Health Education as an Adult

Health Education Topics Adults Should Have Learned in School

As an adult, you may reflect back on your school years and feel as though you didn’t quite get the education you needed, especially when it comes to all things health related. Perhaps you read about puberty and changing bodies, but weren’t given a proper lesson on sexual health. Or, maybe you learned about how bad stress can be on the body, but never developed real-world life skills to combat it later in life. Whatever the case may be, health education should be more in-depth for students, so that when they become adults they can make better choices for themselves and others.

Here are a few examples of what adults may have learned later in life, but should have been informed about during their school-age years in the classroom:

The importance of mental health.

Some people may see their body and mind as separate. However, our physical health and mental wellness are certainly interconnected, and can influence each other. Physical health problems can increase the risk of mental health issues, and vice versa. Around one in three people with a long-term health condition of the body, also have a mental health problem. Research shows that those with a mental illness are at an increased likelihood for being diagnosed with a preventable physical health condition. The potential reasons for this include:

  • Genetics and Family History: our DNA plays a bigger role in our physical and mental health than we may realize. Being aware of the conditions our family members have had in the past can give us more insight into what we may be vulnerable to developing in the future. 
  • Lack of Motivation/Energy: mental health issues, or prescribed medications for treating them, can impact a person’s energy level, ultimately making it harder to take care of themselves.
  • Physical Symptoms: mental health issues can result in physical symptoms. For example, those with depression or anxiety may have digestive problems, headaches, upset stomach, restlessness, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue.
Health Education Topics Adults Should Have Learned in School

Life skills and how to combat stress.

One day we suddenly find ourselves out of school and in the real world. Within the first few years of adulthood, we may find that we don’t have the skills needed to handle all the things that come along with being an individual on their own. For instance, we may have memorized historical facts and solved complicated math equations, but we didn’t learn how to do our taxes or how to balance a checkbook. And if we don’t have the coping skills to manage the stress that being an adult can bring, then we may not be able to function at our very best.

Healthy relationships and communication.

Dating, sexuality, relationships, and communication would probably be much easier in adulthood if we were adequately taught about it in school. It isn’t until we have had a romantic heartbreak, lost what we thought were lasting friendships, or have a symptom we are too embarrassed to ask others about, do we realize how important young health education is. And, how much happier and healthier most adults would be if they received proper education in our younger years.