What Works for Health

Policies and programs that can improve health

School-based health clinics with reproductive health services

Provide reproductive health care services such as counseling, contraception, and testing in middle and high school-based health clinics

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Sexual Activity

School-based intimate partner violence prevention programs

Provide youth with teen dating violence education that addresses healthy relationships, gender norms, relationship coercion, and violence in a school setting

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety

School-based nutrition education programs

Address nutrition in schools via educational (e.g., classroom or curricula-wide efforts, peer training, etc.), environmental (e.g., school menus, classroom snacks, etc.), and other approaches

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

School-based physical education enhancements

Expand or enhance school-based physical education (PE) by lengthening existing classes, increasing physical activity during class, adding new PE classes, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

School-based social and emotional instruction

Implement focused efforts to help children recognize and manage emotions, set and reach goals, appreciate others’ perspectives, and maintain relationships; also called social and emotional learning (SEL)

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

School-based social norming: alcohol consumption

Provide objective, normative information to reduce students’ misperceptions about alcohol use and, ultimately, change their alcohol consumption

Evidence Rating:
Mixed Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

School-based tobacco prevention skill-building programs

Teach students personal and social skills to avoid tobacco use; led by teachers, health educators, or students in elementary schools, middle schools, or high schools

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Tobacco Use

School-based trauma counseling

Help students process trauma exposure and develop coping skills through individual or small group counseling with mental health professionals or school staff with trauma-specific training

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Education

School-based violence & bullying prevention programs

Address students’ disruptive and antisocial behavior by teaching self-awareness, emotional self-control, self-esteem, social problem solving, conflict resolution, team work, social skills, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

School-community liaisons

Provide low income or at-risk public school students and their families with information about social services and health care supports; also called community resource or family and community liaisons

Evidence Rating:
Insufficient Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Education

School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (Tier 1)

Teach positively stated behavior expectations to all students, often reinforced with prizes or privileges and supported with coaching and data; SWPBIS is tier one of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

Scrap programs for old vehicles

Provide incentives to trade in old cars or light duty trucks with low fuel efficiency and high emissions and buy new vehicles with higher efficiency and lower emissions; also called scrappage or early retirement programs

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Air and Water Quality

Screen time interventions for children

Encourage children to spend time away from TV and other stationary screen media, often as part of a multi-faceted effort to increase physical activity and improve nutrition

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Secondhand smoke education interventions

Use counseling, informational materials, etc. to inform smokers and non-smokers of the harms of secondhand smoke and encourage them to implement home smoking bans

Evidence Rating:
Mixed Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Tobacco Use

Sector-based workforce initiatives

Provide industry-focused education and job training based on the needs of regional employers within specific sectors

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Employment

Seller & server minimum age

Require a minimum age for sellers in off-premise locations that sell alcohol and servers and bartenders in on-premise locations

Evidence Rating:
Insufficient Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

Service-enriched housing

Provide permanent, basic rental housing with social services available onsite or by referral, usually for low income families, seniors, veterans, or people with disabilities

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Housing and Transit

Shared use agreements

Create contracts that support community access to existing facilities (e.g., schools, churches, etc.) before or after business hours; also called joint use, open use, or community use agreements

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Small elementary classes

Reduce the number of students in elementary school classrooms

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Education

Smart Start North Carolina

Provide comprehensive early childhood services, including high quality educational child care, health, and family support to address local needs

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Education