Faith and Health Partnerships Monthly
A resource toolkit for faith and community leaders

July 2022

Welcome to the July edition of Faith and Health Partnerships Monthly. In this issue, we highlight minority mental health, UV Safety Month, and the spiritual practice of lectio divina. 

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

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month brings awareness to the unique struggles that racial and ethnic minority communities face regarding mental illness in the United States.

During National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, your congregation or community organization can get involved by:

Download flyer to share.

Community care - the belief that the wellbeing of an individual is tied to the wellbeing of the broader community - has existed in historically underrepresented communities for generations, according to a report from Mental Health America.

Community care includes, but is not limited to: mutual aid, community healing, faith practices, and peer support. Community care can occur in faith communities and other settings where individuals find belonging, connection, support, and a welcoming environment. When individuals living with mental health conditions feel valued and taken care of in a mutually respectful manner by members of their community, they can experience improved recovery and enhanced overall well-being.

Caring for Body

July is National UV Safety Month

Summer has arrived—and that means spending more time outdoors to enjoy family picnics, sporting events, festivals, and time at the pool. 

When you’re out in the sun, you can take precautions to protect yourself from skin and eye damage caused by excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.  

To stay safe:

Seek shade, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s glare is most intense.

Slip, Slop, Slap, and Wrap”:

  • Slip on a shirt. Clothing with darker and more vivid colors will absorb more U.V. than pale colors
  • Slop on broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15
  • Slap on a hat, preferably one that is wide-brimmed
  • Wrap by wearing wrap-on sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin around them.

Other precautions include staying out of indoor tanning beds and performing skin self-exams to check for cancer.

By learning the risks associated with too much sun exposure and taking the right precautions, you and members of your congregation and community can enjoy the outdoors safely.

Download flyer to share.

Social connections not only give us pleasure, they also can influence our long-term health in ways as important as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking, studies show.

People who participate in special religious and community activities have an opportunity to check in with each other, exchange ideas, and lend support to one another. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Caring involvement with others may be one of the easiest health strategies to access. It's inexpensive, it requires no special equipment or regimen, and we can engage in it in many ways.”

Caring for Spirit

Lectio Divina

Lectio divina, or divine reading, is an ancient practice of reading scripture or sacred text, meditating, praying, and contemplating. 

People of all faith backgrounds can practice lectio divina by reading verses from the Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Torah, Koran, or other holy books. Those with secular traditions can practice lectio divina, as well, by reading a passage significant to them.

You could begin by first getting comfortable and taking deep, cleansing breaths to clear your mind of thoughts and cares. You can practice lectio divina by yourself or with a group by following these four separate steps:

  1. Read a few verses of scripture or text slowly several times. Savor each portion of the reading and listen for the word or phrase that speaks to you. 
  2. Meditate on the passage and think about how it applies to your life. What is God or your higher power saying to you? 
  3. Pray. Open your mind, heart, and spirit to listen to God or higher power. What is this passage inviting you to do or be? How does the text move you to pray?
  4. Contemplate. Free yourself from your own thoughts and hear God or your higher power talk to you. Simply rest in God’s presence with the word still fresh on your mind.

Those who practice lectio divina say the method draws them closer to God or higher power and provides special spiritual insights. 

Download flyer to share.


Beginning on July 16, anyone experiencing a mental health crisis can call, text or chat 988 to receive support.

Download this flyer to learn how the Advocate Aurora Health LiveWell app and website can help you manage your health and wellness.

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 list of mental health hotlines and locator tools with your community.

Job Posting: Half-time Faith and Mental Health Specialist

Are you interested in creating supportive environments for people living with a mental illness? Advocate Aurora Faith and Health Partnerships has an exciting job opportunity available for you!

We are looking for a half-time Faith and Mental Health Specialist to do training, education, capacity building, and consultation with faith leaders and congregations in Illinois and Wisconsin. The position requires an active clinical license (LCSW, LCPC, etc.) and the candidate must be comfortable in working across diverse religious traditions. Candidates of color are highly desirable for this role.

Join our team to help increase awareness and understanding of mental illness and promote mental well-being so people can live well.

Apply 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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