Healthy Schools

Public Health Staff are available to support Grey Bruce schools by providing curriculum support and resources. We are committed to working in partnership with our School Boards and Schools to help influence the development and implementation of health related policies and supportive environments.

What Can Public Health staff provide for you?

  • Provide evidence based health education supports and resources to all school community members
  • Be a part of a comprehensive team that fosters a positive school climate
  • Support the implementation of school health policies
  • Link teachers to reliable health education resources
  • Empower students to develop personal skills

To Contact Public Health Staff associated with your school, see the attached map and list of schools to see who your Public Health Nurse is. You can also call us at 519-376-9420.

Healthy School PHNs 2018/2019

Healthy School Coverage


Healthy Schools Approach

The Foundations for a Healthy School is designed to help contribute to a learning environment that promotes and supports the child and student well-being, their cognitive, emotional, social and physical development not just academic success. The research is clear; healthy students are better prepared to learn, and education is a key determinant of health. These five interconnected areas will help schools, school boards, parents and community partners to work together to develop a comprehensive approach to healthy school policies, programs and initiatives:

Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
School & Classroom Leadership
Student Engagement
Social & Physical Environments
Home, School & Community Partnerships

The Healthy Schools Toolkit is designed to guide schools through the steps to creating a healthier school. School Health Committees may choose to use all or any of the resources in the Toolkit to support their Healthy Schools work. Contact your school’s public health nurse to help you get started!

Becoming a Certified Healthy School

The Grey Bruce Health Unit along side with the school boards wants to create a healthy school environment for all children so they have the capacity to reach their full potential. By becoming a certified healthy school you are showing everyone your commitment to health. Contact your public health nurse for more information on certification.

OPHEA certifies schools as well. Click here for more details!

Public Health is committed to assisting educators to incorporate healthy eating and active living into the classroom setting, as well as role modeling healthy habits for the students to last a lifetime. Public Health Dietitians support your schools by working with student nutrition programs and offering training to school staff to create healthy school nutrition environments.

Bright Bites

Take a whole school approach to improving nutrition! BrightBites is a free program that offers tips, tools and public health support to help your school create a healthy nutrition environment. Elementary and secondary schools can take part in challenges, earn badges, and rise up in the BrightBites Hall of Fame. Teachers will find engaging ideas for activities and curriculums to support these efforts. Taking part will also help your school to meet the Ontario School Food and Beverage Policy (PPM 150). Follow BrightBitesCA on social media for more information about school nutrition from Ontario Public Health Dietitians.

For more information on Nutrition for Schools, visit our Eating Well page.

Regular physical activity offers a wide range of health benefits - even modest levels of activity can have a positive effect. It is recommended that children and youth participate in one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity everyday while adults are encouraged to accumulate 150 minutes of physical activity every week. Research has shown that physical activity in segments as small as 10 minutes still provide positive health benefits. Click here to view the Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines.

Health Benefits

  • Feel better
  • Be healthier
  • Burn calories
  • Feel stronger
  • Sleep better
  • Meet new friends
  • Feel more energetic
  • Live independently

1440 minutes in a Day! Get active for 30!

PLAY in Bruce Grey is the collaborative, physical activity initiative for the Grey Bruce region. Check out PLAY in Bruce Grey for active living tips, local events and the latest news.

Play in Bruce Grey Logo

Active Schools and Communities

Physical activity is an important part of meeting the growth and development needs of children and youth. Communities, schools and parents can work together to help students develop attitudes and skills for life long physical activity.

By creating supportive environments and encouraging children and youth to make informed choices, we can help them establish patterns for healthy living that they‘ll carry into adulthood.

Research has shown the many benefits of physical activity. Children and youth

  • Improve their performance in math, reading, memorization, and categorization (Keays & Allison, 1995)
  • Are more likely to be active during their leisure time if they participated in a physical education class that day (Dale, Corbin, & Dale, 2000)
  • Are less likely to smoke or consume alcohol or drugs (Tremblay, Inman, and Willms, 2000)
  • Experience increased self-esteem and perceived physical competence, enabling them to cope with mental stress (DeMarco & Sidney, 1989)

Click to read the 2018 ParticipACTION Report Card; it is the most comprehensive assessment of child and youth physical activity in Canada.

For more information on Physical Activity and ways to get your school, more active visit our Active Living Page.

Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey

The Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) is a population survey of Ontario students in grades 7 through 12. The survey provides current and reliable information about the health behaviours, attitudes and beliefs of Ontario adolescents, and it tracks changes over time. OSDUHS findings have been widely used by health, education, and government officials in setting health priorities and facilitating preventative policies, programs and services that address youth needs.

2017 Results

For more information on Alcohol and other Drugs, visit our website

Cannabis Toolkit Brochure


Cannabis Health Effects

Cannabis is also known as: Marijuana, kush, pot, weed, Mary J/MJ, grass, ganja. Cannabis is used today for medicinal and/or non-medical purposes. Non-medical use of cannabis will be legalized October 17 2018. It comes in the form of dried plant buds, hashish (dried resin from plant leaves) or oil (boiled resin). There are many ways that cannabis can be consumed. These include:

  • Smoking, such as a “joint”, in a pipe or bong
  • Ingested as an edible or drink
  • Consumed through vaping

Adolescence is an important time for the developing brain since most brain development happens before the mid-20’s. The THC in cannabis disrupts the same biological system in the brain that guides brain development. This means that youth are particularly at risk of the negative consequences that can result from cannabis use.

Adults can help reduce youth marijuana use

Source: Healthy Kids Colorado Survey 2015


Please see our Smoke Free Living page for information and resources on tobacco

The Grey Bruce Health Unit provides education and works with partners to create and sustain community initiatives that promote and improve all aspects of health. This includes healthy sexuality. In addition, we provide limited confidential services related to

  • sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment
  • pregnancy testing and options
  • access to low-cost contraceptives

Find out more about these services by calling 519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 Ext 1256. You can book appointments Mondays (10 am - 4pm) at the South Bruce Grey Health Centre in Walkerton, or Wednesdays (9 am - 3:30pm) at the Grey Bruce Health Unit office in Owen Sound.

Note: All of these services can be provided by your family doctor or nurse practitioner! We urge you to consult with them in order to obtain the comprehensive care that is best for your overall health.

If you don’t have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, contact Health Care Connect for details or call us at one of the numbers above.

For free, anonymous counselling 7 days a week call the AIDS and Sexual Health InfoLine at 1-800-668-2437.

Teaching Sexual Health

An objective of the Grey Bruce Health Unit is to support educators in the implementation of the sexual health components of the curriculum by providing resources to assist and enhance their teaching plans. Refer to the following sexual health resources and call 519-376-9420 extension 1256 for more information.

Resources Available

Consultations with a Public Health Nurse are available. Please call 519-376-9420 extension 1256 or 1-800-263-3456 extension 1256.

Resources for Parents

Contact the Bluewater District School Board for information on their resources to assist in teaching sexual health related topics.

There are many online resources available to assist with teaching sexual health topics. The following websites provide fact sheets, teaching tools and lesson plans.

For more information regarding sexual health, STIs and Birth control visit our Sexual Health page

To Book any of these resources or inquire about any other resources please call Grey Bruce Health Unit at 1-800-263-3456

Healthy Eating

  • Food Safety table top display – complete with roasted turkey pull out – trivia questions included with Velcro doors to reveal answers
  • Canada food guide kitchen – 3 panel standing display board – trivia questions included with Velcro doors to reveal answers
  • Drink display – bin of beverage containers and the amount of sugar in each represented with sugar packs – handouts included
  • Food Model Kit – 12 food models with portion backgrounder and portion plate to bring Canada’s food guide portion size to life
  • Blender bike – Learn about how to borrow the blender bike.

Physical Activity

  • Pedometers – to track how many steps people take in a day
  • OPHEA’s Yoga Alphabet Cards – Playful alphabet poses to support students in learning the basics of yoga while developing physical literacy and language skills
  • OPHEA’s 50 Fitness Cards – A set of core on-the-spot fitness moves that can be used on their own or to add variety to existing activities
  • OPHEA’s BrainBlitz- 25 activity cards that make it quick, fun, and easy to take an active break during learning, and can be used as an opportunity to improve attention
  • OPHEA’s One a Day For Active Play – 200 creative game and activity cards that can be used for ice-breakers, warm-ups or support the implementation of DPA

Sexual Health

  • Birth Control Kits – Includes samples of all types of birth control plus pamphlets for detailed information
  • Most Secondary Schools should have their own ask your administrator

Hand Hygiene

  • Glo Germ – teaches how to wash hands using a glow Germ black light!
  • Interactive games and handouts are also available

For more information on other school related topics click on the links below