Thank you patients for helping us win the Best of Mile High award for Mental Wellness!

Psychiatric Care in Colorado: Insights from Jessica Psonak, PMHNP

Psychiatric care provider Jessica Psonak is pictured

Tell us about your background and why you decided to go into psychiatric care in Colorado from Philadelphia.

I began my career in nursing in 2013. My experience in medical nursing and psychiatric care gave me an appreciation for the connectedness between the mind and body. Having lived with a family member with mental illness from an early age helped me to appreciate the large impact of mental illness on the entire family and allowed me to empathize with my patients who were struggling. While I enjoyed working in various fields, I found that mental health and helping families is my true passion.

What’s something you’ve struggled with in the past that you’ve overcome? How did you overcome it? Who helped you and how does that experience inform your practice?

Everyone experiences some type of loss in their life at some point, whether it be a loved family member, pet, loss of job, or loss of physical capabilities. I am no exception. Personally, I have found that surrounding yourself with the most support, not isolating yourself, and taking things day-by-day can make things a little more manageable when you are dealing with grief/loss. I think my personal experiences of loss help me empathize and relate to my patients so that healing can occur.

How do you spend your free time when you're not delivering exceptional psychiatric care in Colorado?

In my free time, I enjoy being active outdoors, traveling, and spending time with my family and friends. This is one of the reasons that practicing psychiatric care in Colorado is the perfect fit for me.

What areas do you think are under-researched in psychiatric care?

I have seen adults do well when treated with Long-Acting Injectables (LAIs) for the treatment of bipolar and schizophrenia. I would be interested in research surrounding the use of LAIs in the late teen population, since currently LAIs are only FDA-approved for use in adults. I am also interested in the development of safe treatment options for treating bipolar during pregnancy and treatments such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Spravato for bipolar depression. Many new treatment modalities focus only on unipolar depression.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I find reality TV highly entertaining, and it allows me to “turn off my brain" after a long day providing psychiatric care in Colorado. Bachelor in Paradise is one of my favorite shows.

What’s something that you were skeptical about but actually surprised you because it’s so effective?

Knowing that our actions impact our mood and emotions. It works. If you know what gets you in a good mood, DO IT even if your mind doesn’t want you to. You may be surprised.

If there was one thing that you could get more patients to do to take care of their mental health, what would it be?

Be physically active, devote time to self-care, know when to say “No,” and set boundaries with people… Remember that you cannot help others unless you take care of yourself.

Do you define success differently today than you did when you were younger? How?

Success means setting achievable goals that you would like to accomplish and taking intentional actions to reach those goals. When I was younger, I cared about what other people thought of me. I think being authentically true to yourself is invaluable.

Do you have any tips for managing your mental health?

The basics of managing mental health for me are eating nutritious foods that give us energy, incorporating some physical activity in your day (even walking counts) and having a consistent sleep routine.

What’s the phone app you use the most?

Spotify. I like to match my music choices with my mood, and I find music very soothing and fun.

What’s a book you think everyone should read?

I like the book Man’s Search for Meaning because of its principles. Every person may not have a choice about what happens to them, but they do have choices about how they feel and respond.

2024 All rights reserved.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram