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The goal of the School Health standard is to achieve optimal health of school-aged children and youth through partnership and collaboration with schools and school boards.

The OPHS requires boards of health to consider a range of topics based on local need, and provide interventions aimed at improving the health of school-aged children and youth. In WEC, priorities include improving sexual health, mental health, and increasing healthy eating and physical activity amongst school-aged youth. Local public health interventions to address these priorities involve a comprehensive health promotion model that includes: public education and awareness, policy and supportive environments, and direct services.

Some examples of data related to the local priorities include:

  • Between 2005 and 2014, adolescents and young adults (15-29 years old) accounted for 72% of all cases of sexually transmitted blood-borne infections (STBBI) in WEC, and they were over 10-times more likely to have an STBBI than the rest of the WEC population.
  • Emergency department visits for intentional self-harm in WEC has increased by 29% among youth (10-19 years) between 2012 and 2017.
  • In 2015/16, only 18.8% of WEC youth (12 to 19 years of age) self-reported eating vegetables and fruits five or more times per day.
  • In 2015/16, 32.8% of WEC youth (12 to 17 years of age) were overweight or obese as compared to 23.6% of Ontario youth (based on self-reported weight and height).