Alberta Education: Framework for K-12 Wellness Education

Wellness education in Alberta envisions students becoming educated, informed, and contributing members of society. Student wellness occurs when students develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to be well: physically, emotionally, socially, mentally and spiritually. Alberta Education has developed a framework for wellness education in Alberta's K-12 schools (2015), which is informed by a comprehensive school health approach. It incorporates the needs and priorities of 21st century learners to nurture the whole child.

Alberta Education: Mental Health in Schools

Mental health is just as important as physical health, despite being often overlooked. When positive, it helps students to learn and grow to their fullest potential. The Public Health Agency of Canada describes positive mental health as “the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. It is a positive sense of emotional and spiritual well-being that respects the importance of culture, equity, social justice, interconnections and personal dignity”. Learn more about how to understand and promote positive mental health in schools from the Government of Alberta.

Alberta Education: Safe and Caring Schools

All members of school communities — students, parents, community members and school authorities — have a responsibility to ensure schools are safe, welcoming and caring learning environments. School communities should respect diversity and nurture belonging and positive sense of self. A sense of belonging encourages students to stay in school, learn and succeed. The Government of Alberta has both compiled tools and resources, and introduced legislation and practices, to support school communities to be welcoming, caring, respectful and safe.

Alberta Health Services: The Comprehensive School Health Approach

Comprehensive School Health is an internationally-recognized and effective approach for building healthy school communities. It can be used to address a variety of health issues and can improve health, education, and social outcomes for children and youth. Using a whole-school model, CSH builds capacity to incorporate well-being as an essential aspect of student achievement. Alberta Health Services has dedicated a page to CSH implementation resources, including an introduction to the CSH framework, steps for building a healthy school community, and the distinct, but inter-related, components of CSH that comprise the approach. 

Alberta Healthy School Communities Wellness Fund

The Alberta Healthy School Community Wellness Fund (AHSCWF) is a joint initiative between the University of Alberta's School of Public Health Centre for Healthy Communities and the Government of Alberta. AHSCWF promotes sustainable, healthy school communities across the province. Its mission is to support Alberta school communities to improve students' health and learning outcomes. AHSCWF addresses wellness in a planned, integrated and holistic way. It uses a comprehensive school health framework to carry out its work and envisions children and youth able to flourish.

American Institute for Research: Teaching the Whole Child

Teachers impact student learning. Effective teachers do more than just encourage academics; they teach the whole child. Social-emotional learning is critical to student development and readiness to enter adulthood. Educators need access to tools in order to bridge the work they already to with social-emotional learning. The Center on Great Teachers & Leaders at the American Institutes for Research is a team of consultants and researched. It has released a research-to-practice brief with information and strategies on supporting social-emotional learning and teaching the whole child.

APPLE Schools

APPLE Schools (A Project Promoting healthy Living for Everyone in schools) is an innovative school-focused health promotion initiative. By improving healthy eating, physical activity and mental health habits, APPLE Schools improves the lives of more than 20,000 students annually. The project works in 74 schools across Manitoba, northern Alberta, British Columbia the Northwest Territories. The project is guided by the APPLE Schools Board, a registered charitable foundation.

ASEBP The Sandbox

The Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan, in collaboration with the Alberta Healthy School Community Wellness Fund, APPLE Schools, Be Fit For Life Network and Ever Active Schools, has a website dedicated to connecting and supporting wellness champions across the province called The Sandbox. Check out this site for a variety of resources to support workplace wellness champions in the public education sector in Alberta.

