The OHSC is a dynamic and innovative coalition supporting ‘Healthy Schools’ for the optimal health and learning of Ontario’s children and youth.
We are an Ontario-wide, broad-based coalition, with members from public health units, school boards, hospitals, mental health agencies, universities, health-related organizations, education-related organizations, and parent and student organizations.
Our vision is that every child and young person in Ontario will be educated in a ‘healthy school’. A ‘healthy school’ promotes the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of the whole school community and constantly strengthens its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working.
Mission: In partnership with key stakeholders who are committed to promoting the health and learning of the children and youth of Ontario, the Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition (herein referred to as "the Coalition") endeavours to:
- Raise awareness of the benefits and need for healthy schools
- Build the knowledge base and capacity for implementation of a healthy schools approach
- Promote inter-ministerial coordination to support healthy schools
- Influence policy development and the provision of adequate public funding for healthy schools
- Provide a forum to share healthy schools initiatives and best practices across health, education and related sectors.
With the leadership of the World Health Organization in spearheading a Global School Health Initiative, many countries have embraced comprehensive approaches to school-based health promotion, including 43 European countries, Australia, the United States, and Canada. These comprehensive approaches are known under a variety of names, such as Comprehensive School Health (CSH), Health Promoting Schools (HPS), and Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP).
OHSC contributed to the creation of the Ontario framework Foundations for a Healthy School that is based on Comprehensive School Health (CSH). The framework encourages all stakeholders to ensure that students have high-quality instruction and programs, a healthy physical environment, a supportive social environment and access to health and other needed resources and services through community partnerships.
OHSC emphasizes increasing the involvement of students, parents, education staff and communities in action around health issues, as well as creating conducive policies at all levels — provincial ministries, school boards and in local schools. The OHSC is dedicated to promoting the full implementation of the internationally and nationally supported ‘healthy schools’ concept across Ontario, through awareness-raising, capacity-building, knowledge-exchange of successes and best practices, and influencing policy development and funding.