Providing Insights for Better Mental Health

image image Follow Us:

Social Determinants of Health in bStable Go!

on Wednesday, 05 February 2020.

Social Determinants of Health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels. bStable Go! supports these determinants. Learn more by contacting us at 844.727.8225 or

What is the best way to live a happy and successful life?

on Monday, 25 November 2019.

What is the best way to live a happy and successful life?

Answer by Katherine Killoran, physician and cancer survivor, on Quora

Establishing healthy habits is a good start. When you feel well, it's easier to be happy and successful and get the most out of life. Often diet and exercise are the first things that come to mind when thinking of healthy habits. There is an avalanche of opinions on what a healthy diet is. I think it depends on our individual personal preferences as well as our metabolism. But whether your diet is vegan, vegetarian, paleo, Mediterranean, or labeled something else, it comes down to real food. Cook for yourself with quality ingredients and eat at homeenjoy your food, and if possible, share with others. You will undoubtedly be healthier and happier.

I always thought I had a reasonably healthy diet until I was diagnosed with cancer and considered more carefully what I was eating. I feel better and am happier when I eat real food that I cook at home. Maybe it's age; maybe it's because I am more aware, but my body lets me know when I don't eat well. I do enjoy cooking and strive to eat a wide variety of vegetables every day. I think most of the food we cook at home is delicious, so I am not sacrificing anything to eat well.

Get some exercise. Exercise reduces depression and increases pain tolerance. Do it outside if you can. Being outside makes you happier and also helps reduce depression and anxiety. Make sure it is an activity that you like. The more it feels like work, the less beneficial it is for you and the less likely you are to do it. Sweat. The harder you work, the less time you need to put in.

I am an exercise addict. I tend to go overboard. I can count the days during chemotherapy that I did not exercise on one hand. It, for sure, helped me feel better during a time when feeling crappy was the norm. I continue to enjoy being active and have added high-intensity intervals to my various activities--swimming, biking, running, and lifting weights. It's hard to know for sure, but I am confident it has improved my speed, strength, and overall level of fitness.

Sleep. While not everybody needs a full eight hours of sleep every night, most people need more than six. No surprise, when you are well rested, you think and perform better, which helps you accomplish more and be happier and more successful.

Stress and lack of sleep were major issues for me. One week after I was diagnosed with cancer, when my priorities were put in place by necessity, I was sleeping better than I had in several years. I think anxiety and lack of sleep contributed to my diagnosis in the first place. But even with a recent cancer diagnosis, better sleep helped me on the road to a happier life.

Yeah, yeah, yeah--diet, exercise, and sleep, everyone knows that. However, it's your relationships that may be the most important. At least that's the conclusion from the Harvard study of adult development. This study started in the 1930s and is still going on today, more than 75 years later. It followed 724 men from very different backgrounds. One group was composed of Harvard students, and the other was poor, underprivileged boys from Boston's inner city.

Some of the original participants are still alive today in their 90s, and the study is now following the children from the initial group. This study tracked these men, interviewing them, reviewing their medical records, and talking to their wives and families to determine what factors resulted in health, happiness, and longevity. It wasn't money, success, or a healthy cholesterol level at age 50 that best predicted good health and happiness at age 80. Instead, it was how satisfied the men were with their relationships. Being more socially connected to family, friends, and community led to happier, healthier people who lived longer. Robert Waldinger is the current director of the study; you can listen to his TED talk here.

Another example of the remarkable power of relationships and community on health and longevity is known as the Roseto effect. Roseto is a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. In the 1960s, a local doctor realized there was an exceptionally low rate of heart disease in Roseto--it was virtually nonexistent compared with some of the surrounding towns.

The inhabitants smoked cigars, drank lots of wine, and ate meatballs, sausage, and plenty of cheese, while being exposed to potentially toxic gases and dust in the slate quarries. Not exactly the usual recipe for good health.

However, the community was very close-knit. There was no crime; people supported each other, and meals were a reason to get together and celebrate. There was a strong work ethic, with everyone in town working toward a similar goal: a better life for their children. Their children did go on to have more material things and traditional success, but not necessarily better lives. As the supportive community began to break down, the rates of heart disease and premature death increased, equaling the rates of the surrounding towns.