ATA Health and Physical Education Council Blog

The Health and Physical Education Council (HPEC) is a specialist council of the Alberta Teachers Association. HPEC's vision is that Alberta teachers will provide quality instruction and programs in health and physical education to promote the development of healthy active lifestyles in students. Check out their blog here:

ATA’s Health and Physical Education Council

The Health and Physical Education Council (HPEC) is a specialist council of the Alberta Teachers Association. HPEC's vision is that Alberta teachers will provide quality instruction and programs in health and physical education to promote the development of healthy active lifestyles in students. For more information on HPEC, including information on their events and resources check out:

Beyond Images Media Literacy Program

Developed by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC), Beyond Images is a turn-key media literacy curriculum for students in grades 4-8. It is made possible with support from the Dove Self-Esteem Project. The free online lesson plans include activities to combat appearance-based bullying and negative stereotypes. Students will explore key issues around body image and self-esteem, as well as messaging within the media. They will develop critical thinking skills in this authentic learning and collaborative inquiry opportunity. Beyond Images provides a safe and comfortable setting for students to discuss challenges and questions about their bodies. NEDIC provides information, resources, referrals and support to Canadians affected by eating disorders through open and supportive dialogue. It offers a helpline, prevention-based outreach and educational programming.

Canada’s Food Guide (2019)

Canada's 2019 Food Guide includes a variety of recommendations on healthy eating. It references food choices and eating habits, and provides tips, recipes and resources. Learn about diets and food trends. Explore strategies to improve your eating habits and learn to adjust recipes to meet your needs. View tips for different life stages, as well as for home, school and work. The food guide is available in many languages to assist a broad range of Canadians.

CASEL: Core Social Emotional Learning Competencies

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is a trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL). Social and emotional learning affects how students use skills, attitudes and behaviours to handle everyday experiences. There are five core competencies within CASEL's framework. Various ways exist to teach them across a variety of settings. Many educators and researchers are exploring how best to assess these competencies.

CASEL: SEL Teaching Activities

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is a trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL). Social and emotional learning affects how students use skills, attitudes and behaviours to handle everyday experiences. CASEL provides sample teaching activities support the five core competencies of social and emotional learning.

Colorado Framework for School Behavioral Health Services

The Colorado Education Initiative took advantage of state and federal legislation changes to improve student behavioural health. Although barriers still persist, Colorado schools have better opportunities to achieve enhanced student and staff well-being and improved school climate and culture. The Colorado Framework for School Behavioural Health is a guide. It includes supports for prevention, early intervention and intervention for social, emotional and behavioural needs of students from K-12. The Framework includes three models of service delivery for students with high behavioural health needs.

DASH BC: Dedicated Action for School Health

Based in BC, Dedicated Action for School Health (DASH) promotes, supports and facilitates the creation of healthy school communities. DASH works with cross-sector partners to promote comprehensive school health. It runs a variety of school-health initiatives. It also has resources to support healthy school communities. View the DASH BC website to access these resources, and also sign up for the newsletter to keep up with its work. 

Dove School Workshops on Body Image: Confident Me

Body confidence and self-esteem affect young people's learning. Although 8 out of 10 girls opt out of everyday activities because of concern about their looks, Dove is working to change that. Dove launched its self-esteem project to help young people grow up feeling confident. Teachers and educators have access to the Dove School Workshops on Body Image: Confident Me. These are evidence-informed resources aimed at 11- to 14-year-olds. The free downloadable tools allow teachers and educators to run body-confidence workshops. Explore the impact that image ideals portrayed in the media have on young people's self-esteem. The single- and five-lesson tools adapt to your time frame, and Dove proved that both tools make a positive impact on improving body confidence.

EdCan Network: Supporting Student Mental Well-Being

Mental well-being is a hot-topic in schools these days, and rightly so. The EdCan Network works to ensure that all students thrive. It elevates the work being done by teachers, principals, superintendents, researchers and other education leaders to challenge the status quo. Check out this 2017 article by Jonathan Bluteau, titled How can we best support student mental well-being?

Energy Cubes Challenge

The Energy Cubes Challenge targets K-8 students to engage in as much physical activity as possible for one month, both at school and at home. The challenge runs from April 27th and May 25th, 2020. Students can get family members moving, too, to earn more 'energy cubes'. Students and families will collect cubes and combine them with the rest of the school, then schools can win prizes! In 2019 schools across Canada collected more than 100,000,000 cubes — that's a lot of cubes! The Energy Cubes Challenge will award the winning school with a full day of entertainment. Runners-up get more than $500 worth of quality sports equipment for their school!  The Energy Cubes Challenge is a partnership between la Fédération des éducateurs et éducatrices physiques enseignants du Québec (FEEPEQ), Québecor, Télé-Québec and the Government of Canada. Visit the website to learn more and sign your school up!

