The Healthy Schools Health Priority Areas

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Physical Activity

Physical activity reduces the risk of serious chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Regular physical activity in children and adolescents builds healthy bones and muscles and improves blood pressure, cholesterol and cardiovascular fitness.

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Healthy Eating and Oral Health

Healthy eating is part of good nutrition. In childhood and adolescence a healthy diet is essential for growth and development, and helps prevent health issues such as iron deficiency, dental issues and obesity.

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Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental health affects every part of school life - from academic achievement to student engagement and staff morale.

With one in seven young Australians between 4 and 14 experiencing mental health disorders it is important to create positive environments that build resilience, encourage inclusivity and help everyone participate at every level.

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Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drugs

Tobacco, alcohol and drugs are linked to serious health issues including addiction and cancer. Prevention programs in childhood and teenage years, particularly for at-risk groups, can help develop behaviours that will allow people to flourish into adulthood. [ ref] Tobacco prevention is most effective when a whole school approach is taken. [ ref]

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Sun Protection

A balanced approach to UV exposure helps boost vitamin D levels, while minimising skin and eye damage, and the risk of skin cancer.

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Safe Environments

A safe environment is designed to prevent unintentional injury and to promote inclusivity. This means creating school facilities that promote healthy behaviours, comply with safety guidelines, and making sure that all students can move through your school with ease, regardless of their ability. It also means creating an environment that is free from discrimination, bullying, and harassment, and where all students and staff feel supported.

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Sexual Health and Wellbeing

Sexual Health and Wellbeing is about ensuring that all staff and students have access to appropriate education and resources on healthy relationships, confidence and healthy sexual behaviour. School policies about sexual health and wellbeing should reflect diversity and be inclusive of the whole school community.