Feature   Defense News

DOD Launches 'My MilLife Guide' Text Message Program to Boost Wellness

Jan. 19, 2021 | BY 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 Defense Department recently launched My MilLife Guide.

This new program 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.

A graphic banner for My MilLife Guide
My MilLife Guide Graphic
My MilLife Guide ... Your Way to Better Health
Photo By: Connected Health Communications Office
VIRIN: 210111-D-WA999-014

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
  • Self-care
  • 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."

A soldier shares a cell phone image with another man.
Photo Sharing
Army Spc. Brandon Paiz, a carpentry/masonry specialist with the 358th Engineer Company from Chambersburg, Pa., shows photos of his work in Tijucas to his father, Jorge, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Guatemala City, Guatemala, June 24, 2019. Paiz, a native of Guatemala, returned to the country for the first time in more than a decade and also met his father for the first time on the training/partnership mission.
Photo By: Army Master Sgt. Ryan Matson
VIRIN: 190624-A-LD390-014

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.