Keeping young Canberrans healthy both physically and mentally is important to us.
The ACT Government is planning the implementation of a Year 7 Health Check program to improve the overall health and wellbeing of our young people. We anticipate the program to be implemented in all Canberra high schools in 2019.
There are currently no similar programs for secondary school students at a state or territory level in Australia.
Currently, the health of young people in the ACT is assessed using the ACT Physical Activity and Nutrition (ACTPANS) survey. It is anticipated that the Year 7 Health Check will replace the ACTPANS survey.
The Year 7 Health Check
The Year 7 Health Check will help us identify the health needs of students early in the school setting. It will help us to monitor risk factors for chronic diseases, such as overweight and obesity, evaluate the emotional wellbeing of children, and help connect young people with appropriate services.
Parents and guardians must consent and opt in for their child to participate in the program.
The proposed Year 7 Health Check will be made up of two parts:
- An assessment of the healthy weight by measuring weight and height. These measurements will be taken by trained staff in a private area where the results are secure and cannot be seen or heard by anyone else, to ensure privacy and sensitivity. The data collection is intended to occur alongside the Year 7 immunisation schedule to ensure minimal disruption to class and school schedule. Results will not be disclosed or discussed with the child on the day.
- An electronic survey. The survey that will assess emotional wellbeing and associated risk factors, such as screen time, activity levels, nutrition and hydration. It is intended to administer the survey with the school climate survey to ensure minimal disruption to class and school schedules.
The results and feedback will be provided to parents and guardians at the completion of the program.
The collection of information on children’s health status and behaviours including physical, mental and emotional health will be used to inform and refine public health programs and policies in the ACT.
Findings from the Year 7 Health Check will be used to help young people at risk of chronic diseases and emotional wellbeing issues to connect with appropriate resources and services.
Providing feedback on the proposed program
You can read the Year 7 Health Check Public Information Paper and provide feedback on the program through YourSay.
The consultation closes on 3 April 2019.
How we will use your consultation feedback
Your feedback collected through YourSay will inform the final Year 7 Health Check program model, including privacy and sensitivity considerations, and future health service design in the ACT.
For more information about the proposed Year 7 Health Check Program please email Y7HC@act.gov.au