Saturday, 28 September 2013

Comprehensive School Health Northern Style

This week representatives from Northern Health sat down with with SD 60 executive staff to discuss ways of improving an already solid working relationship to promote better comprehensive school health. Comprehensive School Health, or CSH, is an internationally recognized framework for supporting improvements in students' educational outcomes while addressing school health in a planned, integrated and holistic way. The CSH framework helps educators, health practitioners, school staff, students and others to work together to create an environment that makes schools the best place possible to learn, work and play. It is important to recognize that CSH does not require more work; it is just a way of working that becomes everyday practice.

CSH is built upon four key pillars. These pillars are the physical and social environment, teaching and learning, partnerships and services and healthy school policies.  Put a different way CSH works to establish patterns of healthy living,  healthy eating, healthy relationships and healthy practices.  There are benefits to improved comprehensive school health for staff, students, parents and communities. The website of Healthy Schools BC is a one-stop" access point for all healthy schools information in BC. 

The Directorate of Agencies for School Health (DASH - BC) is the umbrella organization that brings together all the partners dedicated to promoting, supporting and facilitating the creation of healthy schools in BC. The key premise of a healthy school is that healthier students learn better and that better educated students are healthier. Healthy schools, also known as health-promoting schools, work with partners from the health and education sectors, and with those from the boarder community, to help students to develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

Northern Health and SD 60 have a long history of working well with each other. It remains to be seen what improvements we can make in furthering the goals of comprehensive school health through closer and more formalized relations. Sitting down this week was a good start. Getting to know each other better and publicizing our common goals can only help in the effort to make improved school health a reality for all.

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