School Health

School health issues relate to the Population Health Approach which have been adopted by Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The Approach concentrates on aspects and conditions of people’s lives that affect their health, known as the determinants of health. These include things such as income, education, and the social and physical environments of where people live, learn, work and play. By focusing on these determinants, we are able to address the root causes of poor health and have a positive effect on health outcomes of Canadians.

One determinant that is of particular importance for children’s health is the school environment. Since most spend the majority of their day in school, this setting has the potential to contribute to the overall health of children and youth. At school we can teach students about good health behaviours and make changes in their surroundings to encourage positive health outcomes. This can include offering healthy food choices, promoting physical activity, encouraging positive relationships with teachers and their peers, and putting school policies in place that support good health.

What is PHAC’s role?

The Government of Canada recognises the importance of the school environment in affecting the health of young people in this country. PHAC supports the Joint Consortium for School Health (JCSH) and its efforts in promoting the health and well-being of children and youth through the Comprehensive School Health model. PHAC also supports research on school health, including the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study.

What information will I find here?

This section will provide detailed information on initiatives related to school health that are supported by PHAC, including the JCSH and the HBSC study. You will also find a description of what “Comprehensive School Health” is and how it works. The section includes information on the Voices and Choices programme and work done by PHAC to support the establishment of the World Health Organization’s School Policy Framework on school health.

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