By Christie Vanover, III CorpsJuly 18, 2012
FORT HOOD, Texas (July 18, 2012) -- A new mobile website now makes Fort Hood's Community Resource Guide accessible on a smartphone.
The resource guide contains a comprehensive list of local, regional and national resources aimed at maintaining the health of the force.
"Fort Hood has hundreds of programs available to help Soldiers, civilian employees and their families manage the complexities of military life," said Col. Matt Elledge, Fort Hood Garrison commander. "Our challenge is letting the community know what programs exist.
"This smartphone website is one more way we're able to reach out to our community in an ever-changing information environment," he said.
III Corps and Fort Hood leaders meet regularly at the Health Promotion Council to discuss trending statistics, needs of Fort Hood Soldiers and families, and solutions to improving overall comprehensive fitness.
Maggie Phillips, a Health Promotion research assistant for the III Corps and Fort Hood Health Promotion Office, said too often, people suffer because they didn't know a resource that could help them was available.
"If more people know where to go for help, it can cut down on problems before they become crises," she said.
When the Community Resource Guide was originally created in 2010, the intent was to make a hard copy book, but with more than 700 programs listed, Phillips said that wasn't practical; therefore, an online version was developed.
That version has been quite successful, averaging more than 5,500 views per month, she said, adding that the most viewed resources are for legal assistance, housing, child care, chapel services, divorce and fitness.
To reach even more individuals, the III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs Office revised the existing guide to make it accessible on any phone with Internet capabilities, and the phone numbers for most programs can be called with a simple push of a button.
"Not every Soldier has a computer," Phillips said, "but most Soldiers and junior leaders do have smartphones. As these leaders are interacting with their Soldiers, they can direct them to the right resource in an almost instantaneous manner because they have this mobile site to go to.
"It's our hope that leaders become subject-matter experts in resource referral," she added.
The resources in the guide vary from contact information to the commissary to resources to help prevent tragedies like suicide, domestic violence or sexual assault. They are intended for the diverse Fort Hood community of service members, families, civilians, retirees and veterans.
"What we really encourage people to use it for are the stressors unique to military life, like transitioning, geographic isolation, loss and grief, financial issues," Phillips said. "The health of the force encompasses a lot of things beyond just physical health. The Comprehensive Resource Guide has to be wide-ranging, in that it supports all of the pillars of comprehensive fitness."
Next, the III Corps and Fort Hood Health Promotion Office is working on a Leader Resource Guide that should be released by the end of July. It narrows down the Community Resource Guide for leaders to 12 stressors unique to military life, and those areas are sub-categorized based on some of outputs identified by a health promotion and wellness study.
Health Promotion and PAO will work to publish that guide online and on smartphones, as well. Additionally, Fort Hood is in the process of developing an all-encompassing phone app for the installation that will include the resource guide along with events, emergency alerts, news and more.
"Our services and programs are among the best in the Army, and taking care of Soldiers and Families is a top priority," Elledge said. "We will continue to find innovative ways to ensure the Families of the Great Place are taken care of."
The mobile Community Resource Guide can be viewed on any smartphone with Internet access at www.hood.army.mil/mobile/CRG.aspx. The site can also be bookmarked onto a smartphone homescreen for instantaneous access to important resources.