Some useful resources around health literacy

Some useful resources around health literacy

Thanks to COVID-19 we are more aware of the importance of health literacy. Many teachers have been integrating readable and reliable health information in their classrooms.

Around 60 percent of Australians have health literacy skills that make it difficult to fully manage their health and wellbeing. There are many barriers to accessing, understanding and using health information. They can include affordability, language, literacy, culture, mental health, complex information and capacity.

National Medicines Symposium on the ABC of Health Literacy

Australia is doing some leading work in this area, highlighted in a recent virtual event, the National Medicines Symposium on the ABC of Health Literacy.

There were sessions for the health industry focussing on how to build a health literate organisation, how literacy principles improve medicine use and how to support those with the greatest need.  Jo Medlin, President of ACAL provided an engaging literacy and numeracy perspective.

The Symposium also heard from consumers. Shelle and Makere from the SBS series Lost for Words talked about their experiences. Another consumer Nev described the issues using a RAT test.

The symposium shared great ideas and tools to improve health literacy. These included:

NPS MedicineWise who hosted the Symposium have very generously shared links to their sessions. Check out the interesting and informative speakers and consumer perspectives using the links below.

A tutor in your pocket

The Caboolture Adult Literacy Group has generously shared their form filling helper for beginning level learners who need to fill in new patient type forms. This form can be folded and put in a pocket to help with visits to doctors or hospitals. It could be customised for your local situation as a classroom exercise and to the needs/comfort level of your students.

Another great resource – The HeLLO Tas! Toolkit

The HeLLO Tas! Toolkit has been developed by the Tasmanian Council of Social Services in collaboration with partner community and health organisations. The Toolkit is to help community service organisations develop their health literacy. You can find it on