Message from the Medical Officer of Health
Public Health professionals are pragmatists. We understand that simple education about health is not enough to result in healthy behaviours. If it was, we would see no chronic illnesses and almost no disease. An ideal world, but not a realistic one.
We believe that a comprehensive approach to health – one that combines education, healthy social and physical environments, and access to services – creates a much stronger foundation for healthy behaviours now and in the future.
The school is a cornerstone in this foundation. Outside of families, schools have more influence on children and youth – and by extension, their families – than any other social institution. Peel is home to more than a quarter-million school-age children; another 600,000 people have a stake in schools through their children.
Schools can’t do it alone. An active, healthy school community belongs to all citizens, including students, parents, administrators and community partners like Peel Public Health, as well as governments and organizations.
Collaboration is the key to success. Peel Public Health is committed to working with schools and neighbourhoods to help merge things that were once believed to be “distinctly school” and “distinctly community.” Through the merging of our ideas and our efforts, we can maximize community investments, not only in infrastructure but in people, too.
Healthy students are better learners and we know that adults with a better education are generally healthier. We owe it to our children to make a positive difference in their health from the time they first step into a classroom through their teens and for the rest of their lives. Together, we can make that happen.
Medical Officer of Health
Region of Peel
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