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A teacher’s take on youth health literacy

Published on 30.09.2023 at 13:29

Since I was young, I aspired to become a natural science teacher. But now that I see this dream realised, a collective responsibility shared with my colleagues falls upon me, to contribute to the health literacy of my young students. I understand that youth health extends beyond mere physical well-being. It is about recognising that a strong foundation of health is crucial for turning aspirations of young people into reality, especially for those less fortunate. 


When granted the autonomy to make informed decisions about our bodies and health, we take charge of our well-being. We grasp that comprehensive sexual education is key to empowerment, enabling us to make responsible choices about our sexual health, reducing unwanted pregnancies, preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Mental health is another vital aspect that transcends the subject I teach but should be present throughout the community. In a world that often feels overwhelming, I feel the need to break the stigma surrounding youth mental health. This realisation often comes from our own experiences, as we sometimes suffer and witness our friends, relatives, partners struggling due to a lack of openness. 


It was with this topic of mental health that I addressed the risks associated with drug and alcohol use, which are so common among youth who gravitate towards new and thrilling experiences, tempting them to experiment with substances out of curiosity. It was by speaking openly about it that I captured the audience's attention during an initial session of the science course. The more informed we are, the better we can defend ourselves, and the stronger and healthier we are. So, health literacy becomes our guiding light, a powerful tool equipping us with the knowledge to make informed choices. Good health literacy outcomes guide us toward a future where we can contribute positively to society as healthy, responsible, and engaged citizens. Youth Health Literacy

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