Why address social determinants of health in SBHCs?
Access to and use of healthcare is only one factor that affects the health of children and adolescents. Environmental factors such as housing, the quality of education, access to nutritious foods and reliable transportation, family income, and discrimination can affect young people’s quality of life and their chance to thrive in adulthood. These social determinants of health can cause significant disparities among children and adolescents.
How do SBHCs address social determinants of health?
Conveniently offering comprehensive health services in schools allows children and adolescents to get back to class quickly so they can continue their education. SBHCs eliminate the need to travel to appointments, which can be a barrier for some youth. By collaborating with school and community partners, SBHCs can raise awareness about federal nutrition programs and the importance of eating nutritious foods and can address food insecurity by partnering with local food pantries. SBHCs can educate children and adolescents of color and those from families with low income about the healthcare field and spur interest in pursuing careers in healthcare. Through care coordination, partnerships, and screenings for the social determinants of health, SBHCs provide support and programs that lay the foundation for youth to thrive as adults.
School-Based Health Alliance Resources
Want further assistance implementing and improving Social Determinants of Health in your SBHC
Together, our consulting team brings decades of combined experience in planning, implementing, operating, evaluating, and improving community-provided school-based health care, including SBHCs. Learn more about consulting services here.
Expert Mental Health Partners
- Understanding and Addressing The Social Influencers of Health & Education
- Assessing Social Influencers of Health and Education
- Addressing Social Influencers of Health and Education Using a Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports Framework
- School-Based Health and Medical-Legal Partnerships Factsheet
- The Children’s Health and Education Mapping Tool
- Understanding Social Influencers of Health and Education: A Role for School-Based Health Centers and Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems.