My Coast Guard
Commentary | Dec. 14, 2021

The Total Force Wellness Assessment Tool: How are you doing…really?

By Tim Merrell, Health Promotion Program manager

“How are you doing?” This is a question that we often ask others. However, many of us do not often take the time to reflect on how we are doing personally. This necessary self-analysis is one reason the Office of Work-Life, Behavioral Health (CG-1111) collaborated with stakeholders to produce the Total Force Wellness Assessment Tool. This resource is both a confidential self, and unit assessment tool, to assist in determining how members are coping in a variety of domains that may also affect their readiness. It is completely anonymous and can be used on any platform, and is even accessible on a smartphone or a home or work computer.

Several years ago the Joint Chiefs of Staff consulted with chaplains, medical and dental officers, behavioral health providers, and soldiers, and sailors from all of the services. Collectively, they determined that there were eight domains (listed below) that affected a member’s readiness.  

  • Behavioral
  • Physical 
  • Medical & Dental
  • Social
  • Environmental
  • Nutritional 
  • Physiological
  • Spiritual 

The Coast Guard added two other domains: Financial and Resilience; together, these 10 areas became the basis for the assessment tool. The assessment tool consists of 10 simple questions in each of the above domains and takes about 20 minutes to complete. 

“It is different than other assessments and surveys like the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) Survey, because you will receive immediate feedback with resources to improve your life,” said Tim Merrell, the Health Promotion Program manager. “If the tool indicates difficulty in one of the domains, it can likely make one aware of the possibility of it affecting the other domains, as well as, that person’s overall holistic wellness,” he added. “This resource is different from the Periodic Health Assessment because it is completely confidential and nothing is put into your medical record, allowing you to be totally honest with yourself.”

“The information provided by this tool not only helps individuals, it also provides leadership with a holistic assessment of how their unit is doing, in ‘real time’ from an aggregated report,” said Christiana Montminy, Employee Assistant Program manager and co-creator of the tool. “This self-assessment tool can be used by all members within the Coast Guard community—active duty, reserve, civilians, and even dependents.”

If you, your unit, or your division have more than 10 people assigned, the group may benefit from this resource; a specific URL and a customized and aggregated report can be created for your unit after people complete the assessment. The Office of Work-Life can provide assistance in addressing concerns that may have been identified.   

Here is the link to the Total Force Wellness Assessment for your use and to prompt you to ask yourself, “how am I really doing?”  

For questions or more information, contact Tim Merrell.