AU2003204909B2 - Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation - Google Patents

Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation Download PDF

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AU2003204909B2
AU2003204909B2 AU2003204909A AU2003204909A AU2003204909B2 AU 2003204909 B2 AU2003204909 B2 AU 2003204909B2 AU 2003204909 A AU2003204909 A AU 2003204909A AU 2003204909 A AU2003204909 A AU 2003204909A AU 2003204909 B2 AU2003204909 B2 AU 2003204909B2
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mental health
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Sundara Raman Atmaraman
Jayanthi Sundara Raman
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PATHFINDER PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSULTANCY Pty Ltd
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PATHFINDER PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSU
PATHFINDER PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSULTANCY Pty Ltd
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AUSTRALIA

Patent Act 1990 COMPLETE SPECFICATION STANDARD PATENT Computer-aided system and method for sef-assessment and personalized mental health consultation The following statement is a full description of this invention, including the best method of performing it known to us: APRIL 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 PAGE 1 of 67 APRIL 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 PAGE 1 Of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation 1. Su mr of th neto The present invention provides for an objective and systematic method using sound mental health principles and practices to obtain and evaluate emotional, behavioural, cognitive and other psychological data to determine an individual's mental health condition and states of dysfunction. It also provides skill-building features for staff and management executives.

The present invention is a computer-aided individual self-assessment and consultation system. It involves synchronous immediate) distance interaction between the central host computer and the distant client computer and the client patient) using what is seen on the visual display unit as text, images and graphics and optionally, what is heard via loud speakers of the computer.

The object of the present invention is aimed at reducing the burden of disease caused by mental health problems, such as work place stress, depression, anxiety, family, relationship problems etc. by providing discrete and on-line intranet access facility for the employees to perform self-assessment and obtain personalised mental health consultation and education in their own privacy and time. For the 62%1 of those with mental illness who shy away from mental health service, the technology and method proposed by this business idea will provide a first port of call to self-assess their mental health condition and learn coping skills. As a by-product, the present invention is also aimed at improving organizational productivity by reducing absenteeism and accidents at work place caused by stress and emotional problems.

The business idea takes a different approach to telehealth 2 telepsychology 3 by employing the concept of 'cyber psychologist' (also known as 'cyber consultant' in the present invention). The 'cyber psychologist' is a virtual consultant that performs an assessment of the Intranet and/or Intemrnet system user's mental health and provides personalized goals, education and consultation.

The present invention consists of the design and development of a special purpose software for the provision of on-line mental health assessment, consultation and education for the employees of organizations through the corporate intranet or extranet. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the software may also be used by any individual with mental health problems preferably through access to the Internet. The invention also proposes a method for selfassessment and guided problem identification based on sound psychological theories and principles.

The present invention additionally provides display persona(e) called 'cyber psychologist', appropriate to the preferences of the individual user of the system. The person afflicted with emotional, cognitive, behavioural and psychological problems interacts with the computer by answering a set of personalized mental health questions administered by the 'cyber psychologist'.

The display persona(e) is integrated with said questionnaire, guided problem identification and intervention plan and serves the purposes of providing opinion, commentary and suggestions to the individual in an engaging manner by means of text, animated graphics, sound and video image.

The embodiment of the invention incorporates sound psychological principles and disciplines into the software program that is carefully and independently formulated by expert mental health professionals 1 Report of the National Health Enquiry in Year Book Australia (1999).

2 Telehealth is the application of information technology and telecommunications for diagnostic and treatment services, educational and support services and the organization and management of health services; a health delivery system which provides health-related activities at a distance between two or more locations using technology-assisted communications.

3 Telepsychology is the provision of mental health services to remote communities using information and telecommunication technologies. In recent years video-conferencing has been used to facilitate the provision of psychological services, an area that is still new to Australian psychologists.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 2of67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation such as clinical, organisational and social psychologists engaged for this purpose. The embodiment of the invention provides for an authoring system that allows the mental health professionals to initially set up mental health subject matter data in a data storage repository on the server computer. Such a set up is performed independent of the client's (patient) use of the system for self-assessment and consultation.

