09.26.20 | Wellness and Missions
Public Health Objective:
June is Men’s Health Month and is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities.
Recognition from the White House provides encouragement to men, boys, and their families around the globe. The purpose is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men/boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the U.S. and around the globe (www.menshealthmonth.org).
- Collaborate with other faith/spiritual communities to sponsor health events to raise awareness.
- Check www.menshealthmonth.org to learn of the health focus of the year (During 2020, it was on diabetes awareness). Make that focus a ministry focus during this week.
- Collaborate with community health professionals and public health professionals to provide information, resources, and consider highlighting the annual health topic during worship and Christian education.
- Lift the health focus for the year on social media/website.
- Include health information if you have a food insecurity ministry or support to persons experiencing homelessness (i.e., provide information, have health professional available in a private area for men guests to get health assessments and referrals to community resources).
- Prison Ministry: Many incarcerated youth and male citizens experience high rates of untreated/unsupported mental illness/mental health (I.e., childhood adversity, trauma) that often influenced criminal behavior. In some cases, persons are incarcerated for what is really a mental illness (I.e., psychotic thinking influencing impulsive and extreme behaviors). Provide health information for prison ministry (as well as re-entry citizens who are still at risk and likely received inadequate health attention while incarcerated). https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/sicklecell/img/SCD_2019_toolkit.pdf
- More activities: http://www.menshealthmonth.org/partners/activities.html
- Prostate Cancer Statistics: Did You Know Video
- Isolation & Men
- Black Men’s Health Network (for online resources including 15-point checklist for regular men’s health checks and information)
- Dads Teach Sons How to Handle Emotions
- Fathers are Role Models Social Media Infographic
- Did You Know? Men’s Health Social Media Infographic
Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month
Mental Health Objective:
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, an opportunity to hold a conversation about the brain and share the fact that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are a major public health issue. Everyone who has a brain is at risk to develop Alzheimer’s, the only leading cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed. During the month of June, the Alzheimer’s Association® asks people around the world to wear purple and use their brains to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
- Check www.alz.org for many ideas for political advocacy and public awareness suggestions for ministry. Some ideas are listed below:
- Educate your congregation about Alzheimer’s.
- Turn your office purple (or areas of the church inside/outside) or create a purple themed area where fellowship is occurring during the month.
- Encourage congregation to wear purple throughout the month and/or on a selected Sunday or ministry date.
- Recognize caregivers of congregation members with loved ones with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other brain concerns. Many caregivers cannot take respite away but need it. Consider providing 2-3 hours of volunteers willing to give respite and provide self-care kits for caregivers.
- Provide local resources for Alzheimer’s and brain concerns for referrals (on social media, website, highlight during worship on large screens, in announcements/church communications.
Social Media (ALZ.org):
- Alzheimer’s Association states that if you can’t participate in a walk, bike ride, or other event, you can show your support, grow awareness, and connect with others through social media.
- Join the Alzheimer’s Association community on Facebook.
- Twitter and Instagram: use the hashtags #Road2EndALZ, #Walk2EndAlz, or #ShowYourPurple to promote an event or show support.
- To spread the word about The Longest Day, specifically, take a selfie or a photo of a person you are honoring, or make a video and post it to Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags #ENDALZ and #TheLongestDay to have your post included on the Alzheimer’s Association The Longest Day online gallery.
- Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures
- Alzheimer’s Association Toolkit
- 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Worksheet
Men’s Health Week (the week leading up to Father’s Day)
Public Health Objective:
The purpose of Men’s Health Week is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
This week gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular, medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with hundreds of awareness activities in the U.S. and around the globe.
- The following ideas are from www.menshealthmonth.org:
- Wear Blue Friday (Friday before Father’s Day): Wear blue to work/school/etc. Use the on-line Tool Kit (from www.menshealthmonth.org).
- Create an awareness fundraiser.
- Use Social Media to promote the event.
- Distribute Blue Ribbon pins.
- Develop a calendar of events (ask men/boys to lead efforts; this may be a good opportunity for youth to earn service-learning credits).
- Download a Health Zone event planning kit.
- Partner with area faith/spiritual communities to collaborate on a men’s health awareness event: health providers to provide table talks on men’s health, cancer screening (including colon, erectile, suicide prevention, mental health, heart disease, stroke awareness, hypertension; include info/resources for boys to emphasize prevention).
- Mentoring Programs: if you have mentoring programs/ministries, integrate boys/men’s health info/resources there.
- Think about the demographics of your congregation/community and identify health topics that are especially relevant regarding health risks.
- Christian Education: Highlight men’s health.
- Note: it is challenging to get men to prioritize their health and often they are in crisis or acute condition when symptoms are recognized. It is also challenging to get men to participate actively in ministry so “think outside the box.” Consider having sports events and other boy/men interest areas, and host event and provide health information integrated while men are at events (i.e., tickets to sports events including youth events) and pass out information at the events (with permission).
- Key Stats in the Fight for Men’s Health
- Abundant Health Ministry Ideas: For a partial list of activities, see below (menshealthmonth.org)
Mental Health Objective:
Men’s Health Week is a time to bring awareness to health issues that affect men disproportionately and focuses on getting men to become aware of problems they may have or could develop and gain the courage to do something about it.
