DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. --
Whether you are struggling with nutrition, hope to strengthen social connections, or just want to know what resources are available to you and your family, the Wellness Wheel is here for you! This interactive resource is available to Airmen and families on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, and went live as of June 15, 2023.
“The Wellness Wheel is a promotional tool that helps Airmen assess all aspects of their whole person wellness, highlighting both their strengths and challenges,” said Mrs. Shawn VanVessen, Dover AFB community support coordinator.
The virtual wheel includes resources and local helping agencies that strengthen different aspects of health including physical, social, financial, spiritual, personal growth, environment, and mental wellness.
“Centrally locating all of the resources makes it more convenient for Airmen and families to access what they need, when they need it,” said Kelly Dixon, 436th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron health promotions coordinator. “It takes the guesswork out of hunting down who/where to go for help when issues arise and can also serve as a tool to help others when they may be experiencing stress.”
Compiling these resources in the same area can also be used as a promotional tool for underutilized services.
“We have a great deal of resources and support available to Airmen and their families [but] sometimes people are unaware of the service,” said VanVessen. “We view the Wellness Wheel as a viable option for getting this information out to people.”
The wheel is intended to be used as a rating system, allowing users to properly gauge their performance in each area of health.
“Using the pop-up questions as prompts, [users] can also take it upon themselves to rate how they are doing in each area to assess which ones would be most beneficial for them to address,” said Dixon. “The wheel is really cool because improvements in one area can lead to positive changes in all of the other areas as well. For example, improving your environment can lead to being more physically healthy (better sleep, exercise, nutrition), whereas improving your spiritual health can elevate your social connections… and so on.”
This ‘ripple effect’ is crucial to ensuring our Airmen are prepared to meet mission requirements.
“When Airmen are taken care of, there is an increased sense of wellbeing that permeates our community,” said VanVessen. “A healthier community equals an increased ability to fulfill the mission.”
Taking care of Airmen is one of the 436th Airlift Wing priorities and something the 436th AW command team puts an emphasis on.
“The mission does not happen without our Airmen and their families,” said Col. Russell Gohn, 436th Airlift Wing vice commander. “Taking care of them will always be our priority. Supporting that effort, the Wellness Wheel removes barriers and provides all the information necessary to connect with resources across the multiple pillars of health.”
The Wellness Wheel can be accessed at https://www.doverfss.com/dafb-wellness-wheel.