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Glossary: Student Health

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Adverse Childhood Experience

These are traumatic events that have an adverse impact on a young person and can have long-lasting effects on a child’s mental and physical health. The events can include physical, mental or sexual abuse and the death or incarceration of a parent. These are sometimes abbreviated as ACE or ACEs.

Binge drinking

Binge drinking involves consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time. The CDC defines it as four, five or more drinks in two hours or less.


Body mass index is a calculation that uses an individual’s height and weight to determine obesity and as a predictor for future illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. It is age and gender specific.


The most common definition is an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power, or perceived power, over one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening, according to the National Centre Against Bullying.


EVALI is the name given by the CDC to the serious newly identified lung disease linked to vaping. The name EVALI is an acronym that stands for e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury.

Food insecurity

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.”


Sexually transmitted diseases are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. They include genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV/AIDS and human papillomavirus. Some sex education programs include informtion on prevention.

Suicide attempt

The CDC defines a suicide attempt as when someone harms themselves with the intent to end their life, but they do not die as a result of their actions. Young people who commit suicide often have made previous attempts.

Suicidal ideation

This includes thoughts of suicide, a preoccupation with suicide or thoughts of what it would be like if you were not longer around.


When a person vapes, they use a battery-powered device called an e-cigarette to heat a liquid into a vapor that can be inhaled. The vapor may contain nicotine (the addictive drug in tobacco), flavoring, and other chemicals. E-cigarettes can also be used with marijuana, hash oil, or other substance, according to the National Institutes of Health. (This EWA webinar discusses how schools are responding to vaping health concerns.)