Girls’ Health and Wellness Project
Promoting Healthy Living among Girls
Girls and young women across Canada face unique challenges in matters of health and health promotion. This project, built on evidence-based promising practices in girls’ health promotion, will engage partners in national, provincial, and local organizations to develop a health promotion program to support girls in healthy living and wellness.
The project has four components:
A girls’ healthy living program toolkit
Responding to demand from service providers who work with girls and young women in schools and community organizations, the project will create a girls’ healthy living program curriculum in English and French. The toolkit will be based on evidence-based best practices in matters of gender-specific health promotion (see our research report on girls’ groups and healthy living). The curriculum will support girls’ programmers, service providers, policy makers, and education professionals to implement effective prevention and health promotion initiatives for girls.
Multi-sector partnership activities
A National Advisory Committee of national and local organizations will contribute their expertise on health research, gender analysis, youth health promotion, and girls’ programming. Advisory members include the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, YWCA Canada, Eskasoni Community Health Centre, DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada, and the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sports and Physical Activity (CAAWS). Outreach and partnership development is important to make sure that the curriculum is accessible, useful, and put into practice by health service and promotion practitioners in a diversity of contexts.
Local initiatives across Canada
In several communities (rural, urban, indigenous, immigrant), partners will pilot and test the curriculum with the girls in their programs. Based on the best practices identified, the curriculum will be refined and improved for national dissemination. Youth-for-youth health promotion activities will take place in over 20 communities in Canada where girls and young women will develop girl-friendly health promotion messages to encourage healthy living practices.
Service providers training and coaching
Skills training and knowledge-building workshops will be organized to engage stakeholder groups – including health service providers, community organizations, educators, and policy actors – in order to equip them to make their programs and policies more responsive to the specific needs of girls and young women.