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by Geetika Karol | Dina Hidayat
Published on October 7, 2020

 “Mental health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.” – Noam Shpancer

Being mentally healthy is not just about being free of mental health problems, it is much beyond. It is the continuous drive towards serenity of mind, body and soul. This is a journey from inward to outward. Just as we feed our body being mindful of its health, we need to ensure our minds have a healthy diet too – one of good thoughts, positivity, acceptance and surrender.

Mental illness is still a taboo in many countries around the world, where people are not as open to talk about their state of mind as they would openly converse about any physical ailment they might be suffering from. While people happily seek different opinions for their physical wellbeing, they feel a profound sense of shame when advised to seek help from a mental health professional.

According to WHO, one-in-four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide1. Treatments are available, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. Stigma, discrimination and neglect prevent care and treatment from reaching people with mental disorders.

Coming to the current situation, COVID-19 has added further to mental trauma and general mental wellbeing has been adversely affected2. This new normal has taken a toll on people’s mental health because of various implications that have surfaced due to the pandemic, like loss of jobs, being away from families, restrictions on daily routines, and lockdown at home to name the few. Therefore, it is more valuable now than any other time to be aware of our mental health and pay close attention to our mental wellbeing.

Cerner’s behavioral health solution

Recognizing the value of serving these vulnerable individuals, Cerner Millennium® offers comprehensive solutions for both community-based and hospital-based behavioral health treatment. These are patients being served at community centers, home visits or hospitals. Services range from routine conversations and visits to severe mental illness conditions that require patients to be admitted and closely monitored with various precautions in place.

Hospital-based behavioral health 

The hospital-based behavioral health venue provides a tailored approach to help our clients optimize the patient visit across the continuum of care, and the solution is designed to meet the unique needs of the behavioral health specialty and the departments and roles that surround it. The solution contains focused recommendations that address care teams, departments and capabilities. These tailored segments include recommendations for physicians, nursing, academics, revenue cycle, laboratory, pharmacy, radiology and more. Cerner’s hospital-based behavioral health accommodates both inpatient and outpatient facilities.

Behavioral health nursing

Across the multiple venues where our clients can offer behavioral health services, nurses have a vital role in coordinating patient care and documenting assessments, which are important cornerstones for patients’ journeys. Nurses using behavioral health solutions also have access to common functionalities like ambulatory organizer, summary MPages®, and clinical notes. Many of these functionalities can be customized to suit the needs of behavioral health settings, such as behavioral health summary, which includes the pertinent details for this patient population.

Therapeutic notes

Cerner provides a PowerChart®-embedded feature that gives behavioral health providers the ability to document therapeutic session notes for individual or multiple patients from a single dashboard. The Therapeutic Documentation MPages view can be used to document various behavioral, cognitive and psychosocial therapy sessions such as anger management, addiction management, anxiety management, depression management, and so on.

The Therapeutic Documentation view helps providers document therapy session findings for a group, family, or for individual patients when a patient-provider relationship (PPR) is assigned. You can also assign a PPR, add individual goals and outcomes, associate problems and diagnoses, and add patient-level narrative notes. You can view the notes in the Therapeutic Documentation dashboard for group-level documentation and common findings of the session can be added for the whole group at once by documenting in the Group Narrative notes. You can select multiple patients by selecting a patient list or you can add individual patients to a list by searching from the search dialog box. The system creates clinical notes for all patients at one time when you sign the Therapeutic Documentation MPages view.

Community-based behavioral health

Cerner Community Behavioral Health is a non-Cerner Millennium solution that provides an integrated clinical, financial, administrative and scheduling functionality that help support the business needs of community behavioral health organizations.

The Cerner Community Behavioral Health (CCBH) treatment plan

Child and adolescent mental health services

Cerner’s behavioral health solution caters to different cohorts under the umbrella of mental health. A recently tailored implementation was child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), where the UK’s NHS guidelines to assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioral or mental health difficulties were embedded in a comprehensive multi-disciplinary workflow defining the patient’s journey from being registered, self or nurse-assessed, visit to a psychiatrist and other disciplines such as speech and language therapist, mental health expert or psychologists on a needs basis.

Along with providing a robust solution serving the mental health journey, Cerner’s behavioral health solution also helps our providers secure patient data by providing security level access to mental health patient documentation. There is a dedicated workflow for each caretaker for ease of documentation and to support a smooth patient journey from one discipline to another.

Patient education

Mental health is not an easy journey and it can be overwhelming for the patient, as well as family members. Patient education is key to make the patient’s visit and journey more successful. Education helps in providing personalized care and assistance to the patient and their family, friends and the ones accompanying the patient through this journey.

With Cerner Millennium’s Patient Education module embedded in the workflow for each care provider, our clients can provide educational materials to help patients and families understand the treatment plan and the importance and need for taking required actions. With the module shared across all disciplines, the care providers can view and enhance the patient education provided by the other care providers and build on that information. The solution also provides the ability to document if any learning barriers are encountered while providing education. There are pamphlets customized to diagnosis, which providers can add to the patient’s record and hand to the patient for reference.


Treating mental health challenges requires a continuum of care across multiple disciplines that provides for storing patient data safely and securely. This domain may even be considered more important than physical health. Some studies conclude that the main cause of most of the chronic diseases is stress, which is a clear symptom of lack of mental wellbeing3. During this International Mental Health Week, let us be more open and aware of the importance of mental health, especially during these surreal times of COVID-19.

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close



  1. WHO | Mental disorders affect one in four people [Internet]. 2020. Reference source.
  2. WHO | Mental Health and COVID. Reference source.
  3. Stress, Depression Negatively Impact Chronic Disease Management. Reference source.


For information regarding Cerner’s content and assistance in light of the COVID-19, please click here.