Get Started

Our resources are specifically designed to help busy clinicians implement Whole Health in their workplaces and in their own lives. Begin your Whole Health journey today!

How to Get Started

The best way to get started is by experiencing Whole Health for yourself. If you are a VA employee, log into the network and sign up for one of our highly experiential Whole Health courses (refer to SharePoint Education Hub at the bottom of this page). Otherwise, here are five steps anyone can take right now:

  1. Display the Circle of Health in your office or waiting room.
  2. Share the Brief Personal Health Inventory with a patient or coworker, and complete one yourself.
  3. Use the search bar above to learn more about a health topic you are interested in.
  4. Read about how to implement complementary and integrative health approaches in your practice.
  5. Provide a Whole Health Veteran handout to one of the next Veterans you see.

 

Whole Health Resources

Whole Health resources consist of three major components:

  • A reference guide (Passport to Whole Health)Provides an in-depth explanation of Whole Health and the various areas of the Circle of Health
  • An online curriculum (overviews, tools, and Veteran handouts): Provides the information you need to facilitate a Whole Health visit, including the latest research on complementary approaches
  • Courses (onsite and online): Offer opportunities to learn Whole Health skills and tools through a variety of educational approaches

Each component stands on its own and explains aspects of how to implement Whole Health. Everything begins with the Circle of Health and a Personal Health Inventory, which helps identify what matters most and informs what goes into a Personal Health Plan.

Circle of Health

The Circle of Health offers a visual map for Whole Health. Begin with “ME” at the center by asking "What really matters?" Then incorporate mindful awareness, self-care, and conventional and complementary approaches to achieve Whole Health.

Components of Proactive Health and Well-Being Model: The “Circle of Health” Large light blue circle that says “community”. Inside that circle is a dark blue circle that says “Prevention & Treatment” on the right and “Conventional & Complementary Approaches” on the left Inside of that is a bright green circle. Overlaid on the bright green circle are smaller white circles. Clockwise from the top they say “Working Your Body; Energy & Flexibility,” “Surroundings; Physical &Emotional,” “Personal Development; Personal Life & Work Life,” “Food & Drink; Nourishing & Fueling,” “Recharge; Sleep & Refresh,” “Family, Friends & Coworkers; Listening & Being Heard,” “Spirit & Soul; Growing & Connecting,” and “Power of the Mind; Relaxing & Healing.” At the center of this graphic is a small blue circle that says “Me.” Above the circle it says “Mindful” and below the circle it says “Awareness”.

Personal Health Inventory (PHI)

Personal health inventories gather key information about each part of the Circle of Health and help people identify which areas they want to focus on. Two important tools are the PHI (brief version) and the PHI Booklet.

Cover page of the Personal Health Inventory Booklet.

Personal Health Planning

Personal health planning supports exploration of a person’s mission, aspirations, and purpose. It can involve a Whole Health assessment (like a PHI), setting goals, and mobilizing the resources needed to take next steps.

Circle graphic divided into four equal sections. Top left quarter states

Passport to Whole Health

Passport to Whole Health is a reference manual that explains the Whole Health Approach and how to implement it into your practice. It provides resources to help you change the conversation with patients in ways that can improve their outcomes.

Front cover of Passport to Whole Health

Online Curriculum

Overviews

Overviews demonstrate how to incorporate Whole Health into clinic visits. They draw in extensive research on self-care, integrative health, and specific conditions, applying it to patient care in specific ways. Each overview begins with a patient narrative that focuses on common concerns Veterans face, and then walks through each component of the Circle of Health.

Tools

Tools are for clinicians with limited time and can be used in clinical settings. They delve into various topics in greater depth than an overview. The “Working Your Body” overview assesses different types of movement and exercise, including yoga. The tool, “Yoga: Looking Beyond the ‘Mat,’” dives deeper into the types of yoga and how yoga supports self-care. Review a comprehensive list of tools. 

Veteran Handouts

Veteran handouts cover topics related to mindfulness and the eight areas of self-care featured in the Circle of Health. The handouts are written in plain language and can be provided during a clinic visit or downloaded wherever someone has web access. A complete set of Veteran handouts can be found on the VA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation website.

Courses

We offer a variety of in-person Whole Health courses to VA employees. Since 2013, over 14,000 clinicians at VA facilities across the United States have participated in Whole Health courses. Even if there is not a course near you, you can still access PowerPoints and other courses materials for the courses listed below. You can also access free online training through the VHA TRAIN Employee Education Service (EES). TMS courses are also available for VA employees. For more information on onsite and online courses, go to the Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation website.

Want to review a list of in-person courses?