09.25.20 | Wellness and Missions
American Heart Month
Public Health Objective:
February is American Health Month. The objective of American Heart Month is to raise awareness about heart-healthy lifestyle and urge those around you to prevent heart disease.
- The first Friday in Month is Wear Red Day (promote this).
- National Wear Red Dress (or Red) Day Sunday: First Sunday in February, to promote heart health among women; women wear red and provide heart health information and resources on this day; can do blood pressure checks for women also.
- Wear red to show support for heart disease awareness.
- Host blood pressure screenings: identify health professionals in your congregation or community that can-do screenings before and/or after church worship or other activities; consider standardizing the blood pressure screenings as ongoing opportunities. Contact your local hospital and ask if they have health professionals that can participate and come once a month throughout the year.
- Offer seated massages to teach persons how to relax (i.e., arrange for licensed massage therapists to offer this service, which typically cost).
- Provide heart disease information in the church bulletin, on TV screens (if available) before and after worship, throughout visible and accessible places (i.e., bathrooms, ministry, and community use rooms).
- Host a healthy food cook-off that adults and youth can participate in; provide prizes.
- Share heart disease information on the church social media presence (and make a commitment to provide this educational information throughout the year).
- Include heart disease and heart health facts in the church bulletin.
- Identify an age-appropriate children Christian Education lesson on heart health facts; provide children biblical scriptures about our bodies being a temple of God and healthy ways that God encourages us to care for our bodies (see American Heart Association media below).
- Have public health and/or heart health professional provide resources after church in the narthex for persons to pick up after worship.
- Have person/s share a testimony on their heart health challenges, impact on self/ family, and encourage the congregation to adopt heart-healthy behaviors.
- Have evangelism and/or outreach teams visit community businesses and share heart information (i.e., Infographic on heart health, heart health public health info).
- Make a commitment as a congregation to adopt healthy nutrition at all congregation events (i.e. eliminate or minimize fried foods, offer ground turkey in spaghetti, offer fruit vs. high sugar items, eliminate high fructose drinks, etc.). Work with the culinary ministry to understand threats to health when serving sugar, fried foods, etc. Support the congregation with a transition plan to adopt healthy heart nutrition.
- My Heart My Life – The American Heart Association
(info on American Heart Association mission to promote health heart lifestyle and resources provided).
- Move More Manifesto: 30
(short American Heart Health video; can be shown on church website, during service to promote heart awareness, on social media, etc.),
- Kids Heart Challenge – Heart Hero Characters Introduction
(this is an engaging video for children to promote healthy heart behaviors; can show during a worship message, youth ministry and education activities, use on social media, website).
- Heart Awareness Month Resources (Social Media, Twitter, Blood Pressure, etc.) Note this is the 2020 link—Google title to get 2021 (and continue in future years to check for link)
- Wear Red for Heart Health Day (1st Friday in February): You can purchase materials and social media information is also listed for your messaging use in English and in Spanish
- Caregiver Support (many caregivers also develop compromised health due to caregiver stress, caregiver support and heart awareness resources)
National “Wear Red” Day for Women’s Heart Health (Feb. 1)
Public Health Objective:
The first Friday of February has been designed by the awareness campaign, Heart Truth, as National Wear Red Day® in the United States. On this day, men and women are encouraged to wear red as a symbol of their support of women’s heart health.
- Use social media messaging for this day but commit to post regularly.
- Provide heart health awareness on your website this day (consider ongoing too).
- Lift up Heart Awareness by having a public health speaker share information with the congregation (during worship, provide info before and after worship/other programming).
- Ask women who have heart disease and/or family members who can share personal experiences; consider doing during worship.
- Pastor can preach about women’s heart health and provide biblical teaching
- Children’s Ministry: Do a children’s moment during worship on heart awareness (providing visual objects such as a heart demo) to illustrate healthy behaviors and unhealthy behavior’s impact on the heart, such as smoking. Provide biblical teaching along with heart-healthy facts (remember to keep these moments short for young children).
- Christian Education Class: Ask all ministry teachers to lift healthy heart awareness. Provide opportunities for children who may have a family member with heart disease (to their knowledge) and give them opportunities to be supported by talking about it; offer God’s comfort (note many children have parents/caregivers/family members who are affected by this crisis and may not fully understand what is/has happening/happened, which can be childhood adversity if unsupported).
- Make a commitment to provide heart awareness information regularly.
- Sponsor an Exercise Day at the church where fitness instructors have stations to help persons of all ages (have stations based on ages (i.e., elementary school, middle, high, young adults, mid-life, older adults).
- Some people cannot attend in person; post on website on Stress Management (stress contributes to heart disease).
- Watch Me Be Well
- Go Red for Women’s Heart Health (stress impact on heart)
National Wear Red Day 2020 Video (48 minutes; this would be an effective Tele-format program a congregation can host; may be useful for persons unable to attend program at church)
Heart Truth: Helpful site that offers outreach materials and a toolkit to promote women’s heart health with downloadable materials.
- Outreach/Tool Kits for downloadable Heart-Healthy Living Infographics (This is a good site to download infographics on the topic)
- How Much Physical Exercise Do You Need Infographic (can print)?
- Spanish Version of How Much Physical Exercise Do You Need Infographic (can print)
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Mental Health Objective:
In 2006, the National Government deemed the first week in February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Week, and then in 2010, Congress made the entire month of February “Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month,” to promote education and awareness on teenage dating abuse. This paved the way for adolescents to express and share their experiences as well as learn warning signs to help prevent abuse in the future.
- Have a youth panel discussion on this topic to educate as well as listen to the experiences of others who may be, or who were victims in the past.
- Plan a one-day symposium on Teen Dating Violence Awareness to promote education and awareness on the topic.
- Provide adolescents with a survey, checklist, and/or questionnaire to see if the individual may be experiencing teen dating violence in their relationship.
- Have youth create and manage a social media platform on Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention so that they can bring awareness to those in their church, and community. They could use #YoungLove, which could also be a signal for help for those who may have a difficult time speaking on the topic.
- Have a “Prayer Day” for those who may be victims of Teen Dating Violence, whether it is that youth or someone they know, or they may not know anyone but just want to lift up a prayer for those who may be dealing with this abuse.
- Provide a fact sheet on Teen Dating Violence along with crisis hotline numbers for youth.
- Have a “Big Sister/Little Sister, Big Brother/Little Brother Program,” which is a program to provide victims with a mentor, who can help them if they are experiencing Teen Dating Violence.
- Develop an advocacy program for these youth, who may not be able to advocate for themselves.
- Having a therapist available on-site so that teens may have someone to speak to.