What is a Health Champion?
Health Champions promote healthy lifestyles by inspiring others to take a more active role in their health. They are sources of information on all aspects of health and wellbeing, able to signpost people to services and support others to make positive behavioural changes.
Health Champions can be community-based, and connected to a local health service like a pharmacy, or workplace-based, developing initiatives to support their colleague’s health and wellbeing.
Supporting workplace health and wellbeing
In an RSPH report on home-working, we recommended that all workplaces put in place some form of mental health and wellbeing support for their employees. Having workplace Health Champions in place is a great way of ensuring that your entire organisation has access to mental health support and that there are regular activities in place to encourage people to connect with each other. With more people working from home, it's never been more crucial to make sure people feel connected to their colleagues. Here are just some examples of ways that Health Champions support their colleague's mental health and wellbeing:
- Organising social events and activities (both in-person and virtual)
- Setting up a safe space for people to voice mental health concerns
- Directing colleagues to resources to help them work from home safely and healthily
- Putting in place healthy food deliveries to the office
- Introducing initiatives for keeping colleagues happy and healthy, including setting up work sports teams or crafting sessions
How do Health Champions support others?
RSPH Health Champion training provides the learner with an understanding of all areas of health improvement. Health Champions will often take a lead on supporting people with their health and wellbeing across a range of areas:
- Physical activity – This could be signposting people to gyms, community and online exercise classes
- Healthy eating – Such as introducing people to healthy cookery classes in their area or encouraging their workplace to provide more fruit and vegetables for employees
- Mental health support – Health champions often direct people to mental health support services and work with people on their mental resilience through practices like mindfulness
- Signposting to local services – It’s common for people to not know where to go for local health support. Health champions have an in-depth knowledge of services to direct people to such as sexual health support, smoking cessation resources or drop-in centres.
As well as learning about health services and how to signpost people to them, the RSPH Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement, also teaches Health Champions about the following areas:
- The inequalities in health that develop and what the current policies are for addressing these
- How effective communication can support health messages and encourage people to make positive changes to their health
- Ways to promote improvements in health and wellbeing to others
- The impact of change on improving an individual's health and wellbeing
How can I find out about RSPH Health Champion training?
Our Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement (UHI) is one of the UK’s leading Health Champions qualifications. We’ve trained over 60,000 Health Champions across the UK to date, and the qualification is now linked to many national initiatives such as the Healthy Living Pharmacy scheme.
The qualification has been developed for both aspiring Health Champions and people who are already Health Champions who want to refresh their knowledge. The training is accessible, cost-effective and can be done online through our eLearning programme.
Health Champion Case Studies
RSPH has trained thousands of people to become workplace and community Health Champions. These include Health Champions across commercial clients, pharmacy partners, young offender institutions and local authorities.
If you want to find out more about our Health Champions training, please do get in touch.