The Wellbeing Coalition of Westfield announces next steps, projects

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After several months of collaboration, the Wellbeing Coalition of Westfield leaders have  released the organization’s next steps in the community. The coalition was announced during State of the City in January.

A joint effort between the Hamilton County Community Foundation, Westfield Washington Schools and the City of Westfield, the coalition’s mission is to improve well-being across many avenues of health – mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual – by improving community-wide processes, resources and training opportunities.

The coalition identified six projects it plans to address this year and in 2020.

“We have spent the last four months collaborating, talking, ideating about what the Wellbeing Coalition is and is going to be,” said Vicki Duncan Gardner, City of Westfield director of communications.

Projects include resource awareness, community voice, web of support, first responders, youth/family mental health and a sustainable business model.

Resource awareness

Although there are resources available in the community to improve well-being, many people aren’t aware of them.

“We did a lot of work identifying programs and resources in the community for people around well-being,” Duncan Gardner said. “We are going to launch a website and have these items readily available for people to access.”

Community voice

Kyle Miller, the coordinator for social and emotional learning at Westfield Washington Schools, said the project will focus on listening to community members and will work to gather residents’ input and their voice on different indicators of well-being.

“We will really be asking, ‘How are you doing?’ and listening to that,” Miller said.

The project is modeled after a similar program in Santa Monica, Calif. 

Web of support

The project addresses the importance of connections to overall health.

“The more connected you are, the higher your well-being. The more connected you are to other people, when that happens your overall well-being does increase,” Miller said.

First responders

The project will kick off with several meetings this week.

“The city is kind of championing this,” Duncan Gardner said.

The city communicated with the City of Fishers to learn more about what Fishers is doing with first responders and mental health issues.

“What are our gaps, how can we support the paramedicine program to do what it’s doing and even more?” Duncan Gardner said. “Maybe training them on grief counseling, crisis intervention training for the fire department.”

Youth/family mental health

“We are looking at expanding partnerships within WWS to provide equitable access to mental health services within a school-based model, so any student will be able to access the level of care they might need in a school-based setting,” Miller said.

Sustainable business model

Hamilton County Community Foundation board member Tonya Harvey is the project leader.

“This is basically creating a sustainable business plan for this organization because we know as society changes, we must change as well,” she said. “There is never an end to this because we are always going to be chasing well-being.”

The project will look for ways to leverage relationships with groups such as the Hamilton County Community Foundation. The project also will examine grant opportunities for local nonprofits. 

“This is not just a new city program, this is a community-wide effort,” Duncan Gardner said. “The schools, the city, we are just helping get it started. This needs to be owned by the community for it to be successful.”

Anyone interested in helping with the coalition can email wellbeingcoalition@westfield.in.gov.

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