The people of Roseto were Italian immigrants. Their lifestyle, with an emphasis on close, supportive relationships, appears to have protected them from chronic disease and is similar to the way of life along the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. A British cardiologist,  Aseem Malhotra, is making a film about Pioppi, Italy, called The Pioppi Protocol. Pioppi is on the Mediterranean, and its inhabitants are among the world's healthiest, often living into their 90s. In his film, Malhotra contends that it is the Mediterranean lifestyle, not just the diet, that cultivates good health, happiness, and longevity. People eat well, and savor and enjoy their food. They are social and connected to their community. They spend time outside, moving and engaged in activities they enjoy.

Take care of yourself. Eat well. Move daily. Get enough sleep. Maintain and nurture your relationships. In doing so, you will inevitably increase your energy and enjoyment from life. When you take care of yourself, not only do you have more energy (which will give you more time to focus on success), but you also feel well, so you are better equipped to enjoy the time you have.

I put together a daily wellness checklist to remind, motivate, and inspire me to achieve within each of these areas. Click here if you'd like a copy. It helps me stay on track and gives me a little win when I check off an activity as completed.

This question originally appeared on Quora--the knowledge-sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. More questions:

Answer by Katherine Killoran, physician and cancer survivor, on Quora

bStable in Hope Services 2018 - 2019 Annual Report

on Tuesday, 19 November 2019.

The Hope Services Counseling Center provides mental health services for children and adults ages 5-65+ with developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental illness. Hope offers psychiatric and psychotherapeutic services, such as individual, group and family counseling, rehabilitation counseling, behavior therapy, case management and psychotropic medication management.

Mental Health Symptom Tracking

on Sunday, 17 November 2019.

Mental Health Symptom Tracking

Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary, depending on the disorder, circumstances and other factors. Mental disorder symptoms can affect emotions, thoughts and behaviors.

Examples of signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad or down
  • Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
  • Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
  • Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
  • Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
  • Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
  • Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
  • Problems with alcohol or drug use
  • Major changes in eating habits
  • Sex drive changes
  • Excessive anger, hostility or violence
  • Suicidal thinking

Sometimes symptoms of a mental health disorder appear as physical problems, such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, or other unexplained aches and pains.

When to see a doctor

If you have any signs or symptoms of a mental illness, see your primary care provider or a mental health professional. Most mental illnesses don't improve on their own, and if untreated, a mental illness may get worse over time and cause serious problems.

If you have suicidal thoughts

Suicidal thoughts and behavior are common with some mental illnesses. If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, get help right away:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
  • Call your mental health specialist.
  • Call a suicide hotline number. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use its webchat on
  • Seek help from your primary care provider.
  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
  • Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.

Suicidal thinking doesn't get better on its own — so get help.

Helping a loved one

If your loved one shows signs of mental illness, have an open and honest discussion with him or her about your concerns. You may not be able to force someone to get professional care, but you can offer encouragement and support. You can also help your loved one find a qualified mental health professional and make an appointment. You may even be able to go along to the appointment.

If your loved one has done self-harm or is considering doing so, take the person to the hospital or call for emergency help.


Mental illnesses, in general, are thought to be caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors:

  • Inherited traits.Mental illness is more common in people whose blood relatives also have a mental illness. Certain genes may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, and your life situation may trigger it.
  • Environmental exposures before birth.Exposure to environmental stressors, inflammatory conditions, toxins, alcohol or drugs while in the womb can sometimes be linked to mental illness.
  • Brain chemistry.Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that carry signals to other parts of your brain and body. When the neural networks involving these chemicals are impaired, the function of nerve receptors and nerve systems change, leading to depression and other emotional disorders.

