October is Health Literacy Awareness month.
Health literacy is our “ability to access, comprehend, evaluate, and communicate information as a way to promote, maintain, and improve health in a variety of settings across the life-course.”
Health literacy affects more people than just those dealing with challenges reading and writing. Canadian statistics show that 60 per cent of working adults and 88 per cent of seniors do not have the necessary health literacy skills to effectively use widely available health information.
Unfortunately, not being able to access, understand, and use health information can result in additional stress and can negatively impact health decisions.
The John Rudy Health Resource Centre Association (JRHRCA) is a non-profit organization that strives to address these issues in their day-to-day work. On Oct. 13, they are presenting “Laughter Is the Best Medicine,” a health literacy awareness event and fundraiser to be held at the Schubert Centre, 3505 30th Avenue. The event will be from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. with doors opening at 1 p.m. Cost per person is $10 at the door.
This event will consist of two short presentations on where and how we get our health information, and what help is available, followed by a Laughter Yoga session facilitated by Carole Fawcett.
Laughter Yoga teaches how important it is to incorporate laughter into one’s everyday life. It shows you that one does not need a reason to laugh – one can just choose to laugh and reap the benefits accordingly. Laughter is contagious and when one is in a group of people who are laughing for no reason, soon one will find themself laughing because it feels good. Fawcett loves to laugh and she will teach all how to laugh from their soul.
Proceeds from the event will go to the JRHRCA and will directly support the services they provide in the community. The JRHRCA, founded in 2016 in Vernon, seeks to improve the health and well-being of the community by addressing health literacy needs. It operates a drop-in health resource centre in the community and offers one-to-one support to anyone who needs help finding, understanding, and using health information and services. The health resource centre is available free to everyone, every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the main floor of the People Place building, 3402 27th Avenue and every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second floor of the Okanagan Regional Library, 2800 30th Avenue. No referral or appointment is needed.