Health Commission

Welcome! Utah PTA strongly believes that health means so much more than being what the world tells us about being thin and athletic; healthy people are happy people who feel good—inside and out. We can all do better at improving our lifestyles, and that happens one step at a time. Whether it's eating healthier foods, reducing unnecessary stress, or remembering to apply sunscreen before playing outside, one simple change in your life, in your school, or in your community can have lasting effects.

There are so many wonderful organizations and events that can help you promote our children’s physical and mental health.  There are many simple things you can do to make a difference—in your family, school, and community. On this page you will find links to organizations that provide training, as well as information on programs and activities. Health covers an extremely broad range of issues, and Utah PTA has chosen the following to focus on and advocate for in the best interest of children:

  • Alcohol/Drug/Tobacco Prevention and Education

  • Environmental Health

  • Growth/Maturation/Human Sexuality

  • Immunization

  • Mental Health

  • Nutrition and Healthy Living

  • Physical Fitness

  • School Wellness Policies

  • School Nurses, Counselors, Social Workers and Psychologists

  • Screenings (vision, hearing, scoliosis, asthma)

  • Suicide Prevention

Utah PTA Views Physical and Mental Health as Key to Student Success

When it comes to the success of Utah students, Utah PTA values student learning and academic benchmarks. We also believe the health and well-being of the whole child is important.

We recognize daily physical fitness is an essential component of student health and well-being. It is the position of National PTA and Utah PTA that recess is a key component to enhancing student academic achievement and cognitive functioning. Children who engage in more physical activity have better physical and mental health, and they experience better socialization and overall social development. We support at least one period of recess for at least 20 minutes for each elementary student every day, and we oppose the denial of recess as a disciplinary measure for academic reasons or inappropriate classroom behavior.

Utah PTA supports the inclusion of physical education in the core curriculum of student education, including concepts of cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, endurance and nutrition. We acknowledge the importance of nutrition in student health. Utah PTA encourages its associations to work with schools, school boards and other appropriate bodies to encourage schools to develop strong wellness policies and practice principles of sound nutrition for all food and beverages made available to students.

We believe that the mental health of Utah students is of paramount importance. We support policies that provide mental health services to all children and youth, including school-based mental health interventions and preventative measures. We believe early intervention is crucial, and that family engagement is key. We encourage schools to provide the necessary resources to ensure adequate ratios of school counselors, psychologists, social workers and nurses to provide school-based mental health services to those in need.

For more information about our views on health and wellness, please see these links:

https://www.pta.org/home/advocacy/pta's-positions/Individual-PTA-Resolutions/Resolution-on-School-Recess
http://www.utahpta.org/files/docs/HEA%202017-1%20Nutrition%20and%20Exercise.pdf

What Does A Health Commissioner Do?

You may seem overwhelmed if you feel you have to cover so many topics relating to children’s physical and mental health.  There are so many programs and activities that it would be impossible for one school to participate in all of them.  Your job as Health Commissioner is to work with your School and PTA Board and determine what are your greatest needs and focus on that.  If you are an elementary school you may want to focus on Nutrition, Physical Health, Screenings and Bully Prevention.  If you are a secondary school you may want to focus on Suicide Prevention, Mental Health and/or Substance Abuse Prevention.  Plan 1-2 large events throughout the year to highlight the area(s) of focus your school wants to promote, then add several small updates throughout the year to keep it in the minds of your teachers, parents and students.  There are several organizations that provide free resources and training to help with any need you want to focus on in regards to Healthy Living.

 

Also, as Health Commissioner you may be involved with promoting and educating parents, teachers and children in regards to legislative issues regarding to Health.  Promoting measures that will help prevent Substance Abuse, bring awareness to Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Issues, promote Nutrition and Physical Activity through Recess and PE, etc…  Be aware of the issues going on with your school and community and help promote and train programs and activities that will strengthen the overall health of our children.

Health Commissioner Resources

Health Commissioner Resources

 

National PTA Resources:

https://www.pta.org/programs/content.cfm?ItemNumber=4280&navItemNumber=4216

 

Utah Department of Health:

https://health.utah.gov/

 

Utah State Board of Education - Health Education:

https://www.schools.utah.gov/curr/health

 

Health and Academic Performance Research from the CDC:

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/health_and_academics/pdf/health-academic-achievement.pdf

 

Alcohol/Drug/Tobacco Prevention and Education

 

Environmental Health

 

Growth/Maturation/Human Sexuality

 

Immunization

 

Mental Health

 

Nutrition and Healthy Living & Physical Activity

 

School Wellness Policies

 

School Nurses, Counselors, Social Workers and Psychologists

 

Screenings (vision, hearing, scoliosis, asthma)
 

Suicide Prevention