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May/June 2014

Behavioral Health Spotlight

The months of May and June bring some timely opportunities for Health Ministries leaders and enthusiasts to engage in health promotion in regards to behavioral and mental health.  

May is Mental Health Awareness month and May 31 is World NO Tobacco Day around the world - an initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) to reduce the use of Tobacco use and raise awareness of its harms (see #worldNoTobaccoDay). We know that in the US, tobacco is the number 2 cause of preventable death (#1 is unhealthy diet). Even though progress has been made over the years there is still so much that can be done to help people change their behavior when it comes to the use of tobacco and other forms of substance abuse. In addition, June 26 is International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which is sponsored by the United Nations (UN) - see resources session for websites to access more information.

Some people seem to be have questions about why the Seventh-day Adventist church believes it is important to partner and support such initiatives of the WHO, UN or other national or state health departments. Truth is, faith communities, particularly the Adventist church, have played a key role in the reduction of the prevalence of smoking by education as well as support of policy changes, such as increase of taxes. It is unfortunate to see that despite success of reducing the prevalence of smoking, the rise e-cigarettes has targeted young people, increasing prevalence among that age group.

The Adventist church continues to be committed to have a key role in temperance and prevention, as well as in the recovery of addictions, such as cigarette smoking. This year the WHO is urging governments to increase taxes on tobacco and the Adventist church has been a key collaborative partner in this effort (see the Adventist News Network article discussing this partnership at http://news.adventist.org). We must continue to be engaged both advocacy and prevention, as well as in recovery (see www.AdventistRecovery.org).  

History tells us that Ellen G. White, a pioneer of the temperance movement in the Adventist church, was strongly committed to this effort of advocacy and policy against harmful substances, and urged Adventists to vote for policies that would reduce access or prohibit alcohol, for instance. She was reported to have said, “’…and perhaps I shall shock some of you if I say, If necessary, vote on the Sabbath Day for prohibition if you cannot at any other time.’” Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years, 1876-­1891, vol.3,p.161. That is how strongly committed she was that the Adventist church go beyond education, to include advocacy and policy change.  

Let us do our part to continue to engage in prevention and recovery efforts. Check out page 4 Facts with Hope on men’s health and also www.factswithHope.org for a 1 min video that can be used in your church or shared in your facebook page, twitter account or youtube to bring awareness about what faith-communities can do in regards to Tobacco. Each church as a center for hope and wholeness can make a difference in the community. May God use your experience and talents to share a message for a full life in Christ, helping others say NO to anything that is harmful to body, mind and soul and YES to habits linked to full life. If your church does not have a recovery group yet, consider starting one. God will open the doors and bring people of help, both among membership and community friends.

Katia Reinert, PHDc, CRNP, FNP-BC, PHCNS-BC
Director, Adventist Health Ministries – NAD

Focus on a Spirit Led RevivalJoin Seventh-day Adventists around the globe to pray for revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Join us in the “777” prayer, seeking “Revival and Transformation” as 7th-day Adventists praying 7 days a week at 7 o’clock (am or pm) daily, without ceasing until Jesus comes. For more information visit www.revivalandreformation.org  

Reach NAD prayer calendar: 

Atlantic and Columbia Union Union


GREAT HOPE PROJECT  The Great Hope audio recordings are now available online and can be loaded to your iPod, CDs, iphone, computer, for listening while you are exercising, driving, or working. Order The Great Hope at any Adventist Book Center (800-765-6955). The price is $0.79 ea for 1-199 units and $0.49 for 2000 or more, plus S&H. Join us in the distribution of 3 million copies of The Great Hope in North America.(English, Spanish, and French).

Health & Wellness: Secrets That Will Change Your Life  

Edited by P. Landless and M. Finley
The sharing book discusses simple ways to avoid such chronic killers and how good nutrition heals the body and boosts the mind; how purpose increases resilience; how love and forgiveness mend the heart.

Health Ministries Resources
New Doctor in the House and Abuse Summit

Katia Reinert, NAD Health Ministries director,  has recently successfully defended her doctoral dissertation to earn her Ph.D. in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University. For her dissertation she examined the role of religious involvement as a protective factor for mental and physical health outcomes among survivors of child abuse, neglect and witnessed abuse in the home. She chose that emphasis because child abuse and neglect are a major public health issue, and there is a very strong association between early trauma and adult chronic disease. "I think this is an area that health professionals, church leaders, health ministry directors need to include when we discuss healthy lifestyle," she said. "Also, I chose to study the protective role of religious involvement and spirituality because I believe that there is hope despite the worse possible trauma someone might have suffered in their life. God can bring healing if we apply the principles He has taught us." Dr Reinert praises God for “starting, sustaining and completing her doctoral journey” at Hopkins, and she plans to use her new knowledge and skills in ministry. She sends a heartfelt thank you to all sisters and brothers across NAD who have been supporting her through prayer and encouragement.

Dr Reinert presented her findings at the Summit on Abuse that took place on May 4. Nearly 200 people attended the Summit that was sponsored by the GC and NAD Women’s ministries along with several other departments, including Health Ministries. Excellent presenters shared invaluable knowledge to equip attendees. All left not only more knowledgeable but also with contacts and specific plans to make a difference in their church and community. For handouts of the summit and more information go to www.enditnownorthamerica.org.