Risk factors

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, including:

  • A history of mental illness in a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling
  • Stressful life situations, such as financial problems, a loved one's death or a divorce
  • An ongoing (chronic) medical condition, such as diabetes
  • Brain damage as a result of a serious injury (traumatic brain injury), such as a violent blow to the head
  • Traumatic experiences, such as military combat or assault
  • Use of alcohol or recreational drugs
  • A childhood history of abuse or neglect
  • Few friends or few healthy relationships
  • A previous mental illness

Mental illness is common. About 1 in 5 adults has a mental illness in any given year. Mental illness can begin at any age, from childhood through later adult years, but most cases begin earlier in life.

The effects of mental illness can be temporary or long lasting. You also can have more than one mental health disorder at the same time. For example, you may have depression and a substance use disorder.


Mental illness is a leading cause of disability. Untreated mental illness can cause severe emotional, behavioral and physical health problems. Complications sometimes linked to mental illness include:

  • Unhappiness and decreased enjoyment of life
  • Family conflicts
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Social isolation
  • Problems with tobacco, alcohol and other drugs
  • Missed work or school, or other problems related to work or school
  • Legal and financial problems
  • Poverty and homelessness
  • Self-harm and harm to others, including suicide or homicide
  • Weakened immune system, so your body has a hard time resisting infection
  • Heart disease and other medical conditions


There's no sure way to prevent mental illness. However, if you have a mental illness, taking steps to control stress, to increase your resilience and to boost low self-esteem may help keep your symptoms under control. Follow these steps:

  • Pay attention to warning signs.Work with your doctor or therapist to learn what might trigger your symptoms. Make a plan so that you know what to do if symptoms return. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any changes in symptoms or how you feel. Consider involving family members or friends to watch for warning signs.
  • Get routine medical care.Don't neglect checkups or skip visits to your primary care provider, especially if you aren't feeling well. You may have a new health problem that needs to be treated, or you may be experiencing side effects of medication.
  • Get help when you need it.Mental health conditions can be harder to treat if you wait until symptoms get bad. Long-term maintenance treatment also may help prevent a relapse of symptoms.
  • Take good care of yourself.Enough sleep, healthy eating and regular physical activity are important. Try to maintain a regular schedule. Talk to your primary care provider if you have trouble sleeping or if you have questions about diet and physical activity.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Gamification in bStable Go!

on Wednesday, 13 November 2019.

East Carolina University published a study that suggests that playing games for 30 minutes per day can help alleviate clinical depression and anxiety. Not just for the day, but a month later at levels that rival the effectiveness of medication.

There’s also evidence that video games aren’t just good for young people, but that continuing to play (or starting a new habit) in older years promotes a more positive aging experience and helps alleviate depression in older adults.

Why bStable Go! leverages gaming:

  1. Improved Daily Recording Adherence: Providers want to help individual clients as much as possible but to do so, timely and complete information from clients is paramount. Making it fun and easy to record how a client is doing by virtually traveling the world, unlocking prizes, getting rewarded with points and stars makes this task fun.
  2. Population Health Analytics: If a large population is providing this information, longitudinal data can be obtained at the population-level to determine new interventions. Read our blog on that topic here: Population Health Analytics for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities with bStable Go!
  3. Piques Interest in History and Geography: bStable Go! incorporates virtual travel around the world to historical and current sites to drive the usage of the system throughout the year. The locations spark a client’s interest in discovering more about the culture they’re immersed in. Case managers can obtain books, maps, and other resources connected to sites and locations in bStable Go! to have clients that are more engaged with learning, which can lead to a lifetime appreciation for geography and history.

Does bStable Go! sound like a solution that could improve your organization? I would love to offer you a personalized demonstration of bStable Go! and discuss how we can help your organization. Simply take a moment to contact me now in order to set up a time.

Population Health Analytics for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities with bStable Go!

on Thursday, 07 November 2019.

Data from bStable Go! can be exported for further analysis in any analytic platform. bStable Go! data can be de-identified and aggregated at the population level for longitudinal population health analytics. This leads to insights that can drive further research into how to better serve individuals via a wide range of interventions.

Sleep Better with bStable!

on Friday, 01 November 2019.

