To enhance the in-class training of the mental health training and education program, Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR), the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) launched the R2MR mobile app in early October.
The app is designed for CAF members and their families to apply the skills attained from the program in relevant, real-life situations.
“We wanted to provide a means for people to practice the skills more frequently so that they would become more habitual and essentially become better at using the skills. But also they be able to tailor the application of the skills to situations in their life that are causing them difficulties at any point in time or something that is important to them and they want to achieve,” said LCol. Suzanne Bailey, Senior CAF Social Work Officer and in-charge of the R2M2 program.
The R2M2 program, developed over the last nine years, is a mental health awareness and resiliency training program for the CAF. The program is incorporated into military leadership career courses, and elements of the program are taught to new recruits during basic training.
“Essentially it provides content that covers both prevention, so really focus on increasing mental health literacy, increasing awareness of early indicators of mental health program, and providing people with information on what they can do themselves to help manage the stress but also when they might need to seek care and what those resources are to seek care,” explained Bailey.
The program also teaches simple and effective techniques to manage a response to stress and perform better while dealing with challenging situations.
The app takes this concept one step further by allowing personnel to practice these techniques in their daily lives.
The app contains seven modules that include continuum, tactical breathing, self-talk, goal setting, visualization, attention control and memory.
Through the app, individuals can link reminders in their calendar and track their progress.
The R2MR mobile app is not just for CAF personnel, says Bailey, and in fact, people have been reporting on how their entire family has benefited from the app.
“We’re hoping that people, whether they are in the military or not, find the app useful,” said Bailey.
The R2MR app was developed by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) in collaboration with Canadian Forces Health Services.
It is available free-of-charge for Android and iOS.