Health education is a profession of educating people about health. Areas within this profession encompass environmental health, physical health, social health, emotional health, intellectual health, and spiritual health, as well as sexual and reproductive health education.
Health education teaches about physical, mental, emotional and social health. It motivates students to improve and maintain their health, prevent disease, and reduce risky behaviours. It also focuses on emotional, mental and social health too. Educating students on the importance of health builds their motivation.
Health education is one strategy for implementing health promotion and disease prevention programs. Health education provides learning experiences on health topics. Health education strategies are tailored for their target population. Health education presents information to target populations on particular health topics, including the health benefits/threats they face, and provides tools to build capacity and support behavior change in an appropriate setting.
From the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, the aim of public health was controlling the harm from infectious diseases, which were largely under control by the 1950s. By the mid 1970s it was clear that reducing illness, death, and rising health care costs could best be achieved through a focus on health promotion and disease prevention. At the heart of the new approach was the role of a health educator.
Code of ethics
The Health Education Code of Ethics has been a work in progress since approximately 1976, begun by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE).
“The Code of Ethics that has evolved from this long and arduous process is not seen as a completed project. Rather, it is envisioned as a living document that will continue to evolve as the practice of Health Education changes to meet the challenges of the new millennium.”
Importance of Health Education .
Health education builds student’s knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes about health. Health education teaches about physical, mental, emotional and social health. It motivates students to improve and maintain their health, prevent disease, and reduce risky behaviours.
Health education curricula and instruction help students to learn skills so that they will use to make healthy choices throughout their lifetime.
Health education teaches people of all ages about how diet and exercise contribute to a healthy lifestyle. It also encourages positive changes in behaviour and lowers the risk of addiction to drugs, alcohol and unsafe sexual practices. The majority of schools around the country have courses aimed at teaching health education to students. These courses often revolve around the body, healthy eating, sex and exercising. Some students are taught basic health and physical fitness early on. More in-depth courses are designed for middle and high school students.
Health education encourages a person to make healthy choices. They are instructed to avoid unhealthy habits. ‘A sound mind lives in a sound body’. Rabindranath Tagore and C.V. Raman, if they were confined to sick bed, could not have won the Nobel Prize. In fact, a sickly student with all his talents and abilities lags behind in the race of life.
Health education also teaches about the emotional and mental health of the student. A healthy person is the happiest person in the world.
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