When it comes to getting back in sync and renewing vitality, many people focus solely on bedtime and catching some more z’s. A good night’s rest is essential to our health and well-being. It’s important to understand that it’s not just what you do at night that affects your sleep. Here's some general sleep-friendly tips to help you reclaim your rhythm throughout the day and the night. bStable can track all aspects of your sleep (and life) so that you get the z's you need!


Wake up right. Alarm clocks interrupt the sleep cycle and prevent sleep from completing naturally, pushing sleep problems into succeeding days. Dawn-simulation devices, which mimic the sunrise by gradually increasing the amount of light in your bedroom, are much more effective at establishing a healthy sleep cycle and gently rousing you from sleep.

Take mindfulness breaks. Close your office door, or find a quiet spot somewhere and get comfortable. Take five-minute breaks throughout your day to focus on your breath and become aware of it.

Get some natural sunlight every day. As sunlight enters our eyes, it regulates and resets our biological clocks, which involves triggering our brains and bodies to release specific chemicals and hormones that are vital to healthy sleep, mood, and aging. Try to get at least half an hour of regular exposure to natural sunlight a day.

Exercise regularly. Exercise is one of the best defenses against insomnia because it increases the amplitude of our daily rhythms and signals the body to promote deeper sleep cycles. The best time to exercise is four to six hours before bedtime, but studies also show that people are more likely to stick to a routine if they exercise first thing in the morning. Try to avoid exercising after 8 p.m., since it may be too stimulating to your body.

Say no to caffeine. Caffeine, even in small doses, blocks sleep neurotransmitters, the calming chemicals your body produces to make you sleepy. If you have a problem with sleep, you must cut out all caffeinated beverages, even your morning cup of coffee.

Try an elimination diet. For two weeks, eliminate sugar, corn syrup, sodas, refined grains, and processed foods. These are metabolic disruptors, which overstress the organs involved in hormone regulation and can seriously affect your sleep cycles. In addition, avoid dairy and gluten products, especially wheat, since these can cause food sensitivities that can affect your sleep cycle, too.

Eat in accordance with your body rhythms. Your digestive-system function peaks at lunchtime, so most of your food should be eaten by then. Your metabolism slows down in the late afternoon, leaving you poorly prepared to digest a large dinner, so make a smaller evening meal your standard. Eat at least three hours before going to sleep. Give your body a chance to recover and rebuild, instead of having to work on digestion while you sleep. What you eat at what time of day also makes a big difference. Prioritize proteins and fats throughout the day — they are essential for steady energy — and include healthy carbohydrates at night since they facilitate relaxation.

Review the medications you are taking. Medications such as antihistamines, diuretics, antipsychotics, antidepressants, decongestants, asthma medications, and some blood pressure medicines can cause sleeplessness. Discuss your medication schedule with your healthcare practitioner if you are struggling with sleep.

Night Time

Create an electronic sundown. By 10 p.m., stop sitting in front of your computer or TV screen and switch off all other electronic devices. They are too stimulating to the brain and inhibit the release of sleep neurotransmitters.

Prepare for sleep. Dim the lights an hour or more before going to bed, take a warm bath, and listen to calming music or soothing sounds.

Practice a relaxation technique. Many people tell me they can’t switch off their racing minds and therefore have trouble sleeping. Do some breathing exercises, restorative yoga, or meditation to shift your brain into a more relaxed, receptive mode.

Create a regular routine. Going to bed around the same time, even on weekends, is the most important thing you can do to establish good sleep habits. The body clock’s ability to regulate healthy sleep patterns depends on consistency.

Keep the room as dark as possible. Our bodies need complete darkness for production of the important sleep hormone melatonin. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your pineal gland’s production of sleep hormones. Cover all the lights of any electronic device — alarm clocks, computers, charging indicators on cell phones, etc., or remove them from the bedroom altogether — and use dark shades to cover the windows.

Keep the room cool. Lowering ambient temperature sends a feedback signal to the brain’s sleep center that it’s nighttime, and that it needs to release more sleep hormones. A sleeping temperature of 60 to 65 degrees F is best for most people, even in the winter.

