About Janine Monico

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

MLK Day: Personal Memories of the First Day of Service

By Iris Lozada In 1994, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service was launched thanks largely to U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford Jr. of Pennsylvania and U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. Wofford was an attorney and civil rights activist. He was a Democratic politician who represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate from 1991 to 1995. He also was a special assistant to President John F. Kennedy and an adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. during the decade of struggle from Montgomery to Memphis. His “passion for getting people involved helped create John F. Kennedy’s Peace Corps, Bill Clinton’s AmeriCorps and other service organizations and made him America’s volunteer in chief,” according to his 2019 obituary in The New York Times. It isn’t surprising that, given his strong interest in volunteerism and knowing what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stood for, he launched the campaign to make MLK Day into a day of service, what Wofford called “a day on, not a day off.” Todd Bernstein – Chief of Staff of Wofford’s Philadelphia office when the campaign was launched – supported those efforts. Bernstein is the founder and director of the annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service. Today, Philadelphia continues to host the largest King Day of Service in the country, according to Global Citizens. I [...]

2022-01-03T13:22:35-05:00January 10th, 2022|Awareness, Community|

Emotional Building Blocks for the Youngest Explorer

How often do we really think about how busy a baby is? The human infant is a marvelous package. If all goes well, the newborn emerges on their birthday with a wonderful set of equipment for exploring, acting on, and adapting to the world they enter. Vision, although initially limited, gradually expands to colors and to greater distances. Hearing may be a bit muffled at first, but gradually improves. The basics of taste, touch, and smell are also there.  Combined with what appears to be aimless exuberance in wriggling arms and legs, these senses and motions make an infant as busy and as great an explorer of a new world as any we learned about in history. This exploration involves not only the physical world, but also the emotional and social world. Lately, many have focused more on school-aged children and the demands and crises they face.  However, it’s important to remember that to cope with difficult times in life, all children rely on emotional lessons they started learning from the day they were born. It’s important that in those early days parents, caregivers, and other significant people in infants’ lives be loving teachers, guides, and models for the skills that babies are developing, even if it’s hard to see that development from day to day. Here are some important [...]

2021-11-18T16:36:31-05:00December 1st, 2021|Family & Youth|

How to Achieve Healthy Sleep

Humans spend a lot of time asleep -- about a third of our lives, in fact. It should come as no surprise, then, that developing and maintaining good sleep habits is a key factor in maintaining good physical and mental health. Unfortunately, data show Americans don’t have the greatest relationship with sleep. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control found at least 28.5 percent of American adults sleep less than seven hours a night, while 68.8 percent of teens reported getting less than 8 hours of sleep each night even though it’s recommended that teens sleep more than adults. Sleep deprivation can make it harder to learn, focus, and react. According to the National Institute of Health, you may have trouble “making decisions, solving problems, remembering things, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change.” So how can we develop better habits around sleep? According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the term “sleep hygiene” refers to “healthy sleep habits that can improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.” Here are some of the top tips for developing and maintaining good sleep hygiene from NAMI, the CDC, and AASM: Consistency – It’s important to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time each morning. This helps your body [...]

2021-11-19T09:02:28-05:00November 19th, 2021|Self-Help|

Stress and College

Clenched teeth, locked jaw, tension shooting up my shoulders and neck, feeling heavy as if my legs were glued to the floor, tightness in my low back set in, and finally a pounding headache crashed into my frontal lobes. Stress! My name is Liam, and I’m a junior in the Public Health program at Temple University. Lately I’ve been dwelling on stress (literally).  Last semester was full of surprises. I was already late to register for my summer classes, scrambling to find a course before the deadline, all while in the process of moving, losing family to gun violence, not to mention dealing with burnout and vicarious trauma from work. At the top of this long list: social isolation due to the COVID-19 restrictions and recommendations. Tired, worrying I wouldn't get a course in time, I stumbled across one of the remaining courses available: ‘Stress Management’. I assumed it would be about deep breathing, and healthy social networks, which are both important, but instead the course focused more on the mind-body connection and interactivity. This course taught me a lot about myself. As a master procrastinator, I do everything at the very last minute. This is accompanied with awfulizing (constantly worrying about the “what if’s” in life), not to mention the chronic back pain. Stress become that “friend” who always [...]

2021-11-10T20:47:35-05:00November 10th, 2021|Lived Experience, Self-Help, Stress|
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