National Health Education Week
Health education draws on various sciences and uses a theory-driven approach to prevent disease, illness, injury, and premature death and to promote health (Society for Public Health Education [SOPHE], 2014). Health education specialists (HES) utilize health education and health promotion to foster healthy decision-making among individuals, groups, and communities through increasing understanding, attitudes, and skills (SOPHE, 2014).
In an effort to raise awareness on how health education and HES impact public health, SOPHE began sponsoring National Health Education Week (NHEW). Beginning in 1995, NHEW is celebrated every third full week in October. This year’s NHEW falls on October 20-24th and will honor the next generation of specialists with various themes each day. The future relies on the young leaders and health education specialists. Therefore, it is imperative that current health educators focus on mentoring and supporting them, which is one of the reasons why this year’s theme focuses on the future of the profession by celebrating these young and bright individuals (SOPHE, 2014).
2014 NHEW daily themes:
- Day 1, Monday, October 20: Creating a shared vision for the future of health education
- Day 2, Tuesday, October 21: Training and educating the next generation of HES
- Day 3, Wednesday, October 22: Highlighting 30 HES under the age of 30
- Day 4, Thursday, October 23: Employing the next generation of HES
- Day 5, Friday, October 24: Mentoring the next generation of HES
In addition to hosting virtual events aimed at each of the varying themes, SOPHE provides a NHEW Toolkit including detailed instructions to encourage professionals to host local NHEW events. Be sure to check out the SOPHE website for additional information and resources.
Society for Public Health Education. (2014). National health education week. Retrieved from https://www.sophe.org/nhew.cfm
Jaimi L. Allen is currently in the Health Studies Doctoral Program at Texas Woman’s University. Her focal area is public health and her research interests include a wide variety of topics such as physical activity, sexuality, and body image. She is an active service member of the United States Navy Reserves and a full-time clinical instructor at the University of Central Arkansas. UCA is also where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degree focusing on health education and community health.