chapter  6
Using play as a means to widen access to health and wellbeing
ByJulia Whitaker, Claire Weldon
Pages 15

This chapter gives a theoretical understanding of what health literacy means and explores how this can be used to benefit those working in and using healthcare services. It looks at how we can use some very simple and effective ways to understand how each of us feels about ourselves and about those we interact with, and offers ideas for how we can be helped to feel more in control of our lives both as practitioners and as service-users, through the use of humor, storytelling and play. Health literacy is a concept that has been in existence since the 1970s. The original research focuses on the definitions of health literacy and its impact on healthcare practice. Humor and storytelling are both creative forms of therapy that require communication skills, imagination and provide proven physical and mental benefits to those involved in the process. Play is an equally creative therapeutic medium of promoting and supporting health literacy.