By The U.S. Department of Defense, Connected Health Communications Office
Finding the right support to ease the stress of navigating daily COVID-19-related challenges can be a challenge itself.
To support the military community, the Department of Defense recently launched — My MilLife Guide.
This new program that sends text messages designed to help the military community boost overall wellness while navigating stresses related to COVID-19. The program is only available for a limited time in early 2021, and will allow service members and spouses to directly receive motivational messages and helpful resources on their phones.
My MilLife Guide was developed by one of the military’s flagship support programs, Military OneSource, in partnership with the Military Health System. From now until Feb. 12, 2021, users can opt in to receive messages four times a week, for a total of eight weeks. To sign up, service members can text “MilLife SM” and spouses can text “MilLife Spouse” to GOV311, or they can visit MilitaryOneSource.mil/texts.
My MilLife Guide starts each week with a text asking users to set a small goal, such as accomplishing a task on their to-do list or taking a small step to improve their sleeping habits. Topics covered over the course of the eight-week program include:
- Stress relief
- Sleeping soundly
- Virtual health tools
- Strengthening relationships
- Managing finances
- Getting support
- Prepping for the future
These text messages are specifically tailored for navigating the unique circumstances of service members and spouses as they aim to improve their physical and emotional health.
“We are excited to begin 2021 by offering a new way for service members and spouses to get support for easing stress and navigating COVID-19-related challenges texted directly to their phones,” said Lee Kelley, director of Military Community Support Programs for Military Community and Family Policy. “My MilLife Guide is like a portable health and wellness coach, supporting service members and spouses as they take care of themselves and their families.”
“Our service members and their families deserve the best possible care. I want to utilize all available tools to ensure their health, wellness, and readiness records are easily accessible,” said Army Col. (Dr.) Neil Page, deputy and military chief, Clinical Support Division, Medical Affairs at the Defense Health Agency. “The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that sometimes these tools are best provided through digital health services. We in the Military Health System are excited to partner with Military OneSource to provide a text-based wellness program that puts valuable resources at our beneficiaries’ fingertips, in a new and innovative way.”
My MilLife Guide participants are encouraged to provide feedback on the program. The DOD will use this insight to help inform the development of possible future evolutions of similar text-based initiatives.
Part of the DOD, Military Community and Family Policy offers a suite of programs, tools, and services – including the My Military OneSource app and MilitaryOneSource.mil – that connect the military community to resources they can use every day, from relocation planning and tax services to confidential non-medical counseling and spouse employment. These initiatives contribute to force readiness and quality of life by providing policies and programs that advance the well-being of service members, their families, survivors, and other eligible members of the military community.
Military OneSource is a DOD-funded program that is both a call center and a website providing comprehensive information, resources, and assistance on every aspect of military life. Service members and the families of active duty, National Guard, and reserve (regardless of activation status), Coast Guard members when activated for the Navy, DOD expeditionary civilians, and survivors are eligible for Military OneSource services, which are available worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no cost to the user.