Education to Promote Healthy Behavior Change


Education for healthy behavior change means providing people with information, tools, and encouragement to help them improve their health and stay healthy over time. CHWs respect people’s experience and their abilities to learn, take advantage of resources, and set priorities for changing their own behavior. CHWs work with clients, family and community members, and providers to address issues that may limit opportunities for healthy behavior. The CHW acts as educator and coach, using a variety of techniques to motivate and support behavior change to improve health.

During our training, participants will learn to:
  • Apply information from client and community assessments to health education strategies
  • Develop health improvement plans in cooperation with clients and professional colleagues that recognize and build upon client goals, strengths, and current abilities to work on achieving their goals
  • Apply multiple techniques for helping people understand and feel empowered to address health risks for themselves, their family members, or their communities. (Examples may include informal counseling, motivational interviewing, active listening, harm reduction, community-based participatory research, group work, policy change, and other strategies.)
  • Coordinate education and behavior change activities with the care that is provided by professional colleagues and team members
  • Facilitate constructive discussion in informal and group settings with clients and their families
  • Provide on-going support and follow-up as necessary to support healthy behavior change
  • Communicate with providers and service organizations to help them understand community and individual conditions, culture, and behavior to improve the effectiveness of services they provide
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