- Create a men’s group for members to connect and fellowship with one another and create a positive sense of community.
- Put together a men’s night car show, where men can either showcase their cars or enjoy looking at others. This event is a great way to enjoy outside time while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
- Host a virtual cookoff where men can showcase their grilling skills and share tips and tricks with cooking.
- Challenge men to make a doctor’s appointment that they have putting off for a while.
- Create a men’s fitness group centered around prayer, physical, and mental wellness.
- Invite family, friends, or loved ones of the men of the church to submit special messages expressing their love and gratitude for them on the church website or social media using the hashtag #WELOVEU. Encourage men to submit messages about themselves as well.
- Host a virtual conference exploring the stigmas, pressures, and demands of men being “tough.” Take this time to highlight the importance of self-expressions in men.
- Take a hike at your local trail. Use this time to become one with nature and highlight a scripture surrounding an identified topic.
- Men’s Health Week
World Sickle Cell Day (June 19)
Public Health Objective:
June 19 is officially designated as World Sickle Cell Awareness Day. The international awareness day is observed annually with the goal to increase public knowledge and an understanding of sickle cell disease, and the challenges experienced by patients and their families and caregivers (www.sicklecelldisease.org).
- Encourage any congregation members who have this disease or a loved one to inform Pastor/Care Ministries of prayer requests related to their health care needs (respecting privacy laws) who can then make an announcement that prayer concerns are supported.
- Share on website/social media info/resources/community resources for patient/caregiver support.
- Understand that African Americans and Latino/as have high prevalence of Sickle Cell Disease and obtain culturally sensitive, relevant educational materials.
- Provide self-care kits privately for caregivers (I.e., if you are aware of patients/caregivers, consider providing gift cards of support; there are frequent health crises and instrumental support can be a blessing).
- Host a virtual paint session for members to commemorate congregants and people that may be living with Sickle Cell Disease, maybe painting a red heart.
- Host a short virtual educational training highlighting how COIVD-19 has impacted people living with Sickle Cell and provide medical resources.
- Offer a pain management services for members living with Sickle Cell.
- Create a group for members with Sickle Cell to fellowship and create a healthy sense of community and support.
- Invite congregants to wear red to raise awareness of Sickle Cell. Have congregants take a picture showing their support and post it to their social media using the hashtag #REDHEARTSFIGHT.
- Invite congregants to come together to pray for anyone who is battling with Sickle Cell Disease.
- Collect donations and present proceeds to an identified charity to help continuous development and research of Sickle Cell.
- About Sickle Cell Disease
- Videos from Centers for Disease and Prevention
- Medically Speaking: Treatment Advances in Sickle Cell Disease, Amber M. Yates, MD
- Genetic Therapies in Sickle Cell Disease
- 10 Facts about Sickle Cell Disease
- 5 Facts You Should Know About Sickle Cell Disease
- World Sickle Cell Day 2019
- My Three Sicklers
- Generation S
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Awareness Day: June 27
Mental Health Objective:
On June 27, 2010, PTSD Awareness Day was developed and, in 2014, Congress deemed the entire month of June as PTSD Awareness Month. On this day, people who suffer with, or who have suffered with PTSD, discuss their experiences, triggers, symptoms, causes, and treatment. The aim is to raise awareness of posttraumatic stress disorder, a mental health problem that may develop after a person has been exposed to one or more traumatic events.
- Having idividuals share their experiences during worship and arrange for a professional to be present to provide extra support if an individual is feeling triggered in any way.
- Plan a Q&A on PTSD, since it is one of the most misunderstood mental health issues in the world today. The Q&A will help members to better understand what PTSD is and what can be done to help treat it.
- Pray for those with PTSD: Members can lift prayers for those who are dealing with PTSD.
- Provide a variety of resources for individuals who struggle with PTSD in the church (pamphlets, crisis hotline numbers, mental health clinics, advocates, others who are supportive).
- Provide a PTSD fact sheet in the bulletin, its signs and symptoms, causes, and treatment.
- Raise awareness in the church and within the community through passing out flyers, pamphlets, developing a social media platform, and networking with others, to gain further insight on PTSD.
- Take a church trip to visit Veterans to uplift their spirits and be engulfed in their world for a moment.
- Learn different mindfulness techniques to use in case a member comes across
someone who may be dealing with PTSD.
- Create an e-bulletin board featuring PTSD Awareness resources and encouraging
Bible passages on the church’s website.
- Establish a prayer call for anyone who is dealing with PTSD.
- Invite congregants to share their experience and testimonials with PTSD on virtual platform to help raise awareness to PTSD.
- Organize a walk or run for people with PTSD, keeping social distancing guidelines in mind.
- Host a guided prayer/meditation for congregants to release any negative experiences that may have been troubling them.
- Host a day of “Acts of Kindness;” have congregants exercise 10 acts of kinds to promote mindfulness and being kind to others.
- Plan a virtual faith-based comedy show to help put smiles on the faces of others.
- Invite members to create a faith-based playlist that people suffering from PTSD can use in crisis. Encourage congregants to share their playlist using the hashtag #FIGHTBACK.
- PTSD Awareness Month 2020
- The Symptoms and Effects of PTSD
- 109-Year-Old Veteran and His Secrets to Life Will Make You Smile
- Medication for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder