The San Francisco Wellness Initiative is a groundbreaking program dedicated to improving the health, well-being and academic success of the city’s 16,000 public high school students at 19 campuses. In safe, confidential settings, experts in adolescent health at onsite Wellness Centers help teens gain the skills they need to cope with complex issues such as stress, trauma, suicide, bullying, depression, self-esteem, drug and alcohol use, sexual health and relationships. Students learn positive, lifelong habits that contribute to their well-being and success, and ultimately, to the health of the communities in which they live.
How Wellness Works
Wellness Centers provide safe, supportive environments in the school where students can go to discuss a variety of issues from depression, grief, self-esteem, family life and stress to dating violence, sexual identity and gang involvement. The Wellness Programs provide culturally competent services in a confidential, nonjudgmental space staffed with professionals who are dedicated to improving the health, well-being and educational outcomes of all students. Through both on-campus programming and community-based partnerships, students receive coordinated health education, assessment, counseling and other support services at no cost.
A Measurable Impact
Since the first Wellness Centers opened in 2000, student health and academic success has measurably improved. More than 7,500 students visit our Wellness Centers each year. As a result of receiving our services, students report that they feel better about themselves, get along better with family and friends, are better able to cope when things go wrong, and come to school more often. In addition, students report taking steps to improve their own health including reducing their use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.
The Wellness Initiative is the only school-based program for adolescent health and wellness of its kind. The Initiative is made possible through a unique partnership between the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF), and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH). Within SFUSD, the Office of School Health Programs supports and staffs the Initiative. By leveraging the resources of each agency, student health is addressed from a citywide perspective.
For more information, visit sfwellness.org.