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School Health Advisory Councils

School Health Advisory Councils, or School Wellness Councils, bring together individuals from the school and community to address issues affecting the health of children, youth and families. The CDC has identified risk factors affecting youth; within the framework of coordinated school health, School Health Advisory Councils work to reduce these risk factors in various ways. The members work cooperatively to identify risk factors of youth in their school, make recommendations and provide leadership in coordination of health promotion activities and events.  

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Membership of School Health Advisory Councils can consist of the following sectors of the community:

  • Social service agencies
  • Businesses
  • Churches
  • Schools
  • Local governments
  • Citizens
  • Youth
  • Health care systems

The following are just a few of the benefits of a School Health Advisory Council:

  • Improved student performance and attendance
  • A vehicle for community members and schools to collaborate in creating a health-promoting environment
  • A forum for sharing information and utilizing community resources
  • A means of addressing the six top CDC behavioral risk factors for youth
    1. Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence
    2. Tobacco use
    3. Alcohol and other drug use
    4. Sexual behaviors that contribute to HIV infection, sexually transmitted diseases or teenage pregnancy
    5. Unhealthy dietary behaviors
    6. Physical inactivity
  • The ability to provide accurate health information and messages based on the eight components of the CDC's Coordinated School Health Program model:
    1. Comprehensive school health education
    2. Physical education
    3. Health services
    4. School environment and safety
    5. Staff health promotion
    6. Food services and nutrition
    7. Counseling, psychological and mental health services
    8. Family and community involvement
  • The responsibility of responding to changing health priorities within the school district

More information
North Carolina Healthy Schools - Effective School Health Advisory Councils: Moving from Policy to Action

Fit Classrooms>Creating a Healthy School>School Health Advisory Councils