Healthy School Programs

Healthy School Programs

Healthy School Toolkit

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!

GBHU Healthy School Toolkit


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!

Youth Mental Health and Addiction Champion Program

School Mental Health Assist

The Youth Mental Health and Addiction Champion (YMHAC) Initiative improves the health and well-being of children and youth.


The objectives of the YMHAC initiative are to:

  • Raise awareness among children and youth about mental illness, mental health and mental health promotion.
  • Support overall well-being of children and youth.
  • Reduce stigma related to mental illness.
  • Develop the leadership and facilitation skills of children and youth.


The YMHAC Toolkit supports educators, adult allies and youth in implementing a youth-led mental health initiative in school and community settings.

  • Provides interactive and user friendly access to implementation ready tools and resources.
  • Web-based resource with option to print.
  • Available in English and French.



For more information and to learn how to bring YMHAC to your school contact your school’s Public Health Nurse.

Roots of Empathy

The focus of Roots of Empathy in the long term is to build the capacity of the next generation for responsible citizenship and responsive parenting.


In the short term, Roots of Empathy focuses on raising levels of empathy, resulting in more respectful and caring relationships and reduced levels of bullying and aggression.


Roots of Empathy Information for Schools

Want to be a Roots of Empathy Family?

To learn how to bring Roots of Empathy to your classroom contact your school’s Public Health Nurse.

Catch My Breath Curriculum Pilot Project

Catch My Breath logo


Catch My Breath Curriculum Pilot Project  2019/2020

Catch My Breath is a best-practices youth E-cigarette and JUUL prevention program developed by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health.  The program provides up-to-date information to teachers, parents and health professionals to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about the use of E-cigarettes, including JUUL devices. Catch My Breath utilizes a peer lead teaching approach.  The program does not take any financial endorsements from the Tobacco or Vaping Industry.

To learn more about the program and available resources including results from pilot testing, visit

The Grey Bruce Health Unit supports the use of this program and it has been approved for use by the Bluewater District School Board and the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board. 


Note:  The program is based out of the United States and includes State of Texas laws and statistics as well as U.S based information. To adjust the program for use in Ontario, we have created supplementary materials including an Ontario Supplement overview as well as powerpoint slides you can insert into certain lessons.


About the program:

The program offers modules for grades 6 to 8 as well as a module for use at the Secondary Level.   Each module includes 4 lessons which require about 30 minutes each to teach.  CATCH recommends teaching one lesson a week over 4 weeks.  There is the opportunity to involve peer leaders elected by the fellow classmates to help lead discussions. The web portal includes student quizzes and many helpful resources for your knowledge as a teacher.


How do I access the modules?

To access the modules, teachers need an access code to sign onto the Catch Platform.  The Grey Bruce Health Unit is supporting a pilot project of this curriculum and our healthy school nurses will provide access codes, student surveys, supporting documents and ongoing support.   To register, visit

Catch My Breath Pilot Project Flyer


Teaching Supplements for Ontario:

Ontario Supplement for Catch My Breath

Catch My Breath_Ontario Supplement Powerpoint Slides: Tobacco and Vaping Laws

Catch My Breath_Supplement Powerpoint Slides: Youth Vaping Rates

Become a Healthy School

A Healthy School promotes the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of the whole school community. 

A Healthy Schools approach looks beyond the classroom to the entire school setting. It involves students, staff, parents, volunteers and community partners. Together, they share ideas, plan and take action to help kids lead healthy active lives.

The Ministry of Education recognizes and endorses the Healthy Schools framework in Foundations for a Healthy School.


Video: What does the Healthy Schools Approach really mean?


Benefits of a Healthy School community

This approach is an evidence-based, internationally recognized framework for building healthy school communities. A Healthy School: 

  • Empowers students to be more involved in school life and part of the positive change
  • Improves student success and well-being
  • Reduces absenteeism
  • Improves academic achievement
  • Promotes diversity and inclusion
  • Improves student interaction and promotes a sense of belonging within their school


Getting started

Follow these steps to adopt the Healthy Schools framework and make your school an even healthier place to live, learn and work.

  1. Form a Healthy School group
  2. Identify strengths and areas for improvement
  3. Develop an action plan
  4. Implement the action plan
  5. Evaluate and celebrate achievements
  6. Review and adjust the plan

Download your Healthy Schools Toolkit today!


Public Health as a partner

Every elementary and secondary school in Grey Bruce has a Public Health Nurse assigned to it. Public health plays a major role in supporting Healthy Schools and can help elementary and secondary schools: 

  • Promote the Healthy Schools framework as a best practice model
  • Help schools create a Healthy Schools team
  • Support the planning and implementation of health promotion campaigns that target school-wide involvement


OPHEA Healthy School Certification

Apply for the OPHEA Healthy School certification.  


To learn more about Healthy Schools or to connect with a public health nurse: 

Call 519-376-9420 ext 3110 or 1-800-263-3456 ext 3110




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