National Health Education Week 2020

By: Jennifer Lonergan

Health education is any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals and communities improve their health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes

– World Health Organization (WHO)

October 19-23 is National Health Education Week (NHEW).

For the past 25 years, the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) has celebrated National Health Education Week. Originally, it was run by the Department of Health and Human Services. 

SOPHE is a 70 year old nonprofit organization that “promotes the health of society through:”

  • Advances in health education theory and research
  • Excellence in professional preparation and practice
  • Advocacy for public policies conducive to health
  • Achievement of health equity for all

SOPHE applies their Mission Statement of “to provide global leadership to the profession of health education and health promotion and to promote the health of society” directly to NHEW. With daily activities and now webinars (due to Covid-19), there is a lot of information each day of National Health Education Week.

  • Monday, October 19 | Health Equity and Racism Elimination: Advocating for Change 
  • Tuesday, October 20 | Emergency Preparedness: Are You Ready?
  • Wednesday, October 21 | Mental Health & Mindfulness
  • Thursday, October 22 | Health Literacy: Words
  • Friday, October 23 | Career Settings for a Health Education/Promotion Specialist

NHEW is a great opportunity for those in medical, educational, and professional fields to assess their work and education environment. To see what professional development is out there, for themselves and their staff, to stay educated and current on all the resources that are available. The webinars are a collaborative and idea sharing tool with immense benefits—the definition of community. 

The webinars are free and open to anyone!

Health education truly encompasses all aspects of human life. 

From our neighborhoods to our schools, our economy to our nutrition, our health care to our work environment: just looking at all those topics that health education touches, it is obvious no one is immune. 

Health education is any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals and communities improve their health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes.

This definition sounds idyllic, yet simple.

Having a week to focus and highlight current topics and modern concerns of our health is a responsibility everyone should shoulder. 


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