The IUHPE (International Union for Health Promotion and Education) world conference takes place once every three years. This 22nd conference brought together 2000 health promotion stakeholders from across the world in Curitiba, Brazil. The theme was “health and equity”. The ESN was invited to a symposium entitled ”Health and Learning go hand in hand: the European perspective”, as a co-organiser with the SHE network.
Health promotion differs from education, prevention and health protection. Health promotion was defined in the Ottawa Charter in 1986:”Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. To reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realise aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment. Health is, therefore, seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasising social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities. Therefore, health promotion is not just the responsibility of the health sector, but goes beyond healthy life-styles to well-being”.
Our co-organised ESN/SHE symposium was held on Tuesday 24 at 11:00 a.m. It was attended by around thirty participants. The format was collaborative. The following initiatives were presented:
- The link between health promotion in schools and occupational health of education professionals, with insights from the ESN and education unions;
- Health/education intersectorial work in Europe, with the example of the SHE network working with the WHO regional office for Europe;
- The “Curriculum for Excellence” in Scotland, where health and well-being have been integrated as essential skills within education;
- The health promoter schools programme in Holland, which bases its work on the needs and expectations of schools and school communities;
- “F’Acteurs Santé” in France, an innovative, collaborative and holistic tool designed to inform young people and the school community about health issues
The discussion was stimulating and there were many questions and comments. The symposium confirmed the interest in and relevance of the F’Acteurs Santé tool, which fits in perfectly with the current approach to health promotion at an international level.