Archive | July, 2010

Advisory Board Vice-President Helps Out

29 Jul

Our client advisory board vice-president Robbie has been busy lately finding deals for clients short on cash.

Free Cell Phones

Last week she made announcements during the morning meeting and helped clients individually during goal time to sign up for free cell phone service for those on public assistance.

Assurance Wireless (part of Virgin Mobile) gives a free cell phone and 200 minutes per month to persons in Maryland able to demonstrate participation in Medical Assistance, Food Stamps, and several other programs.

Rite Aid Discount Cards

Two weeks ago, she shuttled applications back and forth from the PRP to Rite Aid for our members to receive 20% discounts.  More About Rite Aid Wellness+ Rewards cards available at

Several of our members say “thank you” for the help Robbie!

— Michael


Client Online Software Packages

19 Jul

I’ve been looking at several online packages for clients to work on their mental health.   There are plenty of online tests for assessing one’s condition (not all of them very valid).  There are also plenty of educational reading sites.  What’s largely lacking are interactive sites with worksheets, exercises, and feedback.  Here are a few of the better packages:

WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plans):

Mary Copeland has a well-developed system for tracking symptoms, triggers, and activities to maintain or restore wellness.  Participants end up with a binder (or online management system) that they work with daily to maximize their health.

Basic reading about WRAP is at:

The online tool I think is cool is available to all comers at:

Online Mood Charting

I’m testing software from Optimism Apps designed to track user moods across time by many customizable variables.  If you’ve got the patience to rate your mood, symptoms, and wellness practices (take a walk, meditate, etc.) every day this software can chart out trends for you that you might not have seen.  So you might spot a monthly or seasonal cycle to your moods, see that meditating daily helps, or spot that eating habits matter.

Online CBT Software:

I’m also looking at online CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) modules from

Clients can pick 8 modules on topics from depression to anxiety to obsessive behavior.  There are reading assignments, worksheets, and homeworks.  A cool concept.  Not sure about the price tag though and alot of that is available in workbooks from the book store for cheaper.  They offer online “therapists” as part of their package deal.  Company is out of Sweden however, and the “therapists” may only have a Bachelor’s degree!  I’m definitely not considering this for Key Point, but it or something similar could have useful applications perhaps.  I definitely like the idea — perhaps with a more carefully developed plan as to the quality and amount of therapy involved… in the USA this might be better called coaching.

— Michael