Integrated actions to promote the health, well-being and educational success of young people

Stakeholders involved in the promotion of health and prevention in schools are invited to implement integrated health actions. ÉKIP focuses on the development of common competencies that can be applied in many real-life situations and address several health themes. It also helps avoid piecemeal interventions and their compartmentalized implementation.

Identifying the age-specific knowledge to cover and concrete ways of doing so promotes continuity and helps to avoid conveying redundant or contradictory messages to young people. Integrated activities allow for the optimal use of resources and have a greater impact.

Five reasons for carrying out integrated actions

1. The health, well-being and educational success of young people are closely linked.

Implementing integrated actions in schools makes it possible to address common factors. For example:

  • Sufficient quality sleep contributes to growth, development and educational success.
  • Sound emotional and stress management promotes adaptability and willingness to learn.

2. Students develop the same competencies throughout their schooling.

The personal and social skills to be developed by students cover every aspect of their health and well-being:

  • Acquires self-knowledge
  • Manages emotions and stress
  • Adopts prosocial behaviours
  • Manages social influences
  • Makes informed lifestyle choices
  • Asks for help, for oneself or others
  • Becomes socially engaged

Each of these competencies can be applied in different real-life situations young people might encounter. For example, knowing how to manage social influences helps young people in situations related to smoking, alcohol or drug use, safe behaviours, healthy eating, physical activity and sexuality.

3. Integrated actions target key aspects of young people’s development.


  • self-esteem
  • social skills
  • lifestyle habits
  • healthy, safe and caring living environments

4. Actions are integrated into school practices.

  • Actions are part of the school’s orientations, such as its code of conduct, educational project and commitment-to-success plan.
  • Actions are taken into account in administration and management practices, which ensures that the necessary organizational conditions are in place for their implementation.
  • Actions are integrated into teachers’ planning, the Québec Education Program and classroom management.
  • Actions are reflected in interactions with students, families and other stakeholders involved in the school.

5. Integrated actions allow for the optimal use of resources and have a greater impact.

  • Integrated actions are continuous and reinforce and complement each other through the coordinated efforts of various individuals and groups:
    • administrators
    • teachers
    • professionals
    • childcare providers
    • health and social services network stakeholders and community organizations
    • parents
  • Integrated actions ensure the consistency of the interventions with and messages conveyed to young people.
  • Integrated actions help to avoid duplicate interventions.
  • Integrated actions meet the conditions for effective implementation.

For example, a youth centre reinforces messages conveyed by the school by implementing complementary activities to encourage young people’s involvement in a community project.


The implementation of integrated actions pertaining to health, well-being and educational success is based, at the outset, on the joint mobilization of school staff to support the overall, positive development of young people. The following guidelines foster the sharing of a common vision within schools, and steer promotion and prevention actions.


It is important to integrate actions into school frameworks by:

  • assessing whether planned actions are aligned with existing frameworks
  • becoming aware of local actions (e.g. municipal policies), which serve as opportunities for concerted action between the school and the community, to the benefit of young people and their families, and, ultimately, to ensure the consistency and complementarity of actions
  • identifying targets common to the various frameworks, and choosing educational and environmental actions that meet several objectives simultaneously, especially when resources are limited. For example:
    • Preventive actions identified in the anti-bullying and anti-violence plan might entail the development of social skills in young people, including the adoption of prosocial behaviours in sports activities. These actions contribute to a school environment that is conducive to learning.
    • Educational and school-based actions that fall under the Going the Healthy Route at School framework policy help young people acquire and maintain healthy lifestyle habits. They can also improve young people’s sense of belonging and competence and strengthen their social skills, particularly through schoolyard design and organized activities. These feelings and skills also help foster a good school climate.

Support in young people’s living environments


Principles transform values of openness, respect, mutual assistance and individual and collective responsibility into actions. Adult attitudes and behaviours have a significant impact on young people’s sense of competence and should help them feel accepted, respected and heard.

  • Embrace a comprehensive vision of young people’s health, well-being and success:
    • Target not only individuals, but also their living environments: school, family, community. Schools are recognized as meaningful places to live and learn that are accessible to and attended by all young people. They represent an ideal place to intervene in collaboration with partners.
    • Recognize the extent to which health and well-being contribute to success.
    • Determine shared priorities in partnership with the stakeholders involved, i.e. families and communities, based on school profiles and student needs.
    • Take action that is sustained and ongoing, rather than through informal or periodic events or by limiting interventions to crisis management or to trends.
    • Focus on strengthening young people’s personal and social skills, not just on the acquisition of knowledge.
  • Embrace a positive view of young people’s health and development:
    • Consider young people active agents in their own development.
    • Take proactive and preventive action to promote the optimal health and development of young people.
    • Intervene early and quickly when problems arise.
    • Collectively find solutions to problems through dialogue and consensus, taking all students into account.
    • Choose developmentally appropriate interventions.
    • Implement interventions designed for all young people (universal approach). Where appropriate, provide targeted interventions or services to those who need them.
    • Protect young people in cases of neglect or abuse by reporting the situation to the Director of Youth Protection.

For more information, please see the document Child and Adolescent Development in a School-Based Health Promotion and Prevention Perspective This hyperlink will open in a new window., produced by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec.

