About Janine Monico

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

Healing After Suicide Loss

My son was 16 when he took his own life. His name is Michael Alfred. After my loss, I did not believe there could be healing. I ate and ate and ate. I gained 65 lbs. I saw no future. But slowly – very slowly, after counseling, therapy, and research with support groups – I came to realize this was my new life and I had to either embrace this or not. In the beginning, I sat on the couch and ate. I did not believe that there were other parents who had lost a child by suicide. I was living in Philadelphia/Delaware County. I found AFSP, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I was married at the time, for over 25 years, but with the death of my son, so went my marriage. The most helpful thing, I found, was to be able to talk. Just talk. This was back in 1993, so online support groups were not as available as they are now. But through AFSP and SOS (Survivors of Suicide), I was able to see that I was not alone. It really is difficult when you try to heal and your partner does not want to, however, heal I did. The most difficult part  for me was seeing others going on with their lives; seeing my son’s friends [...]

2022-10-17T11:18:52-04:00November 1st, 2022|Awareness, Suicide Prevention|

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: What is Gaslighting?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is an annual opportunity to highlight information and resources about domestic violence. Unfortunately, domestic violence continues to be a common experience. And it’s more difficult for survivors to get help when abusive dynamics are unknown or taboo to talk about. Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one person to maintain power and control over another person in an intimate or family relationship. Physical violence may be one of these behaviors, but abusive behaviors can also include financial, sexual, or emotional abuse. Survivors of domestic violence often find emotional abuse to be especially painful. One type of emotional abuse is called gaslighting. You may have heard this word before, but what does it mean? What is gaslighting?  The term “gaslighting” comes from a 1938 play (and 1944 movie) called “Gas Light” where a husband tries to make his wife think she is going crazy. He dims the lights around the house and denies the lights are flickering, hides objects and accuses her of misplacing them, and tries to convince her she can’t trust her own memories. While gas lamps aren’t a feature of most houses anymore, abusive partners often use tactics like these to make their partners doubt themselves. Gaslighting behaviors might look like:  Claiming to forget or denying that something [...]

2022-10-17T11:00:55-04:00October 17th, 2022|Domestic Violence|

Domestic Violence: Healing the Psychological Wounds

You notice that a friend winces when they make a normal movement. Or you see bruises more than a few times and hear excuses that just don’t ring true: “I fell down the steps” or “I bumped into something.” These are some of the visible signs of domestic violence. Just as damaging, but harder to detect, is the psychological harm. About every 20 seconds in the United States, women, children, and men suffer the effects of domestic violence – both physical and emotional.  Physical violence often starts with emotional abuse, which is used to frighten, control, or isolate the victim. Is emotional abuse the same as domestic violence? Most experts agree that it is a deceptive form that wears down the victim’s self-worth, confidence, and mental and emotional strength.  Signs of emotional abuse  How do you know if you or someone you know is being emotionally abused?  The perpetrator might embarrass the victim publicly, keep them from friends or family, or take control of their possessions, such as their phone. Verbal abuse, such as belittling the person’s accomplishments and using demeaning language, are typical. Other signs include extreme jealousy or threatening to hurt him/herself or the victim. Gaslighting is another form of emotional abuse, which involves telling the victim they are too sensitive, are overreacting, or that their memory of [...]

2022-10-17T10:53:33-04:00October 10th, 2022|Domestic Violence|

Screen for Depression Regularly

Depression – we have all heard the word many times. In the past three years, we have all felt sadness. Feeling sad, unmotivated, or hopeless is common in daily life.  But what is the difference between sadness and depression? Feeling sad does not last as long as depression. In depression, you might also experience things like not feeling hungry or feeling hungrier than usual. You may also be sleeping a lot or not enough, and feeling hopeless. Hopelessness feels like the things that you used to enjoy are no longer fun. These feelings are different from normal sadness when they last for long periods of time – from a couple of weeks to many months.  It is important to screen for depression regularly. You can ask your doctor about depression during regular care appointments, sick appointments, after scary experiences, or after childbirth. These are not the only times to screen for depression, though. You should always let your doctor know if you begin to feel the symptoms of depression. It is important to check in with your doctor or someone you trust about these feelings to prevent yourself from experiencing a more serious form of depression. Serious symptoms of depression can lead to fatal outcomes, such as suicide.  Depression screenings ask a lot of questions. You can expect to be [...]

2022-09-28T18:06:39-04:00October 1st, 2022|Depression, Suicide Prevention|
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