Understanding the environment for health-promoting schools policies in nova scotia: A comprehensive scan at the provincial and regional school level

Anna Graham-Demello, Joshua Yusuf, Margaret Kay-Arora, Camille L. Hancock Friesen, Sara F.L. Kirk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The World Health Organization has identified the school community as a key setting for health promotion efforts, laying out its priorities in the Health-Promoting Schools (HPS) framework. This framework offers a comprehensive approach that has been adopted in countries around the globe, with defining characteristics focused around the school curriculum and environment. Nova Scotia (NS) adopted the HPS framework at a provincial level in 2005, but it has been variably implemented. We aimed to identify, categorize, and broadly describe the environment for HPS policies in NS. Four iterative steps were employed: (1) a scan of government and regional school websites to identify publicly available policies; (2) consultations with provincial departments with respect to policy relevance and scope; (3) cross-comparison of policies by two reviewers; (4) compilation of policies into an online database. Seventy policies at the provincial level and 509 policies across eight public school regions were identified. Policies focusing on a ‘safe school environment’ were most common; those addressing mental health and well-being, physical activity, nutrition and healthy eating, and substance use were among those least commonly identified. This scan provides a comprehensive overview of HPS-relevant policies in NS, along with relative proportions and growth over time. Our findings suggest areas of policy action and inaction that may help or hinder the implementation of HPS principles and values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3411
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume18
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Children’s health
  • HPS
  • Health policies
  • Health-promoting schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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