About Healthy Schools

picture of children

The Healthy Schools Initiative in Manitoba promotes the health and wellness of students, their families, school staff, and school communities. It is a partnership between Manitoba Health, Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning, and Child and Youth Programs (which is a partnership of all departments connected to children). Good health is necessary for learning. Schools can positively influence several of the determinants that affect healthy child, adolescent, and family development.


Our mission is to create school environments that enhance the healthy development of children and their families by working in partnership with community service providers and resources.


The goals of the Healthy Schools initiative are to:

  • increase understanding of the interdependence between health and education,
  • strengthen partnerships at both the provincial and local levels,
  • enhance the focus on good health within schools and the community,
  • empower school communities to participate actively in improving their health status,
  • increase access to health promotion, disease prevention and intervention services,
  • develop environments that support good health within the school and the community, and
  • bring about changes that positively influence health and learning.

Healthy Schools focuses on six important health issues in the school community:

  • Healthy Eating
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Activity
  • Safety and Injury Prevention
  • Sexual Health
  • Substance Abuse and Addictions

We draw on the principles of comprehensive school health. We understand that the needs, issues, and concerns of students, families, and schools differ from community to community. Five key elements make up the Healthy Schools model:

  • Access to health and social supports
  • Integrated teaching strategies
  • Healthy physical and social environments
  • Community partnerships
  • Healthy lifestyle choices

The first step in our project was to develop a Healthy Schools Framework. We based the framework on information and advice we gathered during a provincial consultation held in December 2002. The Healthy Schools framework guides educators, health professionals, parent councils and others as they work towards comprehensive school health in their communities.


Healthy Schools was introduced in Manitoba in 2000 as “Nurses-in-Schools” to provide a strengthened public health and primary health capacity in schools, and to promote activities to support wellness in school communities.  In December 2002, a Provincial Consultation Forum was held to develop a Healthy Schools framework.  Based on the consultation, “Nurses-in-Schools” grew into the broader “Healthy Schools”, to better reflect the needs and capacities of school communities.  The Healthy Schools framework was approved by Healthy Child Committee of Cabinet in 2003 and it included three main components:

  1. Promoting targeted provincial activities in response to issues affecting the health and wellness of the school community
  2. Promoting community-based activities (Healthy Schools Grant)
  3. Developing resources for province-wide use

Healthy Schools is a partnership of:
Health | Education and Early Childhood Learning | Child and Youth Programs