The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) recognizes that mental fitness and well-being are key contributors to operational readiness. The CAF’s Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) program, an evidence-based comprehensive mental health training and education program developed over the past nine years, is designed to increase mental health literacy and enhance resilience and mental toughness to improve short-term performance and mental health outcomes.
One of the foundational elements of the program is the Mental Health Continuum Model (MHCM), developed in collaboration with the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Using the continuum as an anchor, CAF personnel are provided with education that normalizes mental health fluctuations. This helps to create an expectation of recovery and wellness, and highlights actions that individuals can take to maintain or regain their mental fitness. While the primary education delivery mode for R2MR has been classroom-based learning, recent evidence has suggested that repeated application and practice of the skills in the training environment improves retention and effectiveness. With this in mind, the CAF developed a mobile application to allow CAF personnel to adapt the R2MR instructional content to their particular roles and life situations, making it available anywhere and anytime, as needed by CAF members.
“The R2MR mobile app is an on-the-go training tool designed to complement the current R2MR curriculum,” said the CAF Surgeon General, Brigadier-General Andrew Downes. “By ensuring that training is readily available in the CAF members’ hands wherever they serve, be it Canada or abroad and in their professional role or personal life, we are striving to improve performance, resiliency and well-being for years to come.” Developing a mobile app, has improved the ability of CAF course instructors to coach mental skills in regular training activities, and improved the ability of the CAF leadership to mentor these skills through the career cycle.
The R2MR app is designed to supplement the in-classroom training by providing CAF members and their families with the means to personalize the application of the skills and integrate them in relevant daily life situations. Repeated application and practice of these skills contributes to better performance and mental health outcomes.
The R2MR app has been developed by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) in collaboration with Canadian Forces Health Services.