The present invention provides for the design and development to address the following mental health problems commonly encountered by people.

1. Emotional Problems. Some examples are: Alcohol other substance abuse problems SAnger Management Problems Gambling/Other Addictive behaviours Stress Serious mental illness Depressive disorders Anxiety Disorders 2. Family Psychosocial Environmental Problems. Some examples are: Marital conflicts divorce separation Family violence Bereavement Parenting and child care issues Dealing with difficult teenagers Financial and legal concerns 3. Personality Related Problems. Some examples are: Low self-esteem, self-confidence issues Unhelpful Self-destructive behaviours 4. Living with a Medical Condition. Some examples are: Coping with chronic illness Pain management issues In addition to the above, it is also intended to provide Self-Development Sub-systems.

Some examples are: Weight, smoking and general fitness problems April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 3 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation Assertiveness Skills training Communication Skills training Self-esteem enhancement 6. Work-related issues and concerns. Some examples are: Effects of redundancy Career advancement and changes Violence in the work place Increasing job satisfaction Balancing the demands of work and home Conflict with co-workers Management Staff termination Job dissatisfaction 7. Management and Executive Training Sub-systems. Some examples are: Building team cohesion Change management skills Preventing job burn out How to help employees with emotional problems In accordance with the embodiment of the present invention it provides personalized and confidential assessment, education and personalized consultation on the above mental health problems when the employees of an organization and I or any individual interacts with the system. The interaction is in the form of questions and responses using evidence-based theories, principles and methods. The questionnaires are administered by the 'cyber psychologist'. The interaction will be in the form of text, voice, images and video incorporated at various stages of the software life cycle to make the user experience 'life like'. In order to personalize each user's specific interaction with the system the present invention employs a mathematical algorithm and calculations that provide unique assessment and consultation sub-systems, tailored for the user. For example, the user interaction may be customized and dynamically altered by the system according to the responses from a prior interaction. The present invention also provides for monitoring the users' progress such that any changes in the assessed individual's condition may result in further customized recommendation and intervention sub-systems, following the previous interaction.

In another embodiment of the invention, it provides summary level statistics of usage for the management, which gives an overall indication of the emotional health of the organization. In addition, managers can use the present invention to educate themselves on various mental health problems and issues in preparation for supporting their employees as well as training employees to use the system appropriately.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 4 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation In addition to the above features, the present invention also provides various personal development and skill-building sub-systems assertiveness communications skill training), self esteem building sub-systems and management and executive training sub-systems. Preferably, these subsystems are for use by the office managers and or supervisors and or senior executives of organizations and/or any authorized person.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 5 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation 2. Deaie decrpto of th prfre ment The present invention is more completely described below as per the following major headings: Overall system description Consulting system description Authoring system description Training system description Administration system description Assessment and consulting processes enabled by the Consulting system Mental health subject matter authoring processes enabled by the Authoring system Office Manager Supervisor Training processes enabled by the Training system Administration system process enabled by the Administration system 2.1 Overall system description The preferred embodiment of the present invention addresses a wide variety of mental health issues from multifaceted angles of proactive, preventive, corrective, supportive and self-enhancement perspectives. For example, any single disorder point of concern will have personalised built-in intervention features that may appeal to someone looking at it from any of the above perspectives.

The present invention contains a number of intervention components in several areas including: 1. Mental Health. Some examples are Current emotional disorders including o Mood Disorders o Anxiety Disorders o Serious Mental Illness o Alcohol Substance abuse related Disorders o Somatoform and Pain Disorders o Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders o Eating Disorders o Sleep Disorders o Impulse Control Disorders o Adjustment Disorders o Personality Disorders/Unhelpful Personality Traits o Mental Health Factors Affecting Medical Condition o Problems Related to Abuse or Neglect o Relationship Problems o Work-Related Problems o Acculturation Problems o Mental Health Issues encountered in the forensic/correctional setting o Mental Health Issues encountered in learning institutions o Disorders encountered in high-stress work settings such as the Fire Service, Police, Paramedics, Rescue Agencies, Emergency Departments in Hospitals, and other firstport-of-call services of similar nature.

