What is National Health Education Week?
Observed on the third full week of October, National Health Education Week (NHEW) promotes health education and the role it plays in keeping us strong. The Society for Public Health Education co-sponsors the week along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
National Health Education Week Related Holidays
Family Health and Fitness Day USA
Get up and get moving, Family Health and Fitness Day USA is celebrated annually on the last Saturday of September. Created in 1996 by the Health and Information Resource Center, this day was made to encourage people of all ages to get physically active not only for their health but also to have fun with the people they love.
National Depression Education and Awareness Month
Every October is National Depression Education and Awareness Month. Depression comes in many forms and people cope in different ways, sometimes without even knowing they have depression. This month was made to raise awareness of the stigmas surrounding depression and encourage those suffering to reach out and ask for help.
National Impotency Month
Every November is National Impotency Month. Impotency, or erectile dysfunction, is often seen as taboo but over 50% of men aged 50 and up have reported experiencing it. It’s important to take this time to realize that erectile dysfunction is not a failure, and shouldn’t be treated as such. Consult your doctor if you’ve been experiencing constant moments of impotency as it may be caused by an underlying health issue.
History of National Health Education Week
Created in 1995, National Health Education Week has worked to raise awareness of the importance of health education specialists and their contribution to consumer wellness as well as educate the next generation of students. People in this profession provide knowledge, skills, and training to complement health providers, policy makers, human resource personnel, educators, and other professionals that impact human wellness.
The purpose of health education is to improve the health status of people, communities, and the nation. Educators work to strengthen the quality of life for all individuals and reduce premature deaths and disabilities. When health education specifically focuses on prevention, it helps lower the financial burden spent on medical treatment. Chronic conditions, like diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and cancer make up more than 75% of all money spent on health care in the United States alone each year. Educating the masses in health literacy is a large component of health status within the country. Without this subject being taught by education specialists, members of omitted communities can be negatively affected.
Each day of National Health Education Week focuses on a different health education topic. The first day ensures that the week starts out on a strong note. Monday, October 21 is dedicated to championing health for vulnerable populations through advocacy. This first day focuses on groups who are historically ignored and silenced and had their trust violated in regards to their economic status, educational opportunities, environmental safety, and lack of health care access. Trauma, socio-economic status, and discrimination are all factors that can lead to the risk of developing a chronic disease.