Promoting the Health of the Children and Young People of Manchester
Our Healthy Schools team is holding a Manchester Healthy Schools
Health Improvement Awards and Wellbeing Showcase event today.
The event is being held to award schools for their outstanding
work promoting the health of the children and young people of
Manchester. It is also a showcase of new public health resources
that the Health Improvement Service has created this year.
There is a growing knowledge of the complex interaction between
psychosocial events and biological factors, and we now understand
that events that occur in early life play a fundamental part in
later life, and indeed in the lives of future generations. The
conclusion is that early interventions and preventive measures such
as immunisation, health checks and education do make a difference
to outcomes. If we act early we can prevent harm.
Maria Oakley - Head of Health Improvement Service says:
"Manchester is a vibrant, diverse city but it also faces many
challenges and health inequalities. Manchester still has some of
the most deprived areas in the country and the health of people in
Manchester is generally worse than the England average. Life
expectancy for both men and women is lower than the England
average. Therefore public health work continues to be a vital piece
of the jigsaw."
It has been recognised in Manchester that schools need support
and guidance with this huge task and the Manchester Healthy Schools
Programme continues to provide that support.
The Programme focuses on key public health targets for the city
of Manchester, which are:
• Drug and alcohol education
• Emotional and mental health and wellbeing
• Healthy lifestyles education including healthy eating and
• Sex and relationship education
Claire Duggan, Manager, Healthy Schools says: "Schools are in a
prime position to engage with young people and provide stimulating
and effective Personal and Social Health Education. However we know
and understand the challenges and pressures schools face today and
fitting even more into an already overstretched curriculum can feel
like an unrealistic goal.
Many Manchester schools are overcoming those challenges and we
want to reward them for their efforts on behalf of the children and
young people of Manchester whose lives they are making a difference
We also want to encourage other schools to keep going with all
your good work and we want to use your excellent examples of good
practice to help and inspire other schools, so that children and
young people of Manchester receive the health education and support
they need whether they live in the city."
We really need to think creatively about how to communicate with
this group and the best people to show us how do this are young
Research has shown us that young people value hearing and
learning from the past experiences of other young people.
The Health Improvement Service, known as the Healthy Schools
Team, is continually striving to answer these calls from young
The team consult with young people, they try to use the latest
technology that young people relate to and they listen to what
young people say they want. The resources they will showcase at the
event are a direct outcome of that process.
The event will be opened by our Chairman Peter Mount.
Representatives from Manchester Public Health, schools and other
services, together with. Manchester City Football Club City in the
Community will be attending as they work in close partnership with
Manchester Healthy Schools. In particular is the award winning
joint programme 'Strike a Balance'. One school will be awarded by
MCFC for their continued work on the programme.
- Ends -
For Secondary schools several resources are being launched at
- Manchester Healthy Schools together with the Odd Theatre
Company and Manchester young people created a DVD which tackles
important drug, alcohol and mental health issues.
Snapshot takes a glimpse into the lives of several
young people encountering these challenges and encourages pupils to
discuss the dilemmas they face. Full lesson plans, as well as
PowerPoint presentations accompany the short film clips, making
Snapshot an invaluable resource for Secondary schools, especially
within the PSHE curriculum.
- Keep Calm and Carry On, contains real life
stories, advice and signs to look out for, as well as contact
details for support agencies both locally and nationally.
This online resource tackles issues that affect pupils' emotional
health and wellbeing. Available through the Manchester
Healthy Schools website, this resource will be a useful starting
place for pupils and teachers alike to find out further information
and signpost to relevant agencies.
- Following the recent and worrying trend of 'sexting' (the
exchange of sexual messages or images) via social media, Manchester
Healthy Schools and Brook have devised a set of lesson plans to
tackle this sensitive issues. Promoting respect,
#riseupmanchester inspires young people to be
responsible when it comes to the information they choose to share
online. A special hotline has been set up in conjunction with
Greater Manchester Police for young people to report inappropriate
Further information can be found at: www.manchesterhealthyschools.nhs.uk
The recently released 2012 Chief Medical Officer's Report titled
"Our Children Deserve Better: Prevention Pays" can be found here:
Throughout the report schools are identified as being an
important factor in the health and wellbeing of children.