A promising approach to improve youth health status is known as the comprehensive school health program
. By definition, a comprehensive school health program
(Association for the Advancement of Health Education, 1990) is "an organized set of policies, procedures, and activities designed to protect and promote the health and well-being of students and staff which has traditionally included health services, healthful school environment, and health education.
Advocate for a comprehensive school health program
in the community.
explore[s] whether the concept of a comprehensive school health program
should be expanded to include not only school health services, school health education, and the school health environment, as well as integrated efforts of school and community agencies to improve the health of students, the school physical education program, the school food service program, the school counseling and psychology program, and school programs to protect and improve the health of faculty and staff....
Recently, the term "coordinated school health program" has been suggested as a substitute for "comprehensive school health program
." The change in terminology was intended to better distinguish the comprehensive school health program
as a program from comprehensive school health education, which relates to instruction, and to emphasize that these programs can coordinate existing school health activities and resources, without necessarily creating an entirely new program. This paper will use "comprehensive," since this terminology was in use at the time the project was undertaken.
Though such programs grew in popularity during the 1980's, renewed efforts must be made to ensure that school-site health promotion programs reach into all schools and are better coordinated with other components of the comprehensive school health program
. More and better data about the long-term impact of such programs on health status, school health care costs, and school employee absenteeism, productivity, and morale are still needed.
* define and advance the role of the school nurse in the comprehensive school health program
Washington, DC: Committee on Comprehensive School Health Programs
in Grades K-12, Division of Health Sciences Policy, Institute of Medicine, National Academy Press; 1997.
What grew from experiences like these was a respect for local decision making and the need to bring families and the entire community into the planning process for comprehensive school health programs
. The National Education Association's Health Information Network (HIN) has developed several programs for just this purpose.
They can also advocate for comprehensive school health programs
including health education, health services, counseling, and bereavement programs.
Comprehensive school health programs
give youth a "solid foundation of health information and lifetime skills." As part of comprehensive programming, students need to be taught self-responsibility.
Comprehensive School Health Programs
Assessment, School Health Policies and Programs Study, Maryland's Public School Health Education Specialist Study, and the Ohio Department of Health/Ohio Department of Education Survey (Survey of Attitudes, 1991; Girvin, J., personal communication, January 12, 1995; Journal of School Health, October, 1995; Mansky, 1991; Cottrell, R.R., personal communication, January, 1999).
These four interrelated reform efforts are described more fully in this article as current representations of teacher-centered and discipline-based reform efforts to promote the health of young people through comprehensive school health programs