What is it?
The term Health Literacy describes what a person needs to know to make a sound health decision about themselves, a family member or on behalf of the community. This is a vital step that empowers your ability to have control, find the right information and take responsibility for your health.
Understanding your health and your family’s health in context, together with understanding the factors that are impacting it, then knowing what to do to address these factors is all part of having good health literacy. This allows you to take responsibility for both your family and your own health.
It is not just when we are sick. We make daily decisions for ourselves, our families and our communities that impact our health.
For example, When the COVID pandemic came, many people didn’t understand what to do. In Australia, there was an outbreak in Melbourne and it was discovered that many people couldn’t access to information they could understand. Therefore they could not apply the health information to what they were doing. Did not wear masks, handwash or self-isolate. For some, English language was not their first language and it was this reason that they did not watch Australian TV, listen to the radio or read the paper. For others, (due to lack of access to school in their own country) they did not know what a virus was and others had little knowledge about why hand washing works to reduce transmission. The decisions made were the best they could do with what information they could access and understand.
Or Jenny's choice:
Or Tom's ability to manage his Chronic Disease: