What is a healthy school community?
Elements of a healthy school community
A healthy school community is one that improves and protects the health of everyone.
Schools are not islands. There is no one way to achieve well being. Multiple strategies and approaches are needed.
“Promotion of health and safe behaviors among young people is part of the fundamental mission of schools” (National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2008).
What works to create a healthy school community?
Schools tend to rely on narrowly focused and time intensive interventions for troubled and troubling youth. These days, resources are sparse so in a limited way a small proportion of students are served. To serve more students and to better address the needs of all, a comprehensive approach makes sense.
Comprehensiveness is a buzzword but it really is a vision for the future. It requires developmental and holistic perspectives that are translated into a continuum of programs focused on individuals, families and the environment (Centre for Mental Health in Schools, Los Angeles).
The continuum ranges from promotion and maintenance of, for example:
- Primary prevention and early-age intervention by treating problems at onset and treatment for severe and chronic problems
- Safety at home and at school
- Physical and mental health
- Adjustment programs
- Ongoing social and academic supports
- Interventions prior to referral
- Intensive treatment
A comprehensive set of programs to address barriers to learning and to enhance healthy development can be woven into the tapestry of every school. A school can become a key element of its community. Learn more about the benefits of a healthy school community.
Resources for a healthy school community
- Wellness: A Question of Balance: A Teacher Resource
- Teens and Transition: A Teacher Guide
- Teens and Transition: A Parent Guide
See some samples from the Resources.
Vision: Every school will exemplify a culture in which the health of the body, mind, heart and spirit is valued, taught and embedded into the daily school operation.
Mission: To strengthen the capacity of schools to enhance the health and well being of their school community.
Healthy School Program, Victoria, British Columbia