Block out noise. If noise from the street, an upstairs neighbor, pets, or a snoring bed partner is a problem, try using earplugs, an electronic device that makes “white noise,” or a fan to drown out the sound.

Do not rely on sleeping pills. Sleeping pills mask sleep problems and do not resolve the underlying causes of insomnia. Many sleep studies have concluded that long-term use of sleeping pills can do more harm than good. They can be highly addictive, and studies have found them to be potentially dangerous.

Don’t use alcohol to fall asleep. Although alcohol induces sleep initially, as the body breaks it down, it sends the wrong metabolic signals, which can cause you to wake up later on. It usually impairs sleep during the second half of the night, leading to a reduction in your overall rest.

Take nutrients that calm down the nervous system. Instead of sleeping pills or alcohol, try some mellowing supplements or herbs. Magnesium can be helpful, as can calcium and melatonin (see below). The amino acids L-theanine, 5 HTP, taurine, and GABA, and herbs like lemon balm, passionflower, chamomile, magnolia, and valerian root, can also help. Take them about 30 minutes before bedtime.

Try some melatonin. For some people, melatonin can be extremely helpful. The dosage I usually use is anywhere between half a milligram to 3 milligrams right before bedtime. Tablets that dissolve under your tongue are preferable to those you swallow. Please note, however, that melatonin is good for initiating sleep, not maintaining it.


This article originally appeared in “Get Your Groove Back."


Additional Resources:

Sleep and Stress:

Sleep and Grief:

Sleep and Anxiety:


Understanding Suffering

on Monday, 28 October 2019.

A common theme that runs across all of our lives is suffering. To understand suffering, it helps to begin with the Bible. For those that are Christians, according to the Bible Study Fellowship, ( “when Christians suffer in a world torn by sin, all people suffer. But Christians may ask, “Since God promises to bless His children, why do believers suffer?” Why does God not always rescue Christians from suffering?

  • Suffering constructs Christ-like lives and builds the Church.
  • Suffering prepares Christians to comfort other sufferers.
  • Suffering corrects Christians when we go the wrong way.
  • Suffering changes Christians’ deepest desires so that we long for God and heaven more than this world.
  • Suffering is cosmic, showing angels, demons and all creation how God works in His people and the world.
  • Suffering for Christ and His Church is a Christian’s privilege.

The world calls suffering meaningless and does everything to avoid or control it. No one should choose to suffer needlessly. But God gives believers unique opportunities to bring Him glory and enjoy fellowship with Him through the suffering He ordains for us.”

For those of you that are Christian, you believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins. As followers of Christ in this world, like Jesus, we will undoubtedly encounter suffering. The New Testament covers this topic very well in the book of Acts. The most notable transformation was that of Saul who became Paul and wrote most of the Epistles of the New Testament. God chose Saul to be the chosen instrument to carry God’s name before the Gentiles, Kings and children of Israel. Paul suffered greatly but he saw his suffering for the higher good.

But for those of us here today on earth, our everyday suffering is difficult to understand and we certainly don’t see it for the higher good that Paul did. From a job loss, a divorce, health issues, a death in the family, those unhappy with their marriages, those that cannot find a partner, the list goes on and on.

Those that have a mental disorder potentially deal with some of the above issues (or others) along with mental health issues. Most in that situation probably try to understand why this added burden is being placed upon them.

What are some ways to help alleviate suffering? One of the best ways is to build a good social network of people you can talk to and incorporate professional counseling. bStable optimizes that professional counseling communication. Get a counselor and implement bStable into your counseling program to help ease the suffering in your life. We are here to help, Contact us today

Helping Those with Developmental Disabilities via bStable Go!

on Monday, 28 October 2019.

bStable is a comprehensive mental healthcare software solution that improves patient and healthcare provider communication. It fast-tracks the communication of information from a patient to the provider to improve outcomes. bStable Go! is the simplified game-like version of bStable. bStable Go! is an application that runs on an iPad, iPhone, PC or Mac. The application is built to boost daily client recording adherence along with streamlined reporting for providers. It is highly customizable based on the client and provider’s needs. 

