JBLM hosts first ever Virtual Wellness Symposium
U.S. Army story by Staff Sgt. Kyle Larsen
I Corps Public Affairs
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (Jan. 29, 2021) – As our Department of Defense community is having to balance a lot more during this Covid-19 pandemic, I Corps and JBLM provided assistance to help alleviate some life stressors during their first ever JBLM Sound Living Virtual Wellness Symposium. The two-day event, from Jan. 27-28, was a free event designed to assist our military community build personal resiliency.
During registration attendees created their own agenda for this customizable virtual experience by selecting from 16 unique dynamic workshops. These workshops presented by experts were designed to inspire and educate attendees on personal resilience, leveraging their strengths, building positive relationships, physical fitness, nutrition, volunteer opportunities at JBLM and family wellness.
All of the sessions were fully interactive, free and open to all DoD ID Card holders to help them connect with base resources and subject matter experts based on their personal needs.
All classes were broken into various sessions, having multiple broadcasts across Microsoft Teams and Facebook Live simultaneously, creating a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ of sorts. One event that saw steady participation was the Soldier and Family Readiness Group (SFRG) Advisor Panel, which ran both days and provided tips and tricks on how units could improve their program to better serve the needs of our military Families.
Throughout the panel, leaders and SFRG advisors provided a myriad of ways to maintain a personal touch with incoming Soldiers to ensure “buy-in” to the program. They also explained how each leader, at every unit level, can foster an environment that encompasses Family and Soldier wellness.
“If they’re important to you, they’re important to us,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Ferguson, commander of the 3rd Squadron, 5th Security Forces Assistance Brigade. “If the Soldier’s important person wants to be a part of the organization and understand what’s going on in their trooper’s life, the SFRG one way we can reach out to them.”
With a program such as the SFRG, units and leaders have placed emphasis on ensuring Soldiers and their families are taken care of. The symposium also featured classes from the Department of Personnel and Family Readiness who also provide a myriad of resources available to help our community thrive and live healthy lives.
“Focus on what you can control and don’t waste your time on the things you can’t control in a relationship,” said Mallory Carmichael, a Family Advocacy Program Specialist during her course on The Three Keys to a Successful Relationship. “No one is perfect, no one’s relationship is perfect, but you can always strive for that. Everyone has room for growth, whether you’ve been married for 35 years or one year; it’s really important to keep trying and keep working on that relationship.”
As part of the symposium, the attendees received a digital swag bag consisting of resources and links to make the experience more interactive and tailored to them. To continue their wellness journey, the digital swag bag also included information on the numerous programs around the JBLM community to help continue their personal wellness journey.