Health Education is one of the 10 Essential Services of a Public Health Department. Health information, education, and prevention activities are provided to reduce health risk and promote better health. This includes informing people about health issues and empowering people to take charge of their health through preventive behaviors and healthy lifestyle choices.
Elements of health education include: -Provide accessible health information, educational resources, classes and referrals to individuals and groups
-Prepare communications plans and sponsoring activities such as media advocacy and social marketing tools
-Build health education partnerships with schools, faith communities, work sites, and personal care providers to implement and reinforce health promotion programs and messages.
Chronic disease accounts for the largest number of deaths in the county and the most health care spending. Ailments such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, respiratory disease, diabetes, and asthma are considered chronic illnesses because they are not quickly cured and have long term health effects. Prevention of chronic disease is a core mission of public health education.
Lifestyle behaviors that impact chronic disease include the prevention of obesity, the cessation of tobacco use, timely vaccinations, good nutrition, increased exercise and the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse. It is reported that obesity, lack of physical activity and tobacco use alone account for one-third of U.S. deaths.