Here are some ways bStable Go! can help with developmental disabilities:

  • Improves Patient/Provider Communication: bStable Go! allows an individual diagnosed with a developmental disability to spend time with their healthcare provider working on a plan of action as opposed to simply providing updates. bStable Go! ensures a transparent communication flow and ultimately optimizes patient and provider communication.
  • Population heath data analysis: Data from bStable Go! can be exported for further data analysis in tools such as Microsoft Excel or other data analytic applications. Because data from bStable Go! can be de-identified and if there are data rights in place at the provider organization, data can be aggregated at the population level for longitudinal population health analytics. This can lead to insights that can drive further research into how to better serve individuals via a wide range of interventions.
  • Spots patterns and provides the ability to examine outliers: Patients are empowered with the ability to analyze aspects of their life in a quantified manner that is visually displayed for analysis. bStable Go! helps detect trends that are otherwise hidden and focuses time on the pressing issues impacting the patient on a day-to-day basis.
  • Fun & user-friendly interface: bStable Go! has a fun look and feel with game-like functionality. This includes points, rewards and virtual travel as clients use bStable Go! throughout the year. The bStable Go! application uses an interactive and user-friendly interface to easily track the daily symptoms of those with developmental disabilities. It allows an individual to effectively articulate how they are doing to increase awareness of daily health.

Developmental disabilities can be challenging but bStable Go! can help to improve the daily lives of those with a developmental disability. bStable Go! provides information technology to better communicate with their healthcare provider. We are here to help, Contact us today 

Why Communication is Vital in a Mental Health Journey

on Saturday, 19 October 2019.

Vulnerable, honest, and healthy communication is one of the major challenges in life but in a mental health journey, it can be a lifeline.

Here’s why communication is vital in a mental health journey:

  • When accompanying someone in a mental health journey, it is critical to get the most accurate idea of the reality of their daily experiences. Gaps in communication can often be accompanied by misunderstanding.
  • Proper treatment cannot happen if the appropriate symptoms are not addressed. Excellent communication with providers is imperative to get to the root of symptoms.
  • When it comes to mental health, saving time is not just a matter of increasing productivity - it could mean saving someone from self-harm.
  • Experts suggest that many times the distinguishing factor in the outcome of someone’s mental health journey is one simple word – HOPE. Many people struggling with depression and anxiety must fight to experience hope beyond their feelings. Loved one’s words and support become the channel of hope they desperately need. When communication is thorough, loved ones can bring the best quality of support and know which areas to speak hope into.
  • Healing is a process that happens outside of care from a therapist or counselor – it takes support from loved ones. The clearer and more open the communication is, the better set up for success loved ones can be to help those they love, struggling with mental illness, experience daily healing.
  • Warning signs. Many times, those struggling with mental illness become good at hiding their struggles from the world, and even from those they love. Honest communication helps those around them to see potentially hidden warning signs.

Are you or your patients living with mental illness? bStable is a program that enhances communication drastically. Symptoms can be recorded in real-time, shared with anyone the user wishes to share them with, and has many functions to improve mental health and trigger alerts when warning signs are present. Contact us today.

The Impact Mental Illness Can Have on Physical Health

on Saturday, 12 October 2019.

The Impact Mental Illness Can Have on Physical Health

It is natural to compartmentalize mental health into one box and physical health into another. The distinction between the “body” and “mind” seems clear. However, it is essential to consider the relationship between the two in order to maximize a patient’s well-being. 

Mental illness can impact physical health in the following ways:

