What is health literacy?
When you are sick or unwell, what do you do and where do you go? This can be a daunting process for anyone. Health literacy is the ability to access, understand and use information about physical, mental and social wellbeing.
Almost two in three Tasmanians, including one in three with a university degree, don’t have the necessary health literacy skills to manage their health and wellbeing. Individual health literacy skills are things like:
- Understanding or remembering health information.
- Knowing how to find and access services.
- Knowing how to arrange appointments.
- Knowing how to prevent health problems.
Organisations can play a strong role in making it easier for people to find, navigate, understand and use services. This is called organisational health literacy. Good organisational health literacy is:
- Providing clear information to help people make informed decisions.
- Engaging with people in a friendly and welcoming manner.
- Having clear and easy-to-navigate processes.
- Involving people in decision making.
The TasCOSS Health Literacy Project aims to increase awareness of health literacy and improve organisational health literacy within the community services and health care industries in Tasmania. To achieve this goal, TasCOSS has developed the HeLLOTas! Toolkit.
HeLLOTas! is a self-paced, step-by-step online resource to help community service organisations and health providers to complete a self-assessment of their service and develop a tailored action plan to improve their service delivery and business practices. The HeLLOTas! Toolkit includes practical tools, resources and links to accreditation standards.
TasCOSS is supported by Public Health Services (Tasmanian Government) and Primary Health Tasmania and works in collaboration with these funding partners.