There are many factors that affect our health, from how we eat to how much sleep we get to the state of our mind and emotions and even our genetic make-up. But much of our health is also determined by our social and economic circumstances — our living conditions, our safety, our ability to get and keep a job, our social connections, our access to health care and education. These factors are often referred to as social supports, social health drivers, or social determinants of health.
Addressing social health is critical to improving the health of all people. It is also essential for addressing health equity, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life and that no one is disadvantaged from achieving the fullness of health because of their socially determined circumstances.
Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools recognizes that social health factors are an important part of a person’s overall health, and that efforts to strengthen health in schools are not complete if we don’t also seek to connect students, staff, and families to the services and supports they need outside of the school community to be healthy.
Schools are often seen as a hub of trusted connection within the community, and as food insecurity grows, they are increasingly becoming a hub for resources to address hunger.
College and Career Readiness
It is more vital than ever that students receive the training and mentorship they need to adapt to a rapidly changing career landscape and chart a course for lifelong health and success.