Thursday, September 23, 2021

City of Southlake Adopts Health and Wellness Master Plan

City Council adopted Southlake’s first ever Health and Wellness Master Plan at the June 18 City Council meeting.

The proposed plan is an element of the Southlake 2035 Comprehensive Plan and is designed to address key components of wellness in the community.

It includes 36 recommendations across four topic areas: Built and Natural Environment, Mental and Physical Health, Age-Friendly Communities and Community Resiliency.

The plan identifies opportunities for the city to advocate for the well-being of all residents, visitors and corporate citizens as well as serve as a guide to encourage community wellness.

The road to accomplishing such a plan was a collaborative effort. The Health and Wellness Committee worked with City staff members representing each department and conducted six meetings to formulate the plan. In addition to working with City staff, the Health and Wellness Committee also received input from other City organizations such as the Southlake Kids Interested in Leadership (SKIL), the Southlake Youth Action Commission (SYAC) and the Southlake Senior Advisory Commission (SAC). Additionally, City staff met with the Carroll ISD School Health Advisory Council (SHAC).

An important component of the plan was to identify all the existing health and wellness policies, programs and partnerships in the City of Southlake, and make sure that these programs are promoted to the citizens. The City wants to provide information to the citizens on the many non-profit agencies in the area that offer these health and wellness related services.

“The City currently has partnerships and relationships with many non-profit agencies in Tarrant County that provide health and wellness related services and a recommendation of this plan is to make sure the public is aware of these organizations and the services they provide,” stated Senior Director of Planning and Development Services Ken Baker.

A draft version of the Health and Wellness Master plan is available on the City’s website at CityofSouthlake.com/HealthandWellness.

Health and Wellness Committee Open House and Presentation

The Health and Wellness Master Plan Committee hosted an open house at Town Hall on Tuesday, May 14, to present the proposed City of Southlake Health and Wellness Master Plan.

The Health andWellness Master Plan, a component of the Southlake 2035 Comprehensive Plan, is aimed to address four key topic areas to promote health and wellness in Southlake: Built & Natural Environment, Mental & Physical Health, an Age-Friendly Community and Community Resiliency.

“Although the City of Southlake currently offers programs that directly relate to serving the community in terms of health and wellness, there was not a unifying document that brought all these efforts together. This plan was developed to capture many of the important initiatives underway currently, as well as plan for the future of Southlake,” said Director of Planning and Development Services Ken Baker.

The Health & Wellness Committee made 36 recommendations, categorized by the four topic areas listed above. These four topic areas are further explained below.

Built and Natural Environment

The built and natural environment represents a broad topic, spanning from infrastructure to open space within Southlake. The built environment reflects on the benefits of sustainable building design and how building design can lead to greater overall public health. The section also discusses the benefits of nature in relation to one’s well-being, expanding this into the personal responsibility we all share as it relates to health and wellness. This section even extends into maintaining an effective vector (mosquito) control program. This section of the Health & Wellness Master Plan explores the ways our environment impacts our individual daily lives, and the steps the City can take to promote overall wellness for the community.

Mental & Physical Health

In the context of overall health and wellness, it is difficult to talk about mental health and physical health separately. This section of the plan will include continued participation in campaigns such as Prescription Drug Take-Back Day as well as encouraging community support of and access to City park facilities. Leveraging technology to support public health was also recommended such as by providing safe mobility and active transportation routes to get to City park facilities. The City will also continue to partner with groups and organizations such as S.P.A.R.K. and C.I.S.D. to provide educational workshops for parents and students on topics such as healthy cooking and eating, stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health topics.

Age-Friendly Community

This section considers that the community is made up of residents of varying ages and includes recommendations focusing on ensuring the community is age-friendly. Included are recommendations regarding the promotion of programs such as Carfit, Stop the Bleed and car seat adjustment. The section also considers the possibility of developing an age-friendly park facility or similar amenity or potentially activating City parks or other park facilities by adding an outdoor collaboration space to the public realm.

Community Resiliency

This section focuses on implementing measures to not only promote citywide resiliency but also foster a sense of personal emergency awareness and preparedness for residents. The section speaks to implementing measures that increase disaster recovery and business continuity. Among other topics, the section speaks to investing in technology that enables real-time monitoring of traffic conditions. In terms of volunteer opportunities, the plan recommends continuation of the DPS Citizens Academy or similar program, as well as potentially bringing back the City’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

The purpose of the Health & Wellness Master Plan is to establish clear goals and priorities for the next several years to encourage overall community wellness. More specifically, this plan will identify opportunities for the City to further position itself as an advocate for the well-being of all residents, visitors and corporate citizens.

The next steps for the Health & Wellness Master Plan are below. All meetings will take place at Southlake Town Hall.

  • P&Z Commission meeting – May 23, 2019 (6:30 p.m.)
  • City Council 1st Reading – June 4, 2019 (5:30 p.m.)
  • City Council 2nd Reading & Public Hearing – June 18, 2019 (7 p.m)

A draft version of the Health and Wellness Master plan is available on the City’s website at CityofSouthlake.com/HealthandWellness.