Health Ministries training

Over 100 attendees participated of the NAD Health Ministries training offered at the Northern California Conference (NCC) on March 7-9, 2014 at the beautiful Leoni Meadows Camp. Dr Gordon Botting , NCC Health Ministries director for many years, sponsors annual training and this year a partnership with NAD HM brought presenters like Dr Gerard McLane, Dr Lilly Tryon, and Dr Katia Reinert, as well as Adventist Health’s Vice President for mission, Dr Paul Crampton to equip, inspire and motivate attendees. “We are thrilled to have such enthusiastic leaders”, said Dr Lorayne Barton, Pacific Union health ministries director who attended the training, “and a dedicated leader in NCC.” We hope each conference will seek to have a similar training to equip pastors, health professionals and lay leaders in health outreach.

Mental Health Social Media Outreach

On April 29, 2014 the Columbia Union Conference sponsored a Mental Health chat in an effort to raise awareness of Mental Health issues and introduce the important topic welcoming Mental Health awareness month in May. Michelle Bernard, Digital Media Coordinator,  sponsore and hosted the twitter chat engaging expert panel of participants, like Dr Dr Michelle St. Fleur from UCLA, Dr Katia Reinert from NAD HM Director, Dr Carlos Fayard professor at Loma Linda University,  Leah Scott Union HM Director, and pastor Nathan Krause, trainer for mental health first aid. “Social media is an excellent approach to engaging younger professionals and students in the discussion of mental health in this digital age, ”said Michelle, and  the Columbia Union is committed to continuing to use digital media and other communication means to engage the community with a message of health and wholeness.

A Common Vision

On May 14, 2014, healthcare mission vice-presidents and NAD Health Ministries presented a document delineating a common vision in healthcare institutions to  Union and Conference president attending the NAD  Mission and Structure Summit in Herdon, VA. The 3 page document was warmly received and a recommendation to bring it to the Year End Meeting for a vote was accepted by the administrators. “This document represents a united mission and vision for collaboration in health ministries between our healthcare instituions and the local church to enhance our outreach in meeting community health needs” said Paul Crampton, Vice-president for Mission at Adventist Health West. Adventist health institutions have a unique opportunity to touch the lives of millions of people a year with the healing ministry of Christ.

  CHOOSE to Cultivate Healthy Relationships
Facts with Hope: Men's Health
FACT: According to the Center for Disease Control, men die on average 5 years earlier than women. While women are expected to live an average of 81 years at birth, men are expected to live an average of 76 years, with non-Hispanic Blacks having the lowest life expectancy at nearly 71 years compared to White and Hispanic males.1
HOPE:  One of the factors contributing to worse health in men is the higher prevalence of cigarette smoking among males than among females at any age.2 Decide to quit today. By quitting the habit, males can reduce their chances of dying from any cause and experience a longer and happier life.
FACT: The prevalence of heart disease is higher among men than among women, according to the US National Health Interview survey. This is particularly true in males older than 55. Tobacco use, high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol are some of the many risk factors for heart disease. Obesity rates are also higher among men than women.2  
HOPE: Physical activity can protect males from the negative effects of Tobacco and obesity. In a study of over 25,000 men who were followed for 19 years, smokers had significantly more chances of dying from any cause than non-smokers. However, among smokers, those who were highly fit cut their mortality risk in half compared to smokers with low fitness levels. If you are smoker, start by adding physical activity to your daily life. You will see the weight go down, and will find more reasons and the strength to quit.3
FACT: There is a gender-based health crisis in America, with men living sicker and dying younger than women. Men die in higher rates than women do from the top 10 causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, injuries, stroke, suicide and HIV/AIDS. Injuries are the number 3 cause of death among males, as they are victims of over 92% of workplace deaths.4  
HOPE: Many of the top killers among men are related to health behaviors and can be prevented, so going for a check up can make the difference. It is unfortunate that women are 100% more likely to visit the doctor for an annual exam or preventive check up than men are. Don’t be among these statistics. Schedule your physical today and choose to engage in healthier lifestyles.4  Your kids are watching.
FACT: Depression in men often times goes undiagnosed. This contributes to a shocking statistic that men are 4 times as likely to commit suicide as women are. This increased risk is higher as men get older, with 20-24 year old males being 6 times as likely to commit suicide as females, and those over 65 having a suicide rate of nearly 29 compared to 4 in women. In many cases, depression is accompanied by the use of alcohol, tobacco or other harmful substances.4
HOPE: If you notice a change in appetite, sleep, mood, energy, concentration or interest in life in yourself or a loved one like your father, husband, son or friend, seek professional help today. Depression symptoms can often seem unremarkable, but once diagnosed and treated, a renewed energy and purpose can prevent a tragic outcome. There is hope, and it is a call away. For help go to www.AdventistRecovery.org.

  1. Center for Disease Control (CDC). Health-US 2013. Men’s health network, May 2014. Retrieved at http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/healthindicators.pdf.
  2. CDC/NCHS, Health, United States, 2013. Data from the National Health Interview Survey and the  National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse, Monitoring the Future Study. Retrieved from http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/healthindicators.pdf.
  3. Blair, S.N., H.W. Kohl III, C.E. Barlow, R.S. Paffenbarger Jr., L.W. Gibbons, and C.A. Macera. (1996). Influences of cardiovascular fitness and other precursors on CVD and all-cause mortality in men and women. Journal of Medical American Association, 27(3), 205.
  4. Men Health Network fact sheer. Retrieved at http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/menshealthfacts.pdf.