Community groups, including schools are play very important roles in health promotion and are responsible for health promotion within their community. Of the community groups, schools possibly play the largest role in health promotion.
Schools are the biggest community group and our societies main provider of education and child care between the ages of 5 and 18. These childhood and teenage years are some of the most important years in developing healthy habits and gaining a solid basis for health literacy and general health knowledge.
PDHPE is a mandatory subject from K-10 and is one of the most chosen electives for Preliminary and HSC. The PDHPE syllabus has a holistic view of health flowing down from WHO, to Australian government, state government and then through BOSTES who are responsible to writing our syllabus. This holistic view of health educates students on the five (5) dimensions of health and seeks to promote life long wellbeing, including eating properly, reading food information, lifelong physical activity, social and mental health, along with individual value and purpose.
Schools also promote health through some of the various rules and regulations or guidelines. Some examples are the implementation of WHS policies that help to ensure your PE lessons are safe as is the learning environment. Other rules such as no-hat-no-play help to promote health and avoid skin cancer. Furthermore schools implement the Fresh Tastes NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy, which aims to provide healthy food in school cafeterias.
Other Community Groups
Community groups health promotion is often the most effective form of health promotion. Community groups know their context, know their community, what they need, their health status etc, and are often equipped to meet these needs.
For example, the National Centre of Indigenous Excellent in Redfern is a community group that promotes health amongst the local indigenous community. Their is a leisure centre on site, job training programs, after school care and many other activities that help to promote health among the local indigenous population.
Another example includes leisure centre in areas with large Muslim populations providing times for female only swimming. Such sessions, promote health while being sensitive to the community values.
Often community groups are connected to religious groups, such as churches or mosques. These community groups increase social health, provide purpose for life, and increase mental health though often they are not thought of when considering health promotion because of a lack of focus on physical health.
Many communities also have community health centres, where much health promotion takes place within the local community. Other community groups may include AA groups that help provide a supportive environment to improve the health of alcoholics, or home school parenting networks to help improve the social activity, education and opportunities for home schooled children.