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"Clark, Deborah (Library)" <[log in to unmask]>
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Clark, Deborah (Library)
Wed, 5 Oct 2022 19:50:48 +0000
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Hello All, October is Health Literacy Month. Health literacy is the ability to find, understand, and use health information to make health and wellness decisions or generally improve one's health. At least a third of the U.S. population has basic or below-basic health literacy skills. This is especially seen in:

  *   Low socioeconomic and less-educated groups with low general literacy
  *   Older people (over age 65)
  *   People whose primary language is not English
  *   People who are stressed (when we are sick and reading unfamiliar medical/health terminology, our reading comprehension decreases)

Consequences of low health literacy can lead to:

  *   Lack of understanding one's medical situation or health condition
  *   Misunderstanding of health risks
  *   Less engagement in preventative health services and healthy lifestyle
  *   Inability to take prescribed medicines properly
  *   Excess healthcare utilization (such as using the ER for minor medical issues)
  *   Higher mortality
  *   Higher healthcare costs

Fortunately, libraries can help their communities find easy-to-read health information and provide programming to support healthy eating, physical activity, and healthy aging. Check out these resources:

  *   CDC
  *   NNLM NER grant funding for health literacy programs and services (requests will be accepted fall and spring)
  *   Health info in multiple languages
  *   Medlineplus easy-to-read health articles
  *   The Digital Maine Library Gale Health and Wellness Reference Center has easy articles on medical conditions, drugs, tests, and healthy living
  *   Programming Librarian suggestions for health and wellness community programs
  *   Graphics for social media posting to raise awareness of health literacy

Deborah A. Clark, MLIS
Library Management Specialist
Maine State Library
E-mail: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
"Great Libraries Build Strong Communities"