Ever Active Schools

Ever Active Schools (EAS) is a provincial initiative in Alberta to create and support healthy school communities. Using a comprehensive school health approach, it addresses health and education goals to improve the social outcomes of children and youth. The Health and Physical Education Council of the Alberta Teachers' Association created EAS as a special project. It uses collaborative partnerships, projects-based work, knowledge exchange and competency-based learning opportunities to accomplish goals. It is a connecting point within the province for supporting healthy children and youth. EAS runs projects such as Learn to Skate, Teachers of Tomorrow and more. It also provides professional learning and plenty of classroom-ready resources for teachers. It hosts conferences and events for both professionals and youth to further its work in the health and education fields. EAS shares content through an annual magazine and a monthly e-newsletter, along with other channels such as social media. Ever Active Schools receives funding from government as well as private grants and partners. It has worked closely with Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities to increase capacity for sport and overall student well-being in Alberta school communities. Visit the Ever Active Schools website to learn more about comprehensive school health, access resources and professional learning, and get involved with provincial projects.

JCSH: Positive Mental Health Toolkit

Five online modules make up the Positive Mental Health Toolkit. The toolkit presents information in a user-friendly manner while also providing a means of measuring positive mental health practices. Results generate a series of strategies for students, educators and staff. It exists to promote positive mental health practices and perspectives within the school environment. Dr. Patricia Peterson and Dr. Bill Morrison of the University of New Brunswick developed the toolkit for the Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium on School Health (JCSH). Many professionals from across Canada assisted as key informants and reviewers. Provincial, territorial and federal governments established JCSH in 2005 to bring together the health and education sectors. It brings together key representatives from across the country to frame the collaborative work of student success and wellness.

Kainai Board of Education Wellness Policy

The Kainai Board of Education (KBE) created its Wellness Policy for students and staff to be lifelong learners. It promotes wellness within the school so that community members can live healthy, disease-free lives. The KBE rooted this policy in the local belief in promoting the rights, powers and welfare of the Nation; however, it also acknowledges where these beliefs meet a Western worldview. The Wellness Policy covers spiritual, emotional, mental and also physical well-being. The KBE create this wellness policy knowing that the community lives with the effects of intergenerational trauma, but also that culture, traditions and land provide the strength and knowledge needed to thrive. The board embeds wellness in the culture, curriculum and extracurricular programming of all schools. The four aspects of the Traditional Wheel guide the approach to wellness.

Love is Respect: Teen Dating Violence Resources

loveisrespect's engages, educates and empowers young people to prevent and end abusive relationships. It offers support, information and advocacy to young people, as well as to concerned family, friends, teachers, counselors and others. loveisrespect's services are free and confidential. Young people can use the services 24/7/365. The online website strives to be a safe, inclusive space. Young people can access information and get help in an environment designed specifically for them. The resource launched in 2007 as a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It acts as not only the first 24-hour resource for teens experiencing dating violence and abuse, but also as the only teen helpline serving the entire United States. In 2011, it entered a strategic partnership with Break the Cycle, another national leader in preventing dating abuse. It launched 24-hour text services in the same year. Visit the website to view available resources.


Based in Ontario, Ophea's vision is that all children and youth value and enjoy the lifelong benefits of healthy, active living. They champion healthy, active living in schools and communities, work with and support teachers, education leaders, health professionals and pre-service teachers and provide resources to support the implementation of health and wellness initiatives in Ontario schools. View the Ophea website to learn more.

