About Janine Monico

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

Mental Health Services for People with Developmental Disabilities

It’s June 19, 2013, my first day as a behavior and sexuality support professional. I’m handed a caseload of over 30 people with developmental disabilities and mental health diagnoses.  All of them had a psychiatrist who prescribed psychotropic medications; however, none of them were working with a therapist. How were they ever going to get off these high doses of psychotropic medications without working with someone on the underlying mental health challenges?  Obviously, this was a fluke or caseload oversight…right?  Sadly, over the next few weeks, I learned about the severe lack of mental health professionals (MHPs) providing support to clients with developmental disabilities. Some struggles – such as insurance coverage limitations and numbers of certain types of specialists in an area – were shared by everyone seeking support.  The biggest challenge for people with developmental disabilities was finding MHPs trained in adaptations for people with developmental disabilities. Fast forward to 2022. While COVID significantly impacted all of us, we’ve had the opportunity to reflect on what truly matters and create new capacities for the most important resources. While some delighted in having a favorite snack delivered to their doorstep at 2 a.m., it was remotely offered mental health services that had me singing with joy like a character in an animated movie. Finally, a step toward increased accessibility of [...]

2022-03-11T09:23:55-05:00March 10th, 2022|Intellectual disAbility|

Let’s Talk About Teen Dating Violence

You’re at a family gathering. Your kids trade TikToks with cousins while you pass out cookies and cider.   Your 14-year-old, John, walks into the kitchen when Uncle Pete yells, “I heard someone has a girlfriend!”   “Oohs” and “aahs” fill the room. John, red faced, spins around to get the heck out.   Uncle Pete calls after him, “You make sure you’re treating that girl right!”    Maybe Uncle Pete is teasing, but what if you took the question seriously:   Is John treating his girlfriend “right?”   Is he being treated “right?”   What does “right” look like? What about “wrong?”  February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. So, let’s tackle some common questions.  What is teen dating violence?   It’s easy to go on the defense - John is your son, he would never hurt a fly. But teen dating violence isn’t only physical.   Dating abuse is a pattern of behaviors meant to gain power over a partner. Abuse can take many forms: physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, and online. About 1 in 3 teens experiences some kind of dating abuse in the United States. In teen relationships, abusive control could include:  Telling a partner not to spend time with friends or family  Asking them to repeatedly skip activities to spend time together instead  Needing to know where they are always  Accusing [...]

2022-02-02T11:35:18-05:00February 14th, 2022|Family & Youth|

Why Mental Health is So Important to People of Color

As a Black man, I am continuously aware of some of the stigmas surrounding mental health from both a gender- and race-related perspective. More often than not, people of color feel that these services may make them look weak or that they are broken. However, taking proactive approaches – whether it be simple wellness practices such as yoga or meditation or more substantive ones such as structured therapy – could not show more strength.  As a licensed clinician myself, as well as someone reared by a parent with clinical depression, this is a topic very close to home. Quite frankly, seeing my parent struggle to hold conversations and even maintain simple tasks at home because of crippling depression, has molded me into someone passionate in the fight to remove stigmas around mental health. As a professor of psychology, I sought to infuse much of my own experiences in the area of mental health to help frame the minds of future educators and clinicians. In our current culture, with the pandemic as the backdrop and social media serving constant pressure to promote life not always rooted in truth, the presence of depression consistently lingers – as we have seen in suicide reports. Finally, I implore my fellow people of color to ignore some of the antiquated stereotypes of seeking therapy [...]

2022-02-10T10:38:52-05:00February 10th, 2022|Lived Experience, Mental Health, Racial Equity|

The Evolution of the School Counselor

Growing up as a student in the public school system, there were school community members who were seen as staples of the building. Of course, everyone knew their principal, their teachers, whether general education or specialist teachers, and the nurse. However, there was one community member who often went unnoticed: the school counselor.  During my days as a student, we called them “guidance counselors.” Oftentimes they worked in isolation and solely “guided” students as they prepared to transition from one school to the next. I didn’t need to see my counselors often as it pertained to their role as the counselor; however, because I was involved in many school activities, I came in contact with them quite often.  Although the role of the school counselor today is quite different from the role of the guidance counselor of 20-plus years ago, my counselors – Mrs. Glover, Mr. Deleon, and Mr. Rubin – will always be considered educators who made an impact on my life. It was these three educators who inspired me to do what I feel is my life’s calling. As the profession of school counseling evolved, the role of the school counselor changed. We are more than just “vocational advisors;” we are certified/licensed professionals who work to improve success for all students. No longer are we providing “random acts [...]

2022-02-02T13:27:05-05:00February 7th, 2022|Family & Youth|
Go to Top