About the project

Health and health habits are formed at an early age, emphasizing the importance of early interventions where home, preschool, and school play crucial roles. According to Article 6 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, every child has the right to survive, live, and develop physically, mentally, spiritually, morally, and socially. Since the Child Convention has been part of Swedish law since 2020, questions arise about how we can collectively strive to do what is best for children. Despite a generally positive outlook for the future, today's younger generation reports experiencing sleep problems, headaches, sadness, and other mental health issues to a greater extent than previous generations, and they consume more healthcare and psychotropic medication for these symptoms compared to earlier generations. Additionally, they are less physically active, and the percentage of children and young people with obesity and overweight is increasing.

In line with this issue, the number of new cases of depression, anxiety disorders, self-harm, and eating disorders among children and young adults has been rising for a long time. There are many explanations and causes behind this increase, and the picture regarding children's health is complex. All research indicates that it is of utmost importance to prioritize matters related to both mental health and physical health from the moment our children are born and continuously throughout their preschool and school years. School is the only institution that reaches all children, and therefore, it is crucial that schools have the prerequisites in terms of knowledge and competence to work towards promoting health and ensuring that children have the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, spiritually, morally, and socially. This also aligns well with the provisions of the Education Act, stating that a health-promoting perspective should permeate all aspects of education.

This project aims to investigate how teachers can be equipped to address this health issue among children and young people, as well as what efforts need to be made to achieve this. Within the project framework, studies with both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be conducted to examine the need for knowledge and perceived preparedness to address health issues among teacher students, teacher educators, principals, and practicing educators in both preschool and school settings.