PHE Canada

Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada) is a national charitable association. It encourages healthy, active kids by promoting quality health and physical education opportunities, as well as healthy learning environments. PHE Canada inspires all to live healthy, physically active lives. Since 1993, it has provided quality programs, professional development services and community initiatives.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based framework. It works to improve and integrate the data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes every day, while creating schools where all students succeed. PBIS isn’t a curriculum you purchase or something you learn during a one-day professional development training. It is a commitment to addressing student behavior through systems change. When implemented well, students achieve improved social and academic outcomes, schools experience reduced exclusionary discipline practices, and school personnel feel more effective. The National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports began in 1998. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). It supports schools, districts, and states to build capacity for implementing a tiered approach to social, emotional and behavioral support. The broad purpose of PBIS is to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of schools and other agencies. PBIS also improves social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students. This includes students with disabilities as well as students from underrepresented groups. PBIS provides: Technical assistance to encourage large-scale implementation of PBIS Organizational models, demonstrations, dissemination, and evaluation tools needed to implement PBIS across an extended array of contexts On top of the provisions, it also extends the lessons learned from PBIS implementation to the broader agenda of educational reform.

PREVnet: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Fact Sheet

This Bullying Prevention and Intervention in the School Environment resource exists for educators. On top of introduction, education, assessment, prevention and intervention and policy sections, it will also support your ongoing bullying prevention efforts. It also includes tools to provide evidence-based strategies to recognize, assess, prevent, intervene and develop an evidence-based bully prevention policy. PREVNet co-founders Dr. Debra Pepler and Dr. Wendy Craig, along with contributors from Dr. Joanne Cummings and Dr. Nancy Dalgarno, prepared this resource in 2014. Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet) is a national network of leading researchers and organizations working together to stop bullying in Canada. It is the first of its kind in Canada. It has three key messages: Bullying is wrong and hurtful Bullying is a relationships problem Promoting relationships and eliminating violence are everybody's responsibility PREVNet works to make Canada a world-leader in bullying prevention as well as promoting healthy relationships. It has additional up-to-date resources and tools available on its website, as well as partner organizations, events and more.

PREVnet: Guidelines for Bullying Intervention and Prevention in Schools

PREVNet created Guidelines for Bullying Intervention and Prevention in Schools in partnership with the Canadian Association of Principals (CAP). This pamphlet covers the core questions of "what is bullying?" and "how do children and youth bully others?". It explores the prevalence of bullying in Canadian schools, as well as perspectives on intervention and strategy pillars for social change. It also provides up-to-date information on bullying, victimization and research-based guidelines. Bullying is a destructive relationship problem among students. Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet) is a national network of leading researchers and organizations working together to stop bullying in Canada. It is the first of its kind in Canada. It has three key messages: Bullying is wrong and hurtful Bullying is a relationships problem Promoting relationships and eliminating violence are everybody's responsibility PREVNet works to make Canada a world-leader in bullying prevention as well as promoting healthy relationships. It has additional up-to-date resources and tools available on its website, as well as partner organizations, events and more.

Raising Our Kids Healthy

Raising Our Healthy Kids is a series of 60-90 second videos with up-to-date health information for parents and care providers. These short snappy videos will help Canadian families live healthier lives. They were developed for parents, parents to be and grandparents; pre-natal groups and classes; health care providers who work with parents; teachers; childcare workers; and many more groups and individuals who could benefit. Topics range from nutrition to physical activity to oral health.  The videos are the vision of Shadow Light Productions and Kay Watson-Jarvis. The video content was developed by a multi-stakeholder group including Dietitians of Canada, Alberta Health Services and Canada Research Chair in Food Marketing, Policy and Children's Health, Dr. Charlene Elliott, with input from physicians and community stakeholders across Canada. The content of the videos is consistent with messages from Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Alberta Health Services, and nutrition messages are consistent with PEN: Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition®. The videos were produced by Shadow Light Productions with principal funding from the Calgary Health Trust. Financial support for French translations provided by EatRight Ontario.

School Mental Health Ontario

School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO) supports districts to enhance student mental health through the use of evidence-based strategies and services. Since 2011, it has worked alongside government and school partners, along with provincial education and health organizations, to develop a systematic and comprehensive approach. It provides: leadership and guidance about best practices implementation coaching tailored, co-created resources mental health literacy for educators and school/system leaders training for SMH professionals mental health awareness for parents/families a platform for student voice and leadership Through these services, it aims to enhance the quality and consistency of mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention programming in Ontario schools. Check the website for the six strategic goals and five key strategies, and discover how SMHO is achieving them. Evidence-based information and resources are available for school and system leaders, educators, students, parents, and more.