Self-development programmes. Some examples are o Assertiveness training o Communication skills training o Self-esteem training April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 6of67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation o Performance and life-style enhancement programmes o Management training programmes o Managing workplace absenteeism o Dealing with workplace violence o Leadership during organizational crisis o Leadership during organizational downsizing o Disciplining employees o Problems facing women executives and professionals 2. Mental Health Problems of Early Infancy, Childhood Adolescence.

This section will include intervention components that may be used by the child or the adolescent themselves at their own privacy and time. In addition, separate intervention components will be provided for the family/parents involved which could either be accessed concurrently and conjointly with their children using the child/adolescent component or if preferred exclusively as a discrete module by itself. For example, if a teenage son of an employee has an anger management problem, two components may be offered side-by-side one for the parent and the other for the teenager, so that they could synchronize their participation and benefit from such a procedure. This is akin to seeing two different counselors for a similar problem in a particular time frame. Parents will also however be given the option to undergo independent and exclusive intervention components if they wish to do it alone. Some examples of issues covered in this section are: o Mental Retardation o Separation Anxiety Disorder o Learning Disorders o Motor Skills Disorder o Communication Disorders o Developmental Disorders o Behavioural Disorders o Encopresis and/or Enuresis Disorder o Gender Identity Disorder in Children/Adolescents o Other Mental Disorders of Early Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence o Other Childhood, Adolescent and Family problems o Mental Health Issues Relevant to Schools, Universities and other Educational settings.

3. Memory and Cognition. Some examples of issues covered in this section are: o Intelligence profiling (includes interactive games) SAmnestic and Cognitive Disorders, for example, o Delirium o Dementia o Amnestic Disorders o Other Cognitive Disorders The user client) initially undergoes a comprehensive mental health assessment checklist that guides him/her to identify major areas of concern in their life. These concerns are not limited to individual psychological problems, but cover a whole spectrum of psychosocial factors including family, work and relationships. A unique and noteworthy feature in this assessment module is the inbuilt psychoeducative components whereby the client is made aware of other possible co-morbid disorders that he may be experiencing concurrently to the ones he/she had volunteered.

The preferred embodiment of the present invention contains a number of software sub-systems in the following areas: April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 7 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation 1. General Education, some examples are: Various disorders and their prevalence SCoping skills when a family member suffers from disorders Seeking help in your community 2. General Comprehensive Assessment Guided identification of overall current concerns Screening Questionnaire for confirming disorder and for establishing comorbidity Education on co-morbid problems SOptional Preliminary Questionnaire Part II Inventory to assess historical predisposing factors to current concerns At the conclusion of the general comprehensive assessment, the users would have been assessed broadly for all major mental health problems. As Preliminary Questionnaire Part II of the Inventory is optional, those users who do not wish to reveal historical information still get to access intervention modules and obtain full benefit from the programme.

3. Interpretive Report SFeedback from the completed assessment questionnaires.

4. Disorder-Specific Assessment, some examples are: PathFinder Depression Inventory Cognitive Schema Inventory Activities Monitoring Inventory PathFinder Depression-Specific Self-Monitoring Form Functional Analysis a. PathFinder Functional Analysis Form 6. Goal Setting SCustomised goals relevant to concerns expressed through the disorder-specific questionnaires Customised goals relevant to other co-morbid concerns expressed in the assessment process.

7. Intervention Goal-specific intervention modules within an integrated (eclectic) framework, although largely cognitive-behavioural in nature Customised modules in graduated steps appropriate to the user's level of recovery from the previous module. These graduated modules will be paced according to the user's need and will be highly customized and personlised to their state of recovery during the intervention period.

