Faith and Health Partnerships

A mental health toolkit for clergy and lay leaders

April 18, 2023


The CDC offers a free online training: Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) for Faith, Spiritual, and Religious Communities.

You will learn what ACEs are and how they impact lifelong health, opportunity, and wellbeing; how to identify ACE risk factors and promote protective factors, and how your faith community can prevent ACEs or lessen their effects.

Access the training here


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

“We are called to be the presence of God and the voice of comfort” for those impacted by sexual assault, says Pastor Tennille Power, Senior Pastor of Hazelcrest Community United Methodist Church.

Read more in her article, "‘I Believe You.’ It’s Just That Simple: Clergy Response to Sexual Assault"


Learn how you can strengthen your congregational programs and ministries by taking a trauma-informed, healing-centered training course, such as Companionship and Mental Health First Aid; becoming a Faith and Health Companion, or referring your members to programs that nurture their health and wellbeing.

Learn more

Heart and Soul:

'Empowering and Transforming Lives'

“As a pastor I want to take care of my members - their body, mind, soul, and emotions - however I can,” said Rev. Donna Childs, senior pastor of Tabernacle Community Baptist Church, Milwaukee. “Hypertension is a silent killer in our community; so, if I can give my members tools to help them live well and live out their purpose, that’s a win-win for everyone.”

Her members have benefitted from Heart and Soul, a hypertension-prevention program that has taken place over the past seven months at their church through a partnership between Aurora Health Care Community Health and Faith and Health Partnerships.

Since she joined Heart and Soul, Debra Lawson has lost 50 pounds and lowered her blood pressure. “I’ve learned the importance of investing in myself,” she said. “I'm so used to giving to others, but realized I need to take care of myself, too. I have two young granddaughters, so I want to be around to watch them grow.”

Brenda Morrow realized she needed to take a break from her busy schedule and now keeps Fridays open for rest and rejuvenation. Brenda said she especially liked learning about breathing techniques, preparing healthy recipes, and incorporating spiritual practices into her day. “I think the things I have learned will help me achieve my vision to live a long and healthy life,” she said.

Pastor Donna Childs

Debra Lawson

Brenda Morrow

Keep reading

Mental Health Observances


Stress Awareness Month

Faith communities provide a natural setting where individuals experiencing stress and mental distress can find support.

See bulletin insert and worship slide

May: Mental Health Month

Mental Health Month provides the opportunity for faith communities to begin or strengthen a ministry to and with persons with a mental illness and their families.

Learn about Pathways to Promise "Creating Caring Congregations" program.

Mental Health Events

Managing Stress and Trauma through The Community Resiliency Model

Part 1: April 24, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Part 2: May 2, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Courage to Love in Action

People are resilient. This training teaches people how to cultivate skills of well-being after experiencing trauma and toxic stress. Learn how to become familiar with your nervous systems and internal sensations, while developing skills to widen your resiliency and show up as your best self.

Register for Part One

Register for Part Two

Monthly Day of Prayer for Mental Health

May 8

The Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers partners with the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network to support a virtual Monthly Day of Prayer for Mental Health on the second Monday of each month.

You may pray via the Click to Pray app or the Click to Pray website. Learn more:

6th Annual Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day Symposium

May 11

The free, all-day, virtual event will feature an engaging plenary, informative sessions, and a diverse array of topics addressing the most pressing behavioral health needs in older adults.

See details

Restore the Hearts of Our Communities

May 15 | 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Sponsored by Courage to Love in Action

The RESTORE practices help us evolve from trauma-informed care to healing-centered care. TIC showed us the impacts of toxic stress on the body and brain. Now we turn our attention toward how to RESTORE our well-being. Neuroscience insights help us heal our brains, hearts, and bodies. Discover strategies for working with grief, fear, anxiety, and stress. Learn efficient and fun restorative practices that are easy to do. Experience the exquisite intelligence of your heart. Activate the relaxation reflexes in your body. Cultivate comfort, balance, and ease.


Facts vs. Fiction About Mental Health Symptoms

May 16 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Sponsored by Trinity Services

This webinar will include information on the symptoms of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia; common triggers; ways to cope with stress, and resources.


Become a Faith and Health Companion

Sponsored by Advocate Health Care, Interfaith Mental Health Coalition, and Faith Community Outreach Ministries 

Did you know? Many people turn to clergy and lay leaders before seeking care from a mental health provider. By becoming a Faith and Health Companion, you will be better equipped to respond to those in crisis. 

Sessions begin on June 24 and take place at Faith Community Outreach Center in the Kinglands Ministries Center, 25W560 Geneva Road, Carol Stream, Illinois.

To learn more, contact Myee Bennet at or

Dr. Darryl Jenkins at

Download flyer to share.

Resources for you and your faith community

Mental Health Month bulletin insert

Mental Health Month flyer

Suicide prevention toolkit

Mental health toolkit

Ministering to suicide loss survivors

Mental health training and support opportunities

Local Services Guide flyer

Support groups in Illinois and Wisconsin

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Thank you in advance for your participation!

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Who We Are

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:

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

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