Providing Insights for Better Mental Health

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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. Strengthens the quality of care and services delivered. The quality of care that can be provided by the resources that we do have coupled with technology is astounding. 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. 
  2. Eases administrative burdens for physicians. The reduction in inefficient administrative overhead processes can save time that can be redirected to improving patient care. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reduces wait times. Long wait times have a negative effect on the quality of care provided. 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.

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

bStable Go!

on Tuesday, 10 September 2019.

Assisting Individuals with Mental Health Disorders and Developmental Disabilities

bStable Go! empowers individuals with mental health disorders and developmental disabilities to better communicate with their healthcare providers. This leads to better outcomes for patients, providers and payers.

bStable Go! enables disease state management and crisis planning, provides patients and providers the ability to immediately spot patterns, examine outliers and detect trends that are otherwise hidden and eliminates wasted time spent determining the pressing issues impacting the patient.

Patients are empowered with the ability to analyze all aspects of their life (mental, physical, interpersonal relationships, etc.) in a quantified manner that is visually displayed for analysis. Patients and providers have a transparent communication flow allowing providers to provide an optimal level of care for the patient, reduce risk and cost for payers.

Here’s what you need to know about bStable Go!

Who it’s for. bStable Go! is a streamlined and highly customizable version of bStable for individuals that have mental health disorders and developmental disabilities to better communicate with their healthcare providers

What it is. 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 organization’s needs. 

What’s Behind the Application. bStable Go! brings the mental healthcare arena a powerful tool that can be used to monitor the day-to-day life of a patient in order to truly track trends. bStable Go! provides the ability to examine outliers and gives the opportunity for an individual to collect a plethora of information about their life.

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 a mental illness. It allows an individual to effectively articulate their mental and developmental disability state on any given day, increasing awareness of daily mental health.

Want to get a visual? Check out bStable Go! In action here:

https://www.mcgrawsystems.com/videos/bStable-Go-Video.mp4

It Improves Patient/Provider Communication. The bStable Go! application supports McGraw System’s mission in allowing an individual diagnosed with a mental disorder or developmental disability to spend the 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.

For use by seniors, adults AND children, bStable Go! is ready to help improve your mental health and the health of those you love. Get in touch with us today.

Gain Control Over Your Mental Health with bStable

on Monday, 26 August 2019.

Gain Control Over Your Mental Health with bStable

bStable helps individuals with mental illness live better lives. The platform has tools to help treat and manage depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADHD, social phobia, schizophrenia, eating disorders, substance abuse, and many co-morbid conditions.

No matter what type of mental illness you or someone you love is dealing with, bStable can help. Here’s how.

More Productive Face-to-Face Visits. bStable empowers you, your support team and your healthcare providers with the tools necessary to proactively manage your mental illness. Face-to-face visits are more productive, and more time is spent creating solutions rather than divulging updates.

Consistent Communication. Sometimes the most difficult part of having a mental illness is talking about it. Reports on your progress can be shared from bStable with loved ones to give an update. Additionally, loved ones feel secure knowing that your healthcare provider can also get symptom updates.

Track Your Progress. In addition to the improved communication with your healthcare provider and more productive visits, bStable can provide patients and doctors with reports to be able to track trends and visually see progress being made.

bStable is the most comprehensive communication and analysis tool available in the mental health market today. Contact us today for more information and to get started on your mental health journey.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

on Monday, 26 August 2019.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Our negative thoughts heavily influence our physical and psychological state. By re-training our thoughts and altering behaviors, we feel better physically, experience less stress, and experience an improved quality of life.

How this transformation is achieved is where cognitive behavioral therapy comes in.

Cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps patients understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behaviors. It is used for a variety of mental disorders and has shown great improvements in phobias, addictions, depression, anxiety and more through a goal-oriented and systematic procedure.

bStable CBT module. CBT is at the center of bStable. The bStable platform’s support of CBT through the CBT module allows both patients and providers to track exercises and monitor goals that assist clients in their psychotherapy and utilize the findings to better communicate with their providers. Insights from a patient’s life (triggers, stressors, negative beliefs, healthy beliefs, predictions or theories) are recorded in bStable and incorporated into CBT psychotherapy exercises. 

CBT - part of a comprehensive bStable solution. The bStable platform offers a complete, holistic, and comprehensive system that can support all aspects of life for patients with a variety of different mental health disorders and co-morbid conditions. bStable offers patients, providers and loved ones an all-inclusive platform to monitor every aspect of a patient’s mental health. From tracking patterns to examining outliers, bStable provides an opportunity to gain insight into the unknown while empowering patients through self-service discovery and optimizing patient-provider communication.

