Healthy Students: Intervention strategy of regione Toscana to promote well-being in schools

18 November 2014

This document describes the course which the Department of Health of Tuscany Region, has outlined and launched to promote the health and well-being of young people in the school. Starting from the theoretical principles set forth by the World Health Organisation and the European Union, regional guidelines have been identified for all those present in the area who are interested in undertaking actions aimed at promoting health within the school. The actions which the Regione Toscana promotes are aimed at making young people the “protagonists of their health” and helping them develop skills which allow them to deal with all the health problems they may face during their life.

The main aims of this work are:

  • to increase the physical, mental and social wellbeing of young people through the development and strengthening of personal and interpersonal skills that are useful for positively managing relationships between the individual and others;
  • to involve young people in health policymaking through consultation to ensure that they are represented in both formal and informal moments;
  • to promote the participation of teachers and young people in defining intervention programs to increase their well-being, also through the creation of shared educational tools.

For children, the school is one of the most important environments of life: they spend many hours there and develop most of their interpersonal relationships with peers and the adult world in this organizational structure.

It is clear that children live some of the most formative experiences of their existence at school; for this reason it is fundamental to offer them the opportunity to become knowledgeable and responsible citizens through focused wellness promotion programs.

The success of the collaboration between the scholastic world and healthcare requires the adoption of a common language, a shared planning of common interventions, methods, and work instruments, and a solid complicity with teachers trained ad hoc and motivated to exercise their role according to educational strategies that are more challenging than the ones normally implemented.

In fact, teachers play a fundamental role in this promotional process because they are in direct contact with the final recipients of our actions.  This means offering, also to the educators, methodological and operational instruments that facilitate the exercise of their important role.  This approach also allows the understanding and accompaniment of the physical, psychological and social changes that characterize, in a particular way, adolescence, and that can degenerate into discomfort and risky behaviors.

This is the work that the Department of Health of the Tuscany Region, through the Local Health Authorities, promotes and supports for the wellness of young people, firmly believing that investing in them is extremely important for creating a responsible, conscious and healthy society.

For more information, contact Serena Consigli