The Defence Team Total Health and Wellness Strategy

The Defence Team Total Health and Wellness Strategy

The strategy is the first of its kind at Defence and represents a renewed and integrated approach to the care for Defence Team members and their families.

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This new strategy is consistent with the Government of Canada's commitment to support the health and well-being of the Defence Team as set out in its defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged , and includes the important work being done to end sexual misconduct, systemic racism, harassment and discrimination, as well as efforts to support diversity and inclusion.

Total Health and Wellness Strategy

The strategy is designed to empower the institution, leaders, and Defence Team members with the tools they need to improve their health and well-being.

Video / March 4, 2022



Narrator 1 – Samantha Scott

The Defence Team Total Health and Wellness Strategy – it’s the first of its kind and represents a renewed way that Defence Team members are cared for… but what exactly is it and how does it help us?

Narrator 2 – Esrom Tesfamichael

First off, this isn’t just another strategy. It’s about us, and for us. Our Military Members; Military Families; and Civilians who support Defence.

Narrator 1 – Samantha Scott

It’s an investment in Defence’s most important resource – its people. We’re invested in creating a better workplace for all of us. A workplace that supports a healthy lifestyle by helping us find a balance between our:

  • work lives;
  • personal lives; and
  • individual health

Narrator 2 – Esrom Tesfamichael

So, what does this really mean for us?

Point 1

Narrator 1 – Samantha Scott

The goal of the strategy is to improve OUR work environment. We all have the right to be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness in the workplace. That’s why we are adding more personnel to strengthen our efforts to eliminate harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour. We have also introduced the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Centre of Expertise. This initiative will increase the support services offered to Defence Team members, and also support research and training.

Point 2

Narrator 2 – Esrom Tesfamichael
The strategy will also support families. Military families are the “strength behind the uniform”. That’s why we are expanding Military Family Resource Centres to:

  • reduce wait times for mental health services,
  • provide family access to tele-medicine, and
  • improve access to counselling services.

Point 3

Narrator 1 – Samantha Scott

Our personal health and fitness is not only critical in meeting operational requirements, but it’s also key to ensuring lifelong wellness. The strategy aims to help us build resilience and maintain our fitness and health. That’s why we are improving the accessibility and effectiveness of our health care services. We’re investing in additional occupational therapists, nurse case managers, and 8 new Office of Disability Management locations.

Point 4 & 5

Narrator 2 – Esrom Tesfamichael
Finally, the strategy will remove barriers to care, giving us the freedom to raise health and wellbeing concerns in a stigma-free environment. That’s why we are investing in increased outreach and training in areas of mental health, continuous wellness assessments, and improving programs and initiatives.


Narrator 1 – Samantha Scott

These are just the first steps in making long-term improvements in our health and wellness.

Narrator 2 – Esrom Tesfamichael

While leadership has a particular responsibility for improving the workplace, only by working together can we create the healthy conditions necessary to achieve our individual and collective potential in support of the Defence of Canada.

Narrator 1 – Samantha Scott

Visit the link in the description to learn more about the services and programs that are here to help us achieve a state of total health….and wellness.

Message from the DM and CDS

Supporting the Total Health and Wellness of the Defence Team: a message from the Deputy Minister and Chief of the Defence Staff.

Reports and Publications

Health and wellness resources for Defence Team members

Defence Team members can access a variety of resources and information to help maintain and improve our mental health and overall personal well-being.

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