Ready to get started on the bStable platform or have any questions about how bStable works? Contact Us today.

Why do individuals with mental illness need bStable?

on Wednesday, 21 August 2019.

Why do individuals with mental illness need bStable?

How many times have you been to the doctor only to spend the majority of the appointment sharing basic information and updates? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a way to conveniently and efficiently communicate with a medical professional, so you can spend more time working on important problems during your face-to-face time together? At McGraw Systems, we agree.

Our software, bStable, helps patients manage their mental illness in order to see real growth and improvement!

2 key reasons patients using bStable love our software:

  1. Symptom Monitoring: With improvements being made in diagnosing mental illness, we saw a need for a convenient way to allow those with mental illness to actively and efficiently monitor their symptoms along with their clinicians, which is why bStable was developed.
  2. Crisis Prevention: In addition to more proactively dealing with and minimizing symptoms of mental illness, bStable also provides a platform to assist in the prevention of crisis situations with real time symptom management.

Using bStable, individuals with mental illness can share progress on their mental health, while medical professionals - psychologists, psychiatrists, primary care physicians, etc. - can easily track key indicators that are presented through rich, graphical and interactive reports. These dynamic reports can help medical professionals monitor ongoing progress so that when the face-to-face meetings happen, they are already filled in on what is going on.

There is so much happening in life that it is necessary to have a system that helps in communicating with health providers and managing every aspect of a person’s mental health. bStable does just that. Ready to take a step toward improving your mental health? We’re here to help, share this information with your mental health provider.

How to Improve Mental Healthcare in the United States

on Monday, 12 August 2019.

How to Improve Mental Healthcare in the United States

Did you know that tens of millions of Americans are affected by mental health conditions every single year? That's right. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, roughly one in five adults are living with a mental illness, and estimates suggest that less than half of the individuals with mental health conditions receive treatment. From anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia and so many more conditions, there are so many Americans struggling.

Ignoring the mental health epidemic that we have in the United States has reverberating effects on our nation’s physical health. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, mood disorders are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S., and many mental illnesses, if left untreated, can be the cause of chronic health issues.

We are finally seeing an emphasis being placed on the epidemic we have with mental health in the United States and more solutions being offered to help individuals manage their lives. On the awareness front, the public has fortunately seen an increase in people opening up about their personal struggles with their own mental health conditions with things like the #myfavoritemeds hashtag that started on Instagram in which people took pictures of their hands holding their prescription medications as they attempted to end the stigma of dealing with mental illness. Many celebrities joined in on the movement, starting many conversations.

Throwing more providers (that are already limited in number) at the problem cannot fix mental healthcare in the United States. Technology must be a part of the solution. Our products, bStable and bStable Go! provide information technology solutions to assist those struggling with mental health conditions along with individuals struggling with co-occurring mental health needs and developmental disabilities so that better communication is exchanged between the patient and their mental healthcare provider. This leads to better mental health outcomes for all parties involved. bStable is used by patients, loved ones, psychiatrists, psychologists, payers and providers all over the world and has been proven in research studies to be highly effective.

Learn more about our solutions by contacting us today!

Address Your Corporation’s Responsibility to Employee Mental Health

on Saturday, 10 August 2019.

Address Your Corporation’s Responsibility to Employee Mental Health

It is the age of competition. Businesses are booming, thriving, and growing. And to sustain the growth, employers need consistency and dependability from the people they hire. Employees prioritize work culture more than in any age we’ve ever seen. This dramatically changes the way corporations need to present themselves.   

Why Do Something?

1. Innovate Technology is the future; and the future is technology. That isn’t a mystery. It’s incredible to think that in the age of technology, mental healthcare providers are still asking their patients to record their symptoms on paper. Do you manage your thriving and growing business on paper? More than likely the answer is no. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the pencil-paper method shouldn’t last much longer. The future of mental health and corporate wellness programs will be in technological solutions, not paper. Incorporating bStable into your corporate wellness program gets your corporation ahead of your competition and sets you apart as a forward-thinking leader.

2. Be Conscientious Mental health for employees should be a top executive priority and most corporations know that. Don’t take our word for it though, here’s an article from Forbes’ to build the case. In today’s professional climate, research has shown that work culture is THE defining factor for employees’ productivity and loyalty to any given organization.

3. Be Distinguishable The incorporation of a generic wellness program no longer really sets companies apart – in the 20th century, it’s more of an expectation. Subsidizing a gym membership or helping with health insurance co-pay does little to distinguish corporations from one another. Your employees don’t just have physical health needs, they also have mental health needs. It is time for you as a leader to acknowledge this, accept this, and address your employee’s mental health needs ASAP!