  1. Decreased libido. Mental illness causes neurological changes in the brain by altering neurotransmitter production and receptor site function. These changes affect many of the body’s systems, like abnormal functioning of serotonin (a neurotransmitter) that can result in lower sex drive. 
  2. Interrupted sleep. Insomnia, lack of deep sleep and oversleeping are all sleep problems that can result from mental illness.
  3. Longevity. Studies have found that those who suffer from mental health problems tend to live shorter lives than those who do not have these conditions. Shockingly, having a serious mental illness can reduce life expectancy by 10 to 20 years. 
  4. Increased stress. Chronic stress can wear down the body over time. Even minor stress can have an impact on one’s mental state.  When one is continuously stressed, it can wreak havoc on the body by causing an elevated heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone levels. 
  5. Health complications. Recent studies have shown the link between severe mental illnesses and cardiovascular disease. Data from 3.2 million people living with severe mental illness found that 53% were at a higher risk for having cardiovascular disease.   Those who suffer from mental health conditions are less likely to get the physical healthcare they need.   By neglecting routine exams that may detect symptoms of physical health conditions, the chance of health issues is greater. 
  6. Addictive behaviors. Mental illness can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as: overeating, undereating, or the abuse of drugs and/or alcohol. Each of these coping strategies come with a negative impact on ones’ physical health. 

Living with mental illness is extremely overwhelming to keep up with an ever-changing routine of medications, frequent appointments and monitoring symptoms along with trying to get through daily routines.  bStable was designed to help patients, loved ones and providers gain control by analyzing all aspects of a patient’s life, recognizing patterns and anticipate crisis situations to improve mental healthcare.  Learn more about bStable today.

5 Most Loved Features of bStable

on Friday, 04 October 2019.

There are so many things to love about bStable! But don’t take it from us.

We listen closely to our clients and keep up with their thoughts on bStable.

Here are the five most-loved features of bStable:

  1. One-Page Report. Easy to read, but with a wealth of information, our one-page chart-like report makes it simple to get an overall picture of the patient’s mental health state.
  2. Sleep Module. Sleep monitoring isn’t as easy as writing down how many hours of sleep a patient is getting per night. There are many more variables needed to determine if adequate sleep is being achieved. The bStable sleep module offers mental healthcare providers with the detailed information needed to assess a patient’s sleep patterns.
  3. Symptomology Tracking. Sometimes patients don’t know if something they are experiencing is an issue. With our symptomology list, patients can recognize and track these symptoms. Our symptomology module also allows patients to record a plethora of information around each symptom if needed.
  4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Module. CBT is at the center of bStable’s platform, so we’ve put a lot of concentrated effort into our CBT module. The module allows for patients and providers to monitor the effectiveness of the therapy and track its effectiveness.
  5. Super Quick Daily Journal. Active focus on mental health takes a lot of work, so we simplify what we can. Patients love our Super Quick Daily Journal feature because of its ease of use. It makes keeping up with a patient’s mental health state possible even if the patient does not have lots of time during the day to dedicate to bStable.

At McGraw Systems, we offer easy-to-use yet comprehensive systems to help manage mental health. Ultimately, it’s this balance between simplicity and in-depth information that makes bStable a success for both providers and patients. Visit our web site to learn more about bStable.

How bStable Optimizes Communication in Counseling

on Monday, 30 September 2019.

How bStable Optimizes Communication in Counseling

bStable has endless benefits for those struggling with mental illness. One of the most important benefits is that it optimizes communication between patients and providers. Here’s a few ways the bStable software application accomplishes this goal:

How does bStable optimize communication in clinical settings?

More Productive Visits. Because a patient is consistently providing his or her healthcare provider updates in between visits, the limited face-to-face visit time with the healthcare provider is made more effective. Instead of spending most of the visit providing updates, the healthcare provider already has the information he or she needs to ask pointed questions to focus on key issues with the patient.

More Accurate Analysis. A key feature of bStable is the illustration of patterns and trends through data analysis. bStable offers reports and charts that can be used to see overall trends and patterns. These reports and charts can help show a genuine improvement without getting lost in the weeds of one bad day. It can also help prevent crisis situations, as the trends or patterns can be spotted, and actions can be implemented to avoid crisis situations. The provider can analyze reports before the meeting, saving time manually assessing the patient during and after the meeting.

Increases Accuracy in What Is Reported. Patients can easily report in a powerful system on a day-to-day basis, versus a simplistic journal. Symptoms, thoughts, struggles, behaviors, etc. are freshly reported and saved, with less room for forgetting the intensity or details of what the patient wishes to report.

