About Janine Monico

Janine Monico is a digital marketing consultant who has managed the Healthy Minds Philly initiative website since 2015.

Can A Clean Mirror Heal Us?

Last September, I wrote a blog on What Recovery Means to Me to share the lessons I have learned and am still learning in my recovery process. One of the promises I made and kept was to return to college and finish my undergraduate degree. By the grace of my Higher Power and with a lot of determination, I re-enrolled at Temple University. The year was 2013, and I was back at TUUUUUUUU!!! However, I faced another roadblock. What will be my major? Do I finish my degree in African-American studies? Or do I listen to the suggestions I got while in rehab from my fellow 12-steppers, peers, and staff to pursue a degree in social work or psychology program? I had the right attitude, awareness, and temperament for such an undertaking. Decisions, decisions, decisions! Ultimately, I felt it was important to give back as an African-American man and continue my bachelor’s degree in African-American studies. As we celebrate Black History Month, I wonder if accurate teachings of African-American history can help heal the mental well-being of the African-American community.  In her book, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, Dr. Joy DeGruy shares that post-traumatic slave syndrome is the cause of many of the “adaptive survival behaviors in African-American communities throughout the United States and [...]

2023-02-03T10:50:13-05:00February 1st, 2023|Lived Experience, Racial Equity|

Racism & My Mental Health

In 1961, James Baldwin was asked by a radio host about being Black in America. “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious,” Baldwin said, “is to be in a state of rage almost all of the time and in one’s work.” Racism takes a huge toll on one’s mental health. Racism affects how people operate in the workplace, at home, and in social settings. In my 20’s, racism caused me to be an angrier person. If I knew I would have to be in a room where I was the only person of color, I would drink to delude myself into believing I was in a safe space. Racism has the tendency to make you feel as though you can’t compete in certain spaces. When you finally decide that you can compete, you work 10 times harder to be seen as equal, often being overly critical and judgmental of yourself which sometimes causes you to revert to the mindset that you are not good enough.  One of the most helpful things I found is to realize we all suffer from unconscious biases and in some situations give people grace that they may not be aware of what they did or said that had a negative effect on you. What do I do in that situation? [...]

2023-01-12T16:08:04-05:00January 12th, 2023|Lived Experience, Racial Equity|

Can Your Family Doctor Diagnose Depression and Anxiety?

Mental health conditions such as depression, panic, stress, and anxiety are extremely common and affect one out of every five persons living in the United States. Substance use disorders affect approximately one in every 10 people. Although these conditions can be very distressing, they are also highly treatable.  But can your family doctor diagnose depression or anxiety? Many persons living with mental health conditions initially seek treatment within primary care. Indeed, it is estimated that up to 70 percent of primary care visits are due to concerns related to mental health. This is due to many factors, including the fact that many people prefer to get treatment from their primary care provider who they know and trust, but also due to concerns about stigma associated with mental health treatment. Additionally, a shortage of mental health professionals in some parts of the United States increases the difficulty of getting into treatment with a mental health clinician.  Because of their training, most primary care clinicians are familiar with how to diagnose and begin treatment for common mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, panic, and stress-related issues. This can involve administering a screening instrument such as the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9). They can start appropriate treatment such as medications and make referrals to other mental health clinicians (psychologists, licensed counselors, [...]

2022-11-16T21:11:45-05:00December 12th, 2022|Anxiety, Depression, Mental Health|

Avoiding the Holiday Pressure to Drink

The holiday season can be a difficult time for many people – especially for the 18 million Americans who have an alcohol use disorder as holiday celebrations often center around alcohol. The CDC has found that the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day sees a dramatic increase in DUI offenses and other alcohol-related issues. Seventy percent of people report higher alcohol use during the last two weeks of December. People drink for many reasons. They may drink to feel relaxed, because they enjoy the taste, or because they feel pressured to drink socially. And some people may choose to use these celebrations as an excuse to drink more than usual.  If you think alcohol is problematic for you, want to avoid drinking too much during the holidays, or just aren't the biggest drinker, here are some strategies for navigating holiday celebrations. Skip the risky parties If an event is going to be a cocktail party or it’s at a bar, try to avoid it. If you choose to go, most bartenders have great recipes for mocktails. It’s important not to isolate yourself because that can lead to depression, which might tempt you to drink. Be selective about which holiday gatherings you attend. If you know a certain party has the potential to get out of control, it’s probably best [...]

2022-12-05T11:59:48-05:00December 5th, 2022|Addiction & Recovery, Holidays|
Go to Top