Conditions for effective promotion and prevention actions in schools

The ÉKIP framework presents the required conditions outlined in the Healthy Schools program, which are widely recognized in prevention and the promotion of health. Additional elements have been included to ensure that actions contribute to the development of competencies common to several health themes and are more firmly anchored in school orientations and practices.

Actions are planned in a concerted manner.

  • Actions are based on clear objectives.
  • Actions respond to real needs, which are identified from the strengths and vulnerabilities of the environment in question and determined according to school priorities on health, well-being and success.
  • Actions are based on the choice of ways to meet the stated objectives.
  • Actions are the result of a concerted effort from school staff, families and community partners.

Actions are comprehensive.

  • Actions simultaneously target several levels: young people, schools, families, communities.
  • Actions target several key factors in young people’s development: self-esteem, social skills, lifestyle habits, safe behaviours, supportive environments and preventive services.

Action content is appropriate and adapted.

  • Actions are implemented at the ideal time in young people’s development and take into account social and cultural references.
  • Actions do not contradict the desired effects.

Actions support young people’s active engagement.

  • In or out of the classroom, actions are not limited to the sharing of information.
  • Actions are meaningful to young people and take into account their preferences and concerns.
  • Actions lead young people to:
    • make choices
    • take responsibility
    • take part in project development
    • be creative
    • develop their initiative
    • question themselves
    • self-assess

Actions are intensive and continuous.

  • Actions are offered by various stakeholders and implemented with sufficient intensity and continuity.
  • Actions are not limited to periodic interventions and are offered throughout young people’s schooling.
  • Actions are easily carried out in different contexts.
  • Actions include features that facilitate their implementation in schools:
    • flexibility (possibility of replicating them in different contexts)
    • access (easy to use)
    • feasibility (adaptable to each school’s situation; sustainability)

Organizational conditions to ensure synergy

Different organizational conditions support the planning and implementation of integrated actions to promote young people’s health, well-being and educational success. These conditions are already present to varying degrees in school settings.

The guidelines and frameworks related to schools, as well as various organizational aspects, such as the stability of the administration, size of the school, and availability of human, financial and material resources, also influence school operations.


Communication fosters relationships and the sharing of information between school staff as well as with families and the community. Communication is key to all other positive organizational conditions. Effective communication:

  • contributes to good relationships between the various stakeholders involved
  • helps develop a shared vision of student development and needs
  • ensures consistency in the messages conveyed and actions carried out


Leadership is the ability to mobilize and support the stakeholders involved with the school. The successful implementation of promotion and prevention actions is conditional on the leadership of the school principal. The following approaches are recommended:

  • Take on a leadership role in integrating actions related to health, well-being and success:
    • Promote the importance and benefits of integrating actions into comprehensive and collaborative planning.
    • Mobilize stakeholders to implement planned actions.
  • Allocate time, support and resources to allow other organizational conditions to be created and to ensure planning and sustainability.
  • Share leadership responsibilities with students, school staff, families and community partners to encourage their mobilization:
    • Partner with individuals whom students appreciate and who are influential in the school and community.
  • Make schools a workplace that foster health and well-being. For example:
    • Provide staff with opportunities and resources that support the adoption and maintenance of healthy lifestyles.
    • Encourage healthy relationships among staff and between staff and students.
    • Adopt management practices that promote work-life balance.


The purpose of coordination is harmonization. Coordination can combine various means, such as action plans, shared agendas, meetings, committees or the designation of a coordinator. The following approaches are recommended:

  • In order to foster a holistic approach, prioritize a limited number of committees overseeing several files:
    • Review existing committees and assess the possibility of merging those with similar mandates.
    • To support the administrative leadership, designate a coordinator to harmonize the actions of the various committees.
  • Ensure that stakeholders have a common understanding of the actions to implement and of their respective responsibilities.
  • Integrate different approaches or actions with similar or complementary objectives, particularly when planning.
  • Follow up on the actions taken and make any necessary adjustments.

Collective knowledge

The purpose of strengthening collective knowledge is to support professional development and promote the use of the varied expertise and skills of school staff and community stakeholders. The following approaches are recommended:

  • Promote professional development and the sharing of knowledge and professional practices through various types of actions.
  • Establish a climate of trust in which existing practices can be examined constructively.
  • Support changes that promote integrated promotion-prevention actions and encourage the use of school or community resources to achieve the targeted objectives.
  • Share knowledge about the school’s situation, including aspects specific to the school and its territory, young people’s needs and experiences, an inventory of actions taken for the health and well-being of young people, and resources available at the school, school board or school service centre.


Partnerships are privileged relationships based on a commitment by schools and partners to mobilize in support of young people’s health, well-being and success. Partnerships hinge in particular on the exchange of information or resources according to an established agreement. Partnerships also involve actions to promote collaboration and the development of a relationship of trust with families and communities.

Partnerships make it possible to increase the range of actions taken and services offered, facilitate access to them, and ensure the consistency, complementarity and continuity of partner actions. The following approaches are recommended:

  • Establish relationships with partners to promote complementary actions.
  • Implement actions that impact young people and their living environments, in concert with partners from various sectors and fields.
  • Promote the sharing of human, financial, and material resources among schools and partners.

Last update: April 25, 2023


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