Faith and Health Partnerships Monthly

A resource toolkit for faith and community leaders

October 4, 2022

Welcome to the October edition of Faith and Health Partnerships Monthly. In this issue, we highlight Emotional Wellness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the spiritual practices of prayer and meditation.

We hope you find these resources and tips helpful. If you have questions or topic ideas for future issues, please reach out to us - we'd love to hear from you.

Thank you for your commitment to caring for those in your congregation and community!

Caring for Mind

October is Emotional Wellness Month

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers an Emotional Wellness Toolkit (in English and Spanish), with numerous self-care ideas. The emotional wellness tips include:

  • Build resilience: develop healthy physical habits, take time for yourself each day, practice gratitude, and tap into social connections and community.
  • Reduce stress: exercise regularly, build a social network, seek help if you feel unable to cope.
  • Get quality sleep: go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, sleep in a dark, quiet, comfortable environment.
  •  Strengthen social connections: get active and share good habits with family and friends, join a group focused on a favorite hobby, take a class to learn something new.
  • Cope with loss: talk to caring friends, find a grief support group, talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble with everyday activities.
  • Be mindful: take deep breaths, enjoy a stroll, practice mindful eating, be aware of your body.

Share this toolkit and additional emotional wellness resources with members of your faith community.

Download and share the Emotional Wellness Checklist with members of your congregation.

Strengthening social connections

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), scientists are finding that our links to others can have powerful effects on our health—both emotionally and physically. Whether with members of our congregation, family, friends, and neighbors, social connections can influence our biology and well-being.

Learn more about social wellness strategies you and your members can implement through the NIH Social Wellness Toolkit.

Caring for Body

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know? One in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. But when breast cancer is detected in the earliest stages, the five-year relative survival rate is 99%.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you and members of your congregation can get involved by:

See additional information here.

Download and share this flyer with members of your faith community.

Community plays an important role for those impacted by breast cancer

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, “Support, encouragement, and community are vital to [those on] the breast cancer journey. Having a strong support system is a powerful force for healing and recovery.”

Encourage your members to schedule their annual mammogram. Learn more:

Advocate Aurora Health

The FDA Mammography Facility Finder

Caring for Spirit

Prayer and Meditation

As the leaves change color and days grow shorter and cooler, members of your congregation and community may experience stress and anxiety due to the shifts the new season brings.

The start of a new school year, preparations for the holidays, and having less time to exercise and enjoy nature can trigger “Autumn Anxiety” for some this time of year.

Remind your members that spiritual practices, like prayer and meditation, can help provide a sense of calm and peace.

Prayer - whether reciting sacred words or simply talking or listening to your higher power - can inhibit the release of cortisol and other hormones, thus reducing the negative impact of stress on the immune system and promoting healing, studies show.

Meditation, whether practiced by sitting in silence, doing intentional movement, or using visualization, also can help your members better manage anxiety and prepare them for stress they may encounter in the busy days ahead.

If your members need additional support, please share the resources available in this mental health toolkit.


The Advocate Aurora Local Services Guide allows you to find free and low-cost options for food, safe housing, child care, transportation and more.

Download and share this Mental Health Resources Toolkit

Download and share this 988 toolkit.

Children's Defense Fund Sabbath Weekend

October 14-16, although many congregations participate on alternate dates, as well.

2022 Theme:  “Raising Democracy by Resurrecting Hope"  

The multi-faith Children’s Sabbath weekend engages places of worship across the country in focusing prayers, worship, education programs, and action on learning more about the urgent problems facing our nation’s children.

By exploring sacred texts and teachings that call us to love and protect children, Children’s Sabbath encourages communities to respond with outreach and advocacy, and, most importantly, inspire new, year-round action to improve the lives of children.

Most Children’s Sabbath events involve all or some of the following elements:

  • Worship services, prayers, and/or faith community gatherings focused on children, justice, and the moral, spiritual, and ethical imperative to nurture, protect, and seek justice for children
  • Educational programs for all ages (e.g. religious education classes, special speakers, etc.)
  • Advocacy and hands-on service activities around the Children’s Sabbath weekend to meet immediate needs of children in your community and raise a voice for justice

For resources and additional information, click here

Who We Are

Advocate Aurora Health

Faith and Health Partnerships

We work side-by-side with faith communities to promote health equity by mobilizing the transforming power of social connectedness and spiritual wisdom.

Our core belief: Drawing on the wisdom of our religious traditions and the best social and public health science, we believe that positive, mutual relationships and the intentional practice of faith are at the heart of what creates equitable health and well-being for individuals, congregations and communities.

Learn more about our work in English and Spanish.

We blend the strengths of Advocate Aurora Health with the strengths of your congregation to improve the health of those in your community.

Faith and Health Partnerships Monthly aims to address health topics that are important to you, as well as share educational resources and ideas on ways you can make a difference in your community.

We invite you to reach out to us with your questions, ideas, and topic ideas for future issues.

Thank you!
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