Intervention for disorders will typically consist of o psycho-educational material o customized information in relation to the questions answered o self-monitoring exercises and other home-work material o skill-building exercises o behavioural coping strategies activity scheduling) o cognitive coping strategies o acknowledgement of existential concerns o cognitive restructuring strategies o recognition and restructuring of maladaptive schemas o developmental issues o relapse prevention strategies o motivational counseling for better adherence April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 8of67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation 8. Re-Assessment SAll through the intervention process, regular reassessment of the original concerns/symptoms will be assessed in a systematic fashion for comparison to baseline measures. This comparison procedure will be communicated to the user in easy-to-understand graphical form the Emometer feature), so that the users can gauge their level of recovery themselves from objective measures.

9. Interactive Feedback Mechanism All through the assessment right up to the very completion of the intervention module, interactive feedback mechanisms are built in. Some examples are: a. To alert the user to the possible existence of a co-morbid feature when a particular symptom is of concern; b. To inform the user of more appropriate mediums of help available in the community such as face-to-face counseling for certain disorders symptomologies.

Risk Assessment During assessment for example depressive disorder, all risk factors with regard to harm to self and/or others will be identified and assessed. Alerts will then be communicated to the user to contact the local emergency services for immediate help. Crisis-intervention mode education will be provided at this stage. Local community contacts and local resources will also be displayed to facilitate accessing help immediately.

11. Referral Services/Person to personlChatlEmailNideo/Audio Conferencing Although the present invention focuses on anonymity of access to online mental health selfassessment and consulting, options will be provided for users to seek counseling through face-to-face counseling, email, or chat based counseling or through video conferencing with respect to the human resource policies of the respective organizations that they are employed in. With the consent of the counselor and the client, customized intervention modules may also be offered concurrently with other modes of therapy to speed up the recovery process.

12. Local Community Resources Links 13. Current Research and Development Updates SWith the consent of the user, high level de-identified statistical data will be collated and used for formulating norms for PathFinder Inventories, to construct reliability and validity measures.

14. Culture-Specific Components As emotional disorders are manifested in culture-specific ways, special care has been taken to build-in culture-specific variations in assessment and intervention modules. For example, in the Asian population, depressive symptoms are more commonly expressed in psychosomatic ways. Hence, a choice would be provided from the very assessment phase for users to opt for culture-specific assessment and intervention modules.

Concurrently available intervention modules for 2 or more users. For example, if the user's adolescent child is experiencing depressive symptoms, along with the customized intervention module for the adolescent, concurrent intervention modules will be offered to parent(s) in such a way that the interventions complement each other to create optimum benefit for the family.

Similar modules will be provided for organizational settings for problems such as conflict management.

16. 'Cyber-Psychologist' feature signifies various user-friendly personalities that demonstrate the assessment and intervention modules. Users will be provided options to choose from the various April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 9of67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation culture, gender, and age-sensitive 'cyber personalities' who will "implement" the assessment and intervention modules.

17. Multi-media Features: Audio downloads will facilitate the process of intervention modules. For example, if a user is assessed to suffer from anxiety problems, applied and progressive relaxation exercises will be delivered through multi-media features. To enhance personalization, users will also be given options to choose from the various culture, age and gender-sensitive audio and video stimuli.

Fig. 1 illustrates a block diagram of the system of the present invention, which is denoted generally by the reference numeral 1. The present invention provides for plurality of the system 1.

The system of the present invention comprises a Server Computer 11, which is utilised for processing the mental health self-assessment and Consultation software 115 (Fig 2) in accordance with the methods and processes embodied in the present invention. The Mental health self-assessment and consultation software 115 (Fig 2) consists of a suite of software sub-systems illustrated in Fig 3. The sub-systems in Fig 3 cover the functions required by the Consulting system 115-A (Fig 2A), Authoring system 115-B (Fig 2A), Training system 115-C (Fig 2A) and Administration system 115-D (Fig 2A). The respective users of the system referenced by 217, 218, 219 (Fig 317 (Fig 417 (Fig 517 (Fig initiate, control and terminate the pertinent operation of the remote computer 21, 31, 41 and 51 respectively. Each of the software programs 1151, 1152, 1153, 1154, 1155, 1156, 1157, 1158, 1159, 1160, 1161, 1162, 1163, 1164, 1165, 1166, 1167, 1168 and 1169 (Fig 3) perform the respective software program instructions that control the pertinent operation contained in the respective software sub-systems when called upon by one or more of the remote computers 21, 31, 41 and 51 (Fig 1).

The system in the present invention provides for Server Computer 11, Client (Patient) Computer 21, Mental health Professional Computer 31, Office Manager Supervisor's Computer 41, Application System Administrator's Computer 51 and Mental health web sites 61. The system in the present invention also provides for plurality of Communications Network 71 and communication links/interfaces 81, 82, 83, 84, 85 and 86.

2.2 Consulting system description The present invention is premised upon a user interactive method wherein data which is representative of a predetermined collection of Mental health disorder information 322, 331 (Fig 7) is obtained by client (patient or user) 217, 218, 219 using remote Client (Patient) Computer 21, independently and separately of anyone else using the system. The interaction of said data is triggered when the user 217, 218, 219 (fig 4) and in turn the Client Computer 21 initiates one or more of the software programs 1151, 1152, 1153, 1154, 1155, 1156, 1160, 1163, 1167, 1168 and 1169 (Fig The data which comprises Personalised Questionnaire, Self-assessment and Consultation 22 (Fig 5) is input by the user 217, 218, 219 respectively via the key board/input device 216, into the Memory 212 and Micro processor 211 of the Client Computer 21, during various stages of data entry, viewed via the Visual display device and GUI Interface 215, and processed in the Memory 112 and by the Micro Processor 111 of the Server Computer 11 by transmitting the data over the Communication Links 81, 82 through a communication network 71 which is preferably a corporate intranet or the internet, so as to provide intermediate as well as final output data and information which is further utilized in performing computations and in storage of intermediary and final results in the relational database 117 as per the method of the present invention.

The final data comprises that data which is or may be incorporated into output data reports that is either viewed on Visual display device 215 and/or printed through Network and Printer Interface 213. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention the input data may be in the form spoken words of the user 217, 218, 219 respectively input by the client (patient) through a microphone device attached to April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 10 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation Input Output Interface 214 and the output results may be audio signals output via a speaker device attached to the Input-Output Interface 214.

A detailed description of the each of the software programs 1151, 1152, 1153, 1154, 1155, 1156, 1160, 1163, 1167, 1168 and 1169 (Fig 3) utilised in the invention is described below.

Referring to Fig 3, User Registration/Authorisation 1151 performs the process of registering first time users of the system. The User Registration/Authorisation 1151 also validates and authorizes previously registered users by employing one or more security and access methods known to those skilled in the art. For example, user ID and secret password or personal identification number (PIN) is a commonly used technique for securing user access authorization. User ID is any anonymous identity that a user may utilize in order to conceal real identity of the user.

User Interaction Quiz Response 1152 (Fig 3) provides the interactive function of Personalised Questionnaire entry and response 22 (Fig 5) in accordance with the method embodied in the present invention. Referring to Fig 5, Personal and Family info. Quiz response 221 is used for collecting and processing personal and family related data. Relationship Problems Quiz response 223 is used for collecting and processing relationship-specific data. Family and Psycho-social Problem Quiz response 224 is used for collecting and processing family and social problems related data. Personality Problems Quiz response 225 is used for collecting and processing personality related data. Emotional Problems Quiz response 226 is used for collecting and processing an individual's emotional problems and related data. Work related Problems Quiz response 227 is used for collecting and processing work related data.

Screening Quiz Response 222 is used for validating responses to preliminary questions and determining if indicative mental health disorder is positive. Also, it is used to identify co-existing one or more mental health disorders.

Again referring to Fig 5, Disorder-specific Quiz response 228 is used for one or more of the Mental health disorders 322 (Fig 331 (Fig 7) identified through the guided problem identification method of the present invention when using Preliminary Questionnaire 1172 (Fig 2) data. The specific questions in the questionnaire, their format and response possibilities may incorporate future developments in the mental health industry and to incorporate future improvements in the use and application of the present invention.

