February is School-Based Health Care Awareness Month, and Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools is pleased to join with the School-Based Health Alliance and our many other partners working in this field to celebrate the many ways school-based health care helps strengthen schools as the heart of health.
School-based health centers are leading the way in providing the preventative health care services students, adolescents and their families need to thrive. Childhood is a critical period for the development of healthy behaviors and habits that frequently continue to adulthood. Through the help of school-based health centers, schools can instill lifelong healthy behaviors in children and adolescents.
School-based health centers are the ideal location for primary care and behavioral health staff to collaboratively address students’ physical and behavioral health needs. They are places where children and school staff and teachers spend a large majority of their time.
School-based health centers provide critical preventative health care services to address the behavioral and nutritional health needs of students. They are also a venue to prevent substance abuse. Increasingly, school-based health centers are providing oral health services as well – such as dental screenings, assessments, varnishings, and referrals – as part of well-child and adolescent exams at minimal or no cost to students and their families.
We invite you to visit the School-Based Health Alliance website throughout the month of February to learn more about their work and be inspired by the stories they lift up from the field that illuminate the power of school-based health care.