Teaching Sexual Health

Teaching Sexual Health is an innovative website developed by Alberta educators and health professionals. It offers up-to-date, evidence-based information and strategies. These strategies are for teachers and educators, as well as for parents of children from birth up to 18 years of age. Its philosophy reflects the approach to sexual health education embodied in Health Canada’s (2019) Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education. Health Canada created the guidelines based on the principle that sexual health education should be accessible to all people, as well as that it should be provided in an age appropriate, culturally sensitive manner. The guidelines respect an individual’s right to make informed choices about sexual and reproductive health. Teaching Sexual Health believes that sexual health education honours the self-worth and dignity of the individual and does not discriminate against race, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, ethno-cultural background or disability.

Teen Mental Health’s Resources for Educators

Teen Mental Health wants to improve the mental health of youth by the effective translation and transfer of scientific knowledge. It uses the best scientific evidence available to develop application-ready training programs, publications, tools and resources that can be applied across disciplines to enhance the understanding of adolescent mental health and mental disorders. View the resources for educators, which exist to improve mental health literacy among students, educators and school staff.

The Children’s Link Society

The Children’s Link Society is known and valued for offering resources, information, connections and hope to families and professionals caring for children and youth with special needs. Children’s Link is staffed by a dedicated team, many of whom have lived experience with disability. Our resource database contains more than 1,000 community resources, enabling us to provide people with a comprehensive variety of service and support options. Through one-to-one conversations, support groups, workshops, and online networking opportunities, Children’s Link provides a safe, accepting environment for people to learn, share and connect.   Services we offer:  One-one-one support Resource listings for services such as preschools, recreational activities, respite, counselling and more.  Natural supports groups – coffee socials  Assistance with adult transition supports (AISH, PDD & Guardianship applications)  Support and assistance for families to apply for FSCD and Support agencies in Calgary.  Resource Fairs and workshops On-line database For more information, please visit us at our website:

The Student Body: Promoting Health at Any Size

The Student Body, a teacher training module, exists to help alert teachers (and parents) to the factors that can trigger unhealthy dieting among children, as well as ways to prevent it. The website sheds light on six areas of concern: Media and Peer Pressure Healthy Eating Active living Teasing Adult Role Models School Climate These learning modules use animations, videos and background information to emphasize some of the positive and negative factors affecting body image and unhealthy eating habits.

UBC Social Emotional Learning Resources

The Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Resource Finder lives as a “one-stop” site for educators, and anyone who works with children and youth, to learn how to foster SEL and mental well-being in educational settings. Research and practice continue to build a strong case for the value and necessity of SEL and mental health. It becomes important to recognize the many different ways to create safe, respectful, and caring learning environments. These maximize potential and optimize well-being in the next generation. Promoting social and emotional learning has become a major focus in schools and youth-serving organizations. Research continues to document the value of such training for both academic and life success.  The Resource Finder provides a variety of resources to help you learn about SEL, apply teaching methods and asses your efforts. Learn, Apply and Assess make up the resource categories. Filter resources by a variety of focuses, academic areas, age groups, and more. Resources presented by The Edith Lando Charitable Foundation. View a variety of social emotional learning resources presented by The Edith Lando Charitable Foundation | UBC Faculty of Education here:

Well at Work by EdCan

Developed by the EdCan Network, Well at Work calls on education leaders to commit to making workplace well-being a top priority, and encourages everyone to take responsibility in creating supportive school cultures where staff look after their well-being and that of their colleagues — every day. Despite the fact that stress and burnout are on the rise among staff in Canadian K-12 education systems, investment to support their well-being isn’t keeping pace. Well at Work is all about giving schools and school districts the tools they need to improve working conditions for the long term. The EdCan Network's mission is to ensure that ALL students thrive in our schools. This initiative aims to shift mindsets by showcasing research, policy and practice that results in healthier, happier, and more resilient Kindergarten-to-Grade 12 staff.

When Something’s Wrong: Strategies for Teachers

Check out this handbook from the Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation for information on how to understand and implement ways to help children with behaviour problems that are due to common mental disorders: