A new learning resource aiming to change the way the next generation thinks about health and wellbeing has been launched. A collaboration between RSPH, the Health Foundation and the PSHE Association has developed free lesson plans to help teachers raise secondary school students’ awareness of the social and environmental factors that shape health and wellbeing.

The plans aim to help young people build their resilience to unhealthy environments and to think about what they can do to reshape these environments for the better.

The Health: From Here to Where? resource, aimed at year 9 and 10 students, is centred on a short dystopian story – What You Want by author Tim Byrne. Students are encouraged to imagine a near future where the social determinants of health have gone unaddressed and health inequalities have spiraled.

The resource engages young people to think about the factors – beyond health care –  that help shape our health and wellbeing such as education, employment and social networks. What You Want won a national short story competition run by RSPH and the Health Foundation.

The resource consists of two lesson plans and a wealth of supporting materials, mapped to the PSHE education programme of study but with cross-curricular links to other subjects such as English and Citizenship.

Download the free PSHE Association Quality Assured learning resource, and get inspired by listening to BAFTA-nominal actor Michael Sheen read the audio version of What You Want.

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of RSPH, said: “Tim Byrne’s compelling dystopian vision provides us with a fantastic opportunity to engage young people with the factors that shape the health and wellbeing of us all, from education, employment and housing, to social networks – both real-world and digital. By crafting such a high quality learning resource, the PSHE Association have helped us use this story to build the resilience of young people and really get them thinking about how to help shape their world for the better.”

Jo Bibby, Director of Strategy at The Health Foundation, said: “The factors that influence our health go beyond personal choices. We are all shaped by the wider context in which we live our lives. These resources are an excellent opportunity for young people to understand how the decisions they make are shaped by the environment around them, and the consequences for their wellbeing and health.”

Anne Bell, PSHE Association Subject Specialist, added: “These lessons provide an ideal way to open up conversations about health, to go deeper with mature learners and focus on the wider factors which influence both our health-related behaviours and our health outcomes. We are delighted to award it our Quality Mark for best practice PSHE resources.”