The bStable platform is ready to help those with mental illness and their healthcare providers. Contact us today to learn more and to get started.

bStable Works! - The bStable Software Research Study

on Wednesday, 25 September 2019.

bStable is a comprehensive mental healthcare software solution that improves patient and mental healthcare provider communication to enhance a patient’s results in therapy/counseling. It fast-tracks the communication of information from a patient to the patient’s provider to improve outcomes. If you have never heard about bStable, read here or learn about the simplified game-like version of bStable - bStable Go!, here. The big question is – does bStable work? When we want to know if something is effective, especially when discussing treatments or cures – we look to science. bStable is no different. We conducted a research study to gauge the effectiveness of bStable and we want to share it with you.

The Study

In February of 2017, McGraw Systems teamed up with Caminar For Mental Health to run a research study based on the idea that bStable improves mental health outcomes by optimizing patient and medical provider communication. The information from bStable focuses both client and provider on the symptoms, side-effects, and/or changes in individuals progress. The study ran from February 2017 through July 2017.

The Method

There were 10 total participants in the study, 5 men, 5 women, ranging in age from 30 to 62. All participants were diagnosed with a severe mental illness (the majority had a medical schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder diagnosis).  Half of the participants were placed in the control group and did not receive any intervention. The other half were placed in the experimental group and were given the bStable software to use, in addition to instructions on how to use it.  

All participants met with the same registered nurse, an employee of Caminar. At each appointment, the RN documented the amount of time spent obtaining information from the client in the meeting, the amount of time that was spent dealing with the client’s presenting issues, and the quality of the visit. The quality of the visit was notated on a Likert scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest.

The Results

Findings indicate that bStable improved communication between the client and mental health provider. This is indicative in both the differences found between the means of experimental and control groups on the amount of time spent gathering information, and the quality of visit indicated after each session. The study data demonstrates that bStable improves both the efficiency in communication with clients as well as improves the quality of client sessions.



bStable can help anyone struggling with mental illness get the most out of their therapy. To learn more about our software visit our website. To stay up-to date on everything bStable, Connect with us on Facebook. And if you have any questions at all, please reach out to us today.

Technology is Key to Addressing the Mental Healthcare Workforce Shortage in the United States

on Friday, 13 September 2019.

How can technology address the mental healthcare workforce shortage?

Technological advancements provide amazing benefits to those suffering from mental illness by unlocking new methods to improve mental health outcomes. Technology is even more important given our nationwide shortage of mental healthcare providers. Across the nation, the behavioral healthcare industry suffers faces a lack of providers, an aging workforce and low compensation. Projections show that by 2025, the labor shortage will be astronomically worse.

  1. Expands coverage. HRSA recently released national-level behavioral health workforce estimates for 2016 through 2030, that highlights how the shortage and unequal distribution of providers has only gotten worse and created more challenges for patients. The magnitude of provider shortages varies greatly, as there are areas such as rural areas for example that have no behavioral health providers at all. bStable is an option for all areas. This advancement in technology allows providers to reach areas that may, otherwise, not have access to care.
  2. Strengthens the quality of care and services delivered. The quality of care that can be provided by the limited resources that we currently have coupled with technology is the only path forward. From easing administrative burdens, simplifying communication between patients and providers and reducing wait times; extra time and thought can be put into the treatment of patients. Technology improves the quality of mental healthcare services that can be delivered while also optimizing cost. 
  3. Eases administrative burdens for providers. The reduction in inefficient administrative overhead processes can save time that can be redirected to improving patient care. 
  4. Optimizes communication between the patient and provider. Communication is optimized by patients presenting a clear view of how they have been doing since the last patient visit so the provider can focus on areas of concern and not just asking generic questions taking up valuable time during the patient visit.
  5. Improves Timeliness of Critical Care. Timely access to treatment when in crisis is crucial. By using technology, patients and be provided access to treatment in a timelier manner by bringing psychiatric care to the patient faster either in an ambulatory, acute or in-home setting.

bStable is the most comprehensive software solution for patients to easily communicate with their mental healthcare providers.  This type of technological advancement can greatly benefit patient care.  Visit our website to learn more.

[12 3 4 5  >>