged serving both stateside and overseas commitments. After her service she returned to Suffolk County where she graduated with a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Art Therapy from Long Island University with a focus on PTSD from MST (Military Sexual Trauma) with dual honors. Dani continues to serve her fellow veterans in the Substance Abuse recovery path at Outreach Recovery Center working towards her clinical hours as a permit holder to complete for Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. Dani facilitates both group and individual sessions with her clients where she engages in creating a safe space for each client to process their trauma by using art as a tool for self-expression through non-verbal communication. Dani also volunteers as the Mental Health support/ Veteran Peer at the Warrior Ranch Foundation working with Veterans and First Responders as well as volunteers for MST Advocacy through the New York State Dwyer Coalition. In August 2023 Dani Koulermos was presented a proclamation of recognition from Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta as 2023 Female Veteran for her dedication and outstanding accomplishment in the areas of military duty, leadership, and community service. Dani is the president of the Northport Veteran Affairs Resource Coalition providing up to date local resources for Veterans in Suffolk County with a team of volunteers dedicated to bridging the gap of access to care for homeless veterans, transportation, and mental health support. 

Ashley Vadasz MS, RD, CDN Marine Corps is a highly decorated Marine Corps Veteran, serving in the military from 2006 to 2012 and earning the rank of Sergeant (E-5). Ashley served as an intelligence analyst and contributed to two combat deployments with II Marine Air Wing, Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS-274). During her time in Al Anbar, Iraq (2008) and the Helmand Province, Afghanistan (2010) she performed all source intelligence analysis, including daily combat patrols briefs and debriefs to disseminate all pertinent information in the larger picture of combating terrorism. She constructed and disseminated daily intelligence reports that identified threats, linkages, and patterns to forecast the threat capabilities of individuals and organizations. Ashley also served on the elite Female Engagement Team (FET) in Afghanistan. Ashley had her only son, Kai, while she was serving on active duty. She left a son at a mere six months old, to serve her second tour in Afghanistan. She believes, her title of a ‘mother’ was truly the deepest form of connection with the local Afghani women while serving on the FET team. After serving her country, she went on to earn an undergraduate degree from Long Island University in nutrition and dietetics with a minor in psychology and a master’s degree from Stony Brook University in integrative and functional nutrition. She currently works as Registered Dietitian (RD) in private practice specializing in eating disorders and sports performance. She has a special interest in how eating disorders are developed and perpetuated within military culture. Additionally, she serves as the dietitian for a team of firefighters and the Department of Energy (DOE) Brookhaven National Lab in Upton, New York.

Alyssa Gibbons, LCSW-R, BCD graduated from UNC Charlotte with her MSW in 2003 and has been in clinical practice since June 2003. She has worked with a variety of populations, mainly adults in various stages of recovery from MH/SUD issues. She served 6 years as an active duty Navy Medical Service Corps Officer from 2009 – 2016 as a social worker. She currently works for the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center in outpatient substance abuse and has a passion for spirituality as a recovery focus.




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November 16th, 2023 from  6:00 PM to  8:00 PM
Event Fee(s)
NASW-NYS Member $0.00
NASW Other Chapter Member (Including NYC) $0.00
Non-Member $0.00
NASW-NYS Student and Transitional Member $0.00