Health Education as a Catalyst for Change: National Health Education Week


By Theo Smith, Associate, Marketing & Communications 

Since 1995, the third week of October has been designated as National Health Education Week. The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) and the Department of Health and Human Services collaborated to empower the public to get involved in their health care and raise awareness for health education and health literacy. This year’s National Health Education Week’s theme is Health Education as a Catalyst for Change 

From Monday, October 19 through Friday, October 23, SOPHE and the Department of Health and Human Services will run daily webinars highlighting health education issues like emergency preparedness, advocating for change, health equity and racial discrimination, mental health and mindfulness, health literacy and why words matter, and career setting for health education specialists. 

National Health Education Week focuses on increasing national awareness on major public health issues and promotes better understanding of the role of health education. Health literacy and education are large determinant of health status and without access to information, members in each community can be greatly affected.  

 The three main goals of National Health Education Week are:  

      1. To train and educate the public on health issues and where to access information. 
      2. To increase awareness of health education and health literacy across the country and empower individuals to get involved in their personal care.  
      3. To provide support and resources for health education specialists and other health education professionals. 

This year, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important that individuals understand the health care system and where they can find trustworthy and accurate health care information. In order to improve the health status of individuals, communities, states, and the nation; health education and health literacy need to be widely understood and implemented.  

The National Health Council (NHC) encourages patients and patient advocates to be engaged in all aspects of health care including, research, policy, quality-of-care, and value-of-treatment. The NHC provides individuals with access to high-quality information and promotes increased access to affordable, high-value, sustainable health care.