Discuss Healthy People 2020 and how it relates to school health. Discuss three initiatives that could be implemented in a school health program to meet these objectives. (One initiative should be mental health) Your initial posting should be 250 to 350 words in length and utilize at least one scholarly source other than the textbook https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/educational-and-community-based-programs/objectives

Healthy People 2020 is a set of objectives established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve the health of individuals and communities across the nation. It provides a framework for implementing evidence-based strategies to address health disparities and promote health equity. When it comes to school health, Healthy People 2020 plays a significant role in shaping the goals and initiatives of school health programs.

Schools are a critical setting for promoting the health and well-being of children and adolescents. Healthy People 2020 recognizes this by including specific objectives related to educational and community-based programs. These objectives emphasize the importance of providing a safe and healthy school environment, promoting physical activity and healthy eating, addressing mental health needs, and preventing substance abuse among students.

One of the key initiatives that could be implemented in a school health program to meet Healthy People 2020 objectives is promoting mental health. Mental health has a profound impact on students’ overall well-being and academic performance. To address this, schools can implement initiatives such as mental health education and awareness campaigns that provide students with knowledge and strategies to manage stress, improve resilience, and seek help when needed. Additionally, schools can establish partnerships with mental health professionals to provide counseling services and support to students who may be experiencing mental health challenges.

Another initiative that aligns with Healthy People 2020 objectives is fostering physical activity. Regular physical activity is essential for maintaining optimal health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. School programs can promote physical activity by offering physical education classes that provide opportunities for students to engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activities. Schools can also provide extracurricular opportunities for students to participate in sports teams or join active clubs such as running or dance clubs. Moreover, schools can ensure that their facilities, such as gymnasiums and playgrounds, are safe and well-equipped to encourage physical activity.

Another important initiative that schools can implement is promoting healthy eating and nutrition. Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in students’ overall health and academic performance. School health programs can implement initiatives such as nutrition education programs that teach students about the importance of a balanced diet and how to make healthy food choices. Schools can also collaborate with food service providers to ensure that healthy and nutritious meals are available to students during school hours. Additionally, schools can create environments that support healthy eating, such as implementing policies that limit the availability of unhealthy foods and beverages on campus.

In conclusion, Healthy People 2020 provides a framework for promoting health and well-being in schools. By implementing initiatives that align with the objectives of Healthy People 2020, schools can contribute to creating healthier environments for students. Three key initiatives that can be implemented in a school health program include promoting mental health, fostering physical activity, and promoting healthy eating and nutrition. These initiatives can have a positive impact on students’ overall health, academic performance, and lifelong well-being.

* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2015). Healthy People 2020. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/educational-and-community-based-programs/objectives
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Strategies for promoting healthy eating in schools. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/nutrition/promoting-healthy-eating/index.htm

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