• 8Nov

    Health Literacy Month – What Health Literacy Means to me

    A series of blogs where people have described what health literacy means to them.

    The first blog is by Dr Ann Wales, Programme Manager, Knowledge and Decision Support, Digital Health and Care Division, Scottish Government.

    “I see health literacy in action across a wide spectrum of health and care needs. It enables the community pharmacist to help a young man with learning disabilities to understand what foods to avoid on the medicines he takes;  the consultant  to signpost a patient to a mobile app to weigh up the risks and benefits of surgery; the full-time carer with depression to make social contacts and refresh her spirits through sharing stories with a peer support group and through the creative reading group at the local library.”

    The second blog features the thoughts of Jamie Begbie, Scottish Government policy lead on health literacy.

    “In the last (incredibly quick) six months I have had the good fortune to work with a number of the incredible organisations all working towards the main aim of Scotland’s two health literacy action plans, ‘Making it Easy’ and ‘Making it Easier’. The aim is that ‘We want Scotland to be a health literate society which enables all of us to have sufficient confidence, knowledge understanding and skills to live well, on our own terms, and with any health condition that we may have’.”

    The last blog features the thoughts of Angela Sinclair Miller who is a person with lived experience of a long term mental health condition.

    “For me health literacy is having access to digestible and meaningful information that promotes self management of my condition. Trying to get the information I needed when I was first diagnosed was hard. Flimsy leaflets told me too little and were impersonal. Recommended books were far too much for my mentally ill mind to take in. I could barely read a few lines without feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content. Nothing I was presented with helped me.”

    “I had to come up with a strategy to find formats that displayed information in a way that worked for me. So I took a digital approach, going online to discover the meaningful and digestible information I was looking for.”

    Read the full blogs here: http://www.healthliteracyplace.org.uk/blog/