Why Leverage bStable?

bStable is ready NOW to help set your organization apart. Our software is multi-faceted enough to handle all of your employee's needs. It is a research backed proven asset to anyone who is given the opportunity to utilize the application. bStable can be used on a personal level or in conjunction with any type of corporate mental health wellness program to enhance results. This means happier and healthier employees so you can make your shareholders happy! Get in touch with us today.

3 Key Benefits of bStable at a Nonprofit

on Sunday, 14 July 2019.

3 Key Benefits of bStable at a Nonprofit

Awareness of the mental illness epidemic is on the rise. The United States has a very long way to go in providing the appropriate care and resources to those with mental healthcare needs. Many individuals who are working to improve the mental healthcare system have moved to the nonprofit community to provide direct support, healing, education, and resources.

There is a lot to juggle when running a nonprofit.  bStable was created to help mental healthcare nonprofits run more efficiently with their clients and expand their reach.

3 key benefits our nonprofit customers have gained from using the bStable software are:

  1. Consistency: In a nonprofit, there is a lot of change. Sometimes different mental healthcare providers meet with one client. bStable makes communication between the providers and clients simple and seamless. Providers have all the information they need in bStable ready and available. Clients can easily share their information with multiple providers.
  2. Time: Time is the most precious resource we have; especially when it comes to helping someone who is struggling with a mental illness. bStable answers the initial questions most providers ask around ‘how have you been doing.’ The provider can review information from bStable prior to walking into the session in order to be able to ask more pointed and direct questions. This benefits the client and provider by ensuring that the time they have together is optimized. Our study results have proven bStable eliminates inefficient information gathering techniques by 50%. On a scale of 1 to 10, normal talk therapy approaches were measured at a 5, with bStable they were a 9. Clients felt like they were being heard, their issues were understood, and they were able to work on the major issues at hand vs. just relaying information.
  3. Red Flag Alerts: Providers that work in a nonprofit help as many individuals as they can and sometimes, everyone misses a red flag. bStable allows a provider to see red flags quicker and more expeditiously aid a patient who may need immediate help. bStable’s algorithms catch things that human eyes don’t always recognize, with more speed and accuracy.

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

Hope Services Has Deployed bStable!

on Thursday, 18 April 2019.

Hope Services is the leading provider of services to people with developmental disabilities in Silicon Valley. The term developmental disability refers to a severe and chronic disability that is attributable to a mental or physical impairment that begins before adulthood, such as intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, and Down syndrome. Hope Services serves more than 3,900 people and their families in six counties and provide a broad spectrum of services for infants through seniors such as children’s services, day programs, staffing, mental health services, community living services, and senior services.

Hope also operates a number of businesses to raise funds and to provide employment for people with developmental disabilities, including a Recycle/Reuse business for clothing, household goods, and e-waste donations; Auto donations; HopeTHRIFT stores; and Employment (staffing solutions for businesses).

More than 60 years ago, a group of concerned parents who had children with special needs came together to change the way young people with developmental disabilities were treated. These courageous parents believed that their kids who had autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other related conditions deserved the same opportunities as everyone else.

Among their earliest achievements was opening one of the first preschools for these children. In 1952, 12 children with developmental disabilities walked through the door of a one-room schoolhouse in San Jose and entered a new world – a world where they could receive an education and make friends.

The founding families of what later grew to be Hope Services left a lasting legacy that reflects a simple philosophy that has guided the mission of Hope: to improve the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities.

McGraw Systems to Present at Caminar Mental Health Symposium

Written by Administrator on Friday, 12 May 2017.

On May 18, 2017 Caminar will host their annual educational symposium focused on new research in mental health and its impact on early diagnosis and treatment.

Panelists

  • Ben McGraw, President and CEO, McGraw Systems - Using bStable for active symptom monitoring to prevent crisis situations
  • Steven Adelsheim, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University - Adolescent mental health early intervention programs
  • Libby Craig, Crisis Text Line - Using data and tech to increase support for people in crisis
  • Rebecca Bernert, Ph.D., Director, Suicide Prevention Research Laboratory, Stanford Mood Disorders Center - New findings in suicide prevention and treatment
  • Kathleen Kara Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine - Interventions for eating disorders in adolescents and young adults
  • Eric Kuhn, Ph.D., Research Clinical Psychologist, National Center for PTSD, VA Palo Alto - How tech is helping people manage mental health conditions, such as PTSD
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