About Janine Monico

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

Incarceration to Healing, Addiction to Recovery

I am a person in recovery from mental health and substance use disorders. For many years, I carried a good deal of anger and resentment so, instead of addressing my issues, I turned to using drugs. Unlike many others, my addiction began in prison. It happened at one of the lowest times in my life, when I lost my father. Here I was, incarcerated and drugs were available, so I turned to the one thing that I always tried to avoid. In trying to mask my pain there were times I didn’t want to live. Depression was evident, but I camouflaged it with drugs. I was overdosing and only through the grace of God was revived every time by someone in my community. Naloxone was constantly used to save my life. I was arrested so many times that I started to begin to believe that incarceration was going to be my life. It was my reality, a cycle of incarceration and release, only to sell drugs again to support my addiction. My light came on when I was sitting in a jail cell and decided that I no longer wanted to use drugs. I started to realize that I needed help to address my mental state. During my therapy sessions, I was told that I was holding on to a [...]

2018-09-14T02:50:29-04:00September 14th, 2018|Addiction & Recovery|

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Demystifying the Myth

Growing up in Nigeria, a sub- Sahara Africa country, I grew up with different myths and ideas of what a disability is and how people with disabilities should be treated.  I knew they should not be isolated, segregated and not allowed to participate in normal life events. Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, live a traumatic life because Nigerian society does not believe in intellectual disabilities that do not manifest physically, such a person who lives with Down syndrome or cerebral palsy.  Parents face stigma on an everyday basis if their child/children are living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The fear of what the future holds for their children in terms of obtaining adequate health care, education, employable skills and being accepted in the society is always a constant thought for parents. The above coupled with a lack of awareness, stigmatization and discrimination gave birth to my NGO- “The Autism Awareness Place” found at www.taap-ng.org.  Here we create awareness and advocate about Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Our goal is to create an inclusive world for children living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in Lagos, Nigeria.  The following are some of the ways we will continue to meet our goal: parental meet up and counseling, starting an inclusion first aide club in school and calling on teens to become advocate for an [...]

2022-03-29T10:30:31-04:00August 27th, 2018|Awareness, Intellectual disAbility|

Mental Health at Work

Studies show that 1 in 5 employees have a mental health disorder, the most common being depression and anxiety. Because people often hide their problems at work, many of those who suffer never get the support and treatment that could significantly improve quality of life and job performance. To address this problem, it’s helpful to understand how mental health symptoms often present at work as compared to in other situations. For example, a coworker who is depressed may seem nervous, restless, or irritable, and complain of physical aches and pains. He or she may become passive, withdrawn, aimless, and unproductive. They also may be fatigued, partly as a result of the mood disorder or because they are having trouble sleeping at night. Depression may also impair judgment or cloud decision making. Anxiety has similar manifestations, including restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and excessive worrying. Employees may require constant reassurance about performance. Sometimes, as with depression, physical symptoms or irritability are noticeable. If you notice these tendencies in yourself, there are simple but important steps you can take to improve your mental health. These changes may seem trivial but, in total, they represent an important lifestyle shift that can be hugely helpful in maintaining balance. It’s best to approach these with a commitment to building long-term healthy habits for your mind. They [...]

2018-08-06T17:55:49-04:00August 6th, 2018|Stress|

Recognizing Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness month. You might wonder: why the distinction, if mental health doesn’t discriminate across race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation? Consider this: while the number of people experiencing mental illness may be the same across demographic groupings, people's access to care and quality of treatment for mental illness varies greatly. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “the quality of and access to mental health care are suboptimal for minority groups.” NIMH also describes several recent studies showing that “members of racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use inpatient hospitalization and emergency rooms, and more likely to receive lower quality care.” Cultural and language differences add to the challenge. Mental illness is still not acknowledged in many cultures, resulting in even more stigma around help seeking behaviors. In fact, mental health symptoms might present as physical symptoms so that the underlying causes to problems are missed. Most clinicians in the US provide services in English, which puts certain ethnic groups at a disadvantage. Those who seek help often are connected to counselors who don’t speak their native language, making it even less likely they will follow through with long-term counseling. The [...]

2018-07-10T14:49:34-04:00July 10th, 2018|Mental Health|
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