About Janine Monico

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So far Janine Monico has created 135 blog entries.

Combating Social Isolation in Children During COVID-19

By Tamra Williams, Ph.D., Deputy Chief Clinical Officer—Children’s Services, Community Behavioral Health, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services For children, one of the many consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a decrease in opportunities to interact with their peers in traditional and important ways. Restrictions on face-to-face interactions with peers and playmates and more time spent indoors translate, for some children, into stress and frustration that affects their emotional and behavioral health. From a developmental perspective, we know that play and peer interaction is important for young children. It helps with social skills, moral reasoning, and cognitive development. Moreover, children staying home 24/7 can add an additional layer of stress to parents, chipping away at their emotional reserves and ability to parent effectively. How can we combat the loss of playtime and the increased stress on parents?  Routines are important. School provides a consistent routine that is vital for most children. With many schools starting virtually, it will be important to create a consistent schedule for children while learning at home. Make new traditions for the routines that typically happen while preparing for the start of a school year. For example, think about what might be needed for successful online learning experiences when planning for back-to-school shopping with your child. Physical activity is also helpful; try to schedule a [...]

2021-01-02T19:34:59-05:00August 21st, 2020|Family & Youth, Pandemic|

Are You Protected & Prepared?

Every day we hear more and more about the importance of using different types of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and demonstrating behaviors that help protect us from COVID-19.  During these unprecedented and most uncertain times that we are living in, we are told to cover our mouths and noses with face masks or shields, wash our hands often, use hand sanitizer, and comply with social distancing protocols to keep 6 feet apart to maintain our health as well as to protect the health of others. However, there is another tool with which we need to equip ourselves: Mental Health First Aid® (MHFA) 2.0 virtual training.  Virtual MHFA is a national certification course that provides the basic knowledge and practical skills that help to either alleviate or shield us from signs and symptoms of behavioral health or substance use challenges. Its primary goal is to help individuals increase their competence and confidence in identifying, recognizing, and responding appropriately to someone in distress.  First Aiders learn to support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives or until the crisis is resolved. In this pandemic, many of us are struggling with the thought of social distancing from family, friends, and loved ones.  Whereas social distancing is necessary to decrease the rate of transmission of the coronavirus, Mental Health First Aid® seeks to decrease [...]

2021-03-16T16:00:28-04:00August 18th, 2020|Training|

Closing the treatment gap: Time to address inequality within mental health

By Sosunmolu Shoyinka, MD DBHIDS Chief Medical Officer Two months ago, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and the City of Philadelphia took the occasion of Mental Health Awareness Month to remind residents -- especially during this difficult and unprecedented time of COVID-19: “You’re not alone. Help is out there.” Much has changed in the national dialogue since early May. And now Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, recognized in July of each year, gives us the opportunity to look more closely at overall mental health awareness -- and focus on the shortcomings of mental health treatment among minority groups. Mental health issues are not limited by race, gender, sexual identity, or anything else. Sadly, data suggest that access to mental health care does have limitations. This is particularly the case for minority populations. Across the United States, minority groups are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care, according to a report from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. They are also disproportionately impacted by socioeconomic determinants such as housing, food and financial insecurity, inadequate health insurance, exposure to violence, unemployment and lower access to quality education. The disproportionate impact of the [...]

2021-01-28T23:04:59-05:00July 7th, 2020|Community, Pandemic, Racial Equality|

15 Ways to Continue Supporting the Mental Health of Remote & On-site Teams

Almost overnight, remote work transformed from a niche benefit to the norm for millions of employees. And looking out for the mental well being of your workforce – both remote and in the office – is now more critical than ever. As many states and cities begin the 'yellow phase' of returning to work, there are still many people who will be working remotely for quite some time and will need support and guidance from their organizations and managers. COVID-19 has impacted remote and on-site teams in all sorts of ways: the cognitive load of processing the rapidly changing world in addition to work; the loss of the familiar scents, sounds, and sights of the office; our inner critics always watching us on camera in virtual meetings; the perceived need to be "on" 24/7; the cognitive dissonance of managing virtual communications; and virtual fatigue from the verbal and nonverbal demands of being "on" for video calls. So, what can we do about these changes that our teams and we are experiencing? Here are some recommendations for providing ongoing behavioral health support for yourself, your team, and your organization. Schedule Breaks. Without regular routines to bookend the day, it can be hard to delineate the hours allocated to our jobs and the hours we save for ourselves and our families. Intentionally [...]

2020-06-17T16:21:00-04:00June 17th, 2020|Pandemic, Workplace Mental Health|
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