Release Date: 11 September 2020
This year’s report – from the Director of Public Health, Shannon Katiyo – champions the borough’s whole-school and community approach to addressing young people’s health.
A whole-school and community approach recognises the need to involve parents, families and the wider community in a child’s health education throughout their school career.
The Director of Public Health explains the selection of topic for his first Annual Public Health Report for Richmond in the introduction. He said:
“…I wanted to start right at the beginning of the life course with a focus on children and young people. Giving children the best start in life offers significant opportunities for prevention of poor health and reduces health inequalities.
“Educational establishments together with the community and voluntary sector provide an opportunity to develop a collaborative approach that supports the community to promote the health and wellbeing of our children.”
The report includes successful case studies of how this is already happening in some schools in the borough.
For example, six schools in the borough have adopted a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing by implementing the PATHS programme. PATHS helps develop primary school children’s emotional and social competence and social understanding. Teachers are trained by coaches to deliver the programme, which begins in the classroom and then expands across whole school life and through parent’ engagement. The programme has so far seen an increase of pupils’ empathy by 63% alongside similar increases in concentration and attention whilst reducing aggression and disruptive behaviour.
The report was informed by a wide range of strategic engagement activity and local conversations with over 60 stakeholders collaborating to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
Shannon Katiyo also acknowledged the COVID-19 pandemic. He said:
“The pandemic has tested the resilience of both parents and young people. While parents have juggled home working and home education, our real heroes are the young people who have spent several months at home, without seeing their peers and with limited access to the outdoor world”.
If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Fenna Maynard on 020 8487 5182.
Updated: 22 September 2020