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Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders (Podcast Recap)

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Hey Lovelies,

June is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. The purpose of this month is to bring public awareness for PTSD and its symptoms, provide support to individuals with PTSD and their families, assure there are treatments available, and continue to promote research and treatment of trauma-related disorders.

I wanted to highlight this episode at this time because according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, approximately eight out of every 100 people in the U.S. will have PTSD at some point in their lives and about ten of every 100 women develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared to about 4 of every 100 men.

I'm excited to announce the Season 3 Educated Black Queen Podcast is in motion!

You can listen to the Episode 1 here on Spotify. Our first guest of the season was Substance Abuse & Mental Health Therapist, Jessica Candelo.

In this episode we discussed mental health and substance use disorders, her journey as a therapist and coping strategies for healing.

Jessica is from Orlando, Florida and she earned her Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Troy University.

She is a proud Marine Corps Veteran. She is certified in Addictions Counseling and counseling military populations; she is a member of the SALUTE Honors Society.

Photo of Jessica Candelo courtesy of Jessica Candelo.

Jessica shared her battle with imposter syndrome and how she used her lived experience as a veteran to connect with her clients.

We focused on dismantling the stigma surrounding mental health and substance use disorders (SUDs).

Substance use disorder (SUD) is a treatable mental disorder that affects a person's brain and behavior, leading to their inability to control their use of substances like legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, or medications.

Stigma about people with substance use disorders might include inaccurate or unfounded thoughts like: they are dangerous, incapable of managing treatment, or at fault for their condition.

How does it affect people with SUD?

  • Feeling stigmatized can make people with SUD less willing to seek treatment.

  • Negative stereotypes about people with SUD can make others feel pity, fear, and even anger.

She encourages people to use preferred language which focuses on removing words that define a person by their condition or have negative meanings. For example, saying a “person with a substance use disorder” rather than "addiction" has a neutral tone and separates the person from his or her disorder.

Memorable Quote:

Shake the table to where it needs to be to get to where you need to go. Because at the end of the day everyone here should have the same opportunities to just live and to just be happy.

Jessica can be reached on IG @_this.thing.called.life_ or via email at; you can also find her on or in private practice at Alternative Directions Counseling & Consulting.

Interested in becoming a guest speaker? Sign up here!

Mental Health Resources

Veteran Focused:

Youth Focused:

Women Focused:

Men Focused:

LGBTQ Focused:

Additional Services:

Additional Resources:


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