ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - The U.S. Army Sustainment Command G1 - Wellness Division is working to spread awareness for the different services and programs offered by their department, here.

The staff's goal is to encourage employees to lead healthy lifestyles. The staff makes recommendations and develops strategies aimed at increasing resiliency, reducing high-risk behaviors, and increasing ASC's mission readiness.

"I encourage every employee to leverage the Wellness Division to enhance their knowledge and awareness of health and wellness so they can live a healthier life," said Jim Spencer, chief, Wellness Division.

Spencer said he is confident their programs can have huge impacts on ASC's employees' lives.

"For those employees who choose to inquire - more times than not - they walk away with a completely different view of themselves. And in many cases, this rolls over into their family's lives," he said.

Soldiers and civilians have several resources available to improve their health and wellness - one of ASC's highest priorities.

The division's five major components are: the Equal Opportunity Program, the Resiliency Program, the Wellness Program, the Army Suicide Prevention Program, and the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program.

The Equal Opportunity Program is designed to ensure military personnel and their family members get equal opportunities and fair treatment regardless of their race, color, gender, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.

Civilians' equal opportunity questions and concerns are handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Office which is aligned as special staff at ASC Headquarters.

The Resiliency Program's purpose is to increase resiliency while boosting personnel's' performance through physical, psychological, social, and spiritual development, as well as through promoting positive family involvement.

According to the program's description, resiliency is "the ability to grow and thrive in the face of challenges, bouncing back from adversity."

The Wellness Program focuses on helping Soldiers, Soldiers' families, civilians and retirees increase their overall fitness and health. The program aims at improving performance and productivity while decreasing stress and other risk factors for diseases.

The Army Suicide Prevention Program is designed to minimize suicidal behavior through strategic communications, data collection, and data analysis.

The Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program focuses on teaching how to recognize sexual harassment and prevent sexual assaults while promoting a professional Army culture.

Linda Ottman, Wellness Division specialist, encourages ASC employees to try the Civilian Fitness Program, designed to help incorporate physical activity in daily routines to promote overall well-being.

"Physical activity provides personal benefits like reduced stress, improved resiliency, and boosting metabolism," Ottman said. "It can also reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes."

Ottman said she is confident that physical activity and higher work productivity are strongly related.

"Workplace benefits include a more physically fit workforce with more energy, better focus for increased work productivity and lower absenteeism," she said. "When we feel good physically and mentally, we are more productive and resilient at work."

Spencer said the employees who choose not to visit them or to attend any classes are missing out on a great opportunity to better themselves through education and practical application.

"Many of this group may have reservations about our programs because they may think we are collecting data or submitting progress reports, but we are not," Spencer said. "We are simply providing them educational opportunities to enhance their overall health and wellness in order to sustain their readiness."

Nichol Nichols, Logistics Management specialist, ASC, completed the Civilian Fitness Program and found it very helpful in reaching her health goals.

"It is a great opportunity for ASC employees to take advantage of. It encourages participants to be mindful of their weekly physical activity intake, while providing a schedule that they can chose," Nichols said. "It allowed me to reach the health goals I set for the duration of the program, by providing me extra time to work out before heading home for the day."

Nichols also found that doing physical activity helped her have more energy throughout the day and wants to make other ASC employees aware of the benefits of the program.

"I would recommend this program to someone else because it encourages you to adopt a healthy lifestyle by setting personal goals," she said.

Resources such as the Fitbit Loan Program and the Tanita Body Composition Analyzer are still unknown to many - and the G1 is hoping to spread awareness so that all ASC employees will get good use out of them.

Spencer said increased awareness of wellness or resilience is the cornerstone of building a more ready and resilient organization.

"Whether it's the SHARP, EO, Wellness, Suicide Prevention, or Resiliency Program, they all provide education and awareness on how to live our everyday lives," he said.

Spencer finds his work to be very rewarding.

"Every day in my job, I am afforded the opportunity to make a positive impact in someone's life. Every program within the Wellness Division is focused on people and making their lives better, healthier, and safer," he said.

"Helping people grow is my passion," he concluded.