A school health initiative is a collaborative effort to improve access to school-based health and behavioral health care services and comprehensive family supports; build comprehensive services to better support students at-risk for school failure; and create a sustainable, integrated, and effective regional system of care to support students and their families.
While every school and community we work with is unique, we have identified a framework that is essential to the impact and long-term stability of school heath initiatives.
School health initiatives are powerful because they go beyond single programs; they coordinate the relationships and resources of a community towards a shared vision—healthy students learn better. Combining the expertise and resources of the health and education sectors has proven to be a successful strategy in addressing disparities and creating equitable opportunities for all young people to succeed. In other words, school health works!
How it works
To successfully start and/or sustain a school health initiative, start by creating a roadmap and an action plan. A robust action plan includes meaningful engagement with diverse stakeholders, viable strategies, political savvy, and financial sustainability. Our ongoing process to launch a new initiative, or to reboot and strengthen an existing one, involves five stages:
1) Gather Champions
2) Understand Assets and Needs
3) Create a Blueprint
4) Do What Works
5) Celebrate and Improve