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“Education is the first step toward acceptance.” with GinaMarie Guarino and Fotis Georgiadis

People need to be educated on what challenges and dangers come with poor mental health. Just like physical and medical conditions like smoking, cancer, and proper diet, there needs to be social messages on how to promote your mental health and why it is important. Education is the first step toward acceptance, and the more […]


People need to be educated on what challenges and dangers come with poor mental health. Just like physical and medical conditions like smoking, cancer, and proper diet, there needs to be social messages on how to promote your mental health and why it is important. Education is the first step toward acceptance, and the more people understand the more comfortable they feel with accepting other people’s challenges and their own challenges.

I had the pleasure to interview GinaMarie Guarino, a licensed mental health counselor. She has made it her mission to not only help people in need, but also spread awareness about mental health through means of internet blogs and her website, www.psychpoint.com. GinaMarie has made it her initiative to provide support to both people who are seeking mental wellness and mental health professionals, as so much is expected of them without full understanding of the stress and challenges that come with promoting the mental health of so many people.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was brought to this career path because I was fascinated by the field of psychology and mental illness. So much affects how we go about our day, and most of it is influenced by things we don’t even realize!

When I started practicing, I was surprised by the emotional and mental stress helping so many people with their mental health affected my own mental health. Being a mental health professional is so rewarding, but also quite demanding. Because of this, I wanted to create a space where both people who want to improve their mental health and mental health professionals can feel supported.

According to Mental Health America’s report, over 44 million Americans have a mental health condition. Yet there’s still a stigma about mental illness. Can you share a few reasons you think this is so?

I think a major reason why there is still a stigma is simply because there is a lack of understanding of how mental health affects overall health. Everyone is influenced by different forces throughout the day, and only quite recently we are beginning to realize the depth and length in which mental illness is affecting people.

Fortunately, as awareness is spread the stigma is beginning to diminish- slowly but surely! That is what motivates me and PsychPoint to continue to spread awareness about mental health. The more we understand, the less we stigmatize!

Can you tell our readers about how you are helping to de-stigmatize the focus on mental wellness?

PsychPoint aims to de-stigmatize mental health issues by making content easy to understand and relatable to as many people as possible. We provide supportive worksheets to mental health professionals, to help them help their clients understand how their mental health issues affect them, and how they are not powerless in life. articles and explanations of mental health conditions in simple terms, and provide tips and suggestions to promote mental health, regardless of your struggle. We also provide articles and explanations of mental health conditions in simple terms, and provide tips and suggestions to promote mental health, regardless of your struggle.

Was there a story behind why you decided to launch this initiative?

I decided to launch my initiative when I realized how often I heard “I don’t know how you do it- sit there all day and listen to people’s problems”. I didn’t like how this was people’s understanding of what I do. I am not only a soundboard, I am a guide to help people grow and become stronger. Mental strength is important, and a therapist’s job goes far beyond a simple conversation once a week.

As a mental health professional, I make it my mission to help people find inner peace. Finding that peace can be a challenge when they feel like they are damaged. That’s when I realized that in order to further promote the health of my clients, I need to help spread awareness about how therapy is a good thing, and how it is okay to not be okay.

In your experience, what should a) individuals b) society, and c) the government do to better support people suffering from mental illness?

People need to be educated on what challenges and dangers come with poor mental health. Just like physical and medical conditions like smoking, cancer, and proper diet, there needs to be social messages on how to promote your mental health and why it is important. Education is the first step toward acceptance, and the more people understand the more comfortable they feel with accepting other people’s challenges and their own challenges.

What are your 6 strategies you use to promote your own wellbeing and mental wellness? Can you please give a story or example for each?

My 6 strategies to promote my own wellbeing and mental wellness include:

1. Proper diet. I find that certain foods and not drinking enough water can cause me to suffer from anxiety and a depressed mood, just like it does most people! I make sure I drink plenty of water, limit my sugar intake, and keep a balanced diet of protein, fruits and vegetables.

2. Regular exercise. I make sure I go to the gym regularly. Endorphins do wonders for boosting mood, and the physical activity is a great way for me to relieve stress after a long day.

3. Spend time outside. Staying indoors all the time tends to make me feel down and stressed, so I make sure I take at least one 15-minute walk outside each day!

4. Practice deep breathing exercises. Research supports that deep breathing promotes mental wellness by reducing stress and anxiety. Especially if I feel myself getting overwhelmed at work, I will take 3 deep breaths and remind myself that everything is okay and I am well. It helps keep my stress levels manageable.

5. Spend time doing things I love. My hobbies are so important to me! My hobbies make me happy, and give me a break from thinking about work. Taking a mental break from work helps me stay grounded, and provides balance that helps me not burn out while at work.

6. Spend time with family and friends. Socializing is so important for mental health and wellness. Spending time with my family and friends helps me because it makes me happy and helps me feel supported.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a mental health champion?

I am an avid reader of Thich Nhat Hanh. I appreciate his perspective of approaching mindfulness and mental health. His reading is simple and relatable, and I often share excerpts of his work and titles of his books with my clients.

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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