Assessment and Re-assessment sub-system 1153 performs the computations and comparisons on the data necessary to identify mental health problems from the intermediary, cumulative and final results of quiz response 1152 of the client or individual. In performing the computations and comparisons the Metrics Computation algorithm 1168 sub-system will be used. The Co-morbid analyzer software subsystem 1167 is used to perform assessment re-assessment when two or more concurrent mental health problems are identified during client interaction. The Re-assessment sub-system 1153 takes into consideration historic and cumulative data of the client or individual previously stored in the database 1175 in identifying the states of mental health condition and dysfunction. According to the changes in the severity of the mental health condition and dysfunction of the client or individual the sequence of interaction will be altered in User Interaction quiz response 1152, Assessment Re-assessment subsystem 1153 and Consultation sub-system 1154 (Fig 3).

The Consultation sub-system 1154 performs calculations to determine and suggest goals, intervention methods and modes of intervention delivery as well as indicate progress and outcome. All assessment re-assessment and goals, intervention methods and results are stored in the database storage 1176 and 1177.

In determining the goals and intervention plans for a client or individual, the computational logic in Scoring and Interpretation sub-system 1155 is utilized.

In all of the client interactions above the Cyber Psychologist sub-system 1160 will be utilized which is integrated with said questionnaire, guided problem identification and intervention plan and serves the April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 11 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation purposes of providing opinion, commentary and suggestions to the client or individual in an engaging manner by means of text, animated graphics, sound and video image as a display persona.

User Education sub-system 1156 performs the necessary processing and method required in providing mental health information and education to clients or individuals 217, 218, 219 (Fig 4) interacting with the Server Computer 11 from the Client computer 21 for one or more of the collection of Mental health disorder information 322, 331 (Fig The User Education sub-system 1156 may also provide links to external mental health web sites 61. The User Education sub-system 1156 may be used any user without the need to be registered in the Consulting system 115-A (Fig 2A).

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention a method for metering and/or billing a client for use of the Assessment, Re-assessment 1153, Consultation 1154, User Education 1156 sub-systems is implemented using Usage Metering Billing sub-system 1169. The Usage Metering Billing 1169 subsystem provides for flexibility in metering and billing by allowing at least one of subscription metering/billing, duration, volume of data transmitted received, per-use metering/billing and mental health content-specific metering/billing. The usage meter details and billing details are stored in Usage meter and billing detail data 1180.

2.3 Authoring system description In another embodiment of the present invention a method wherein data is entered which is representative of a predefined collection of mental health Subject Matter data setup 32 (Fig 6) is obtained by the mental health professional 317 (Fig 6) by using Mental health Professional's Computer 31. The data is entered by the mental health professional 317 (Fig 6) via Mental health Professional's Computer 31 independently and separately. The interaction of the data is triggered when the mental health professional 317 (Fig 6) and in turn the Mental health Professional's Computer 31 initiates one or more of the software programs 1151, 1156, 1163, 1164, 1165, and 1166 (Fig The data which comprises Mental health Subject Matter data setup 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 331 (Fig 7) is input by the mental health professional 317 (Fig 6) via the key board/input device 316, into the Memory 312 and Micro processor 311 of the Mental health Professional's Computer 31, during various stages of data entry, viewed via the Visual display device and Graphical User Interface (GUI) Interface 315, and processed by the Memory 112 and Micro Processor 111 of the Server Computer 11 by transmitting the data over the Communication Links 81, 83 through a communication network 71 which is preferably the internet, so as to provide intermediate as well as final output data and information which is further utilized in performing computations and in storage of intermediary and final results in the relational database 1171, 1172, 1173, 1174, 1178, 1179 and 1180 as per the method of the present invention. The input data is based on mental health theories, methods and principles as per DSM IV 330 and Other Mental health Literature 332 (Fig The final data comprises that data which is or may be incorporated into output data reports that is either viewed on Visual display device 315 and/or printed through Network and Printer Interface 313. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention the input data may be in the form spoken words input by the mental health professional 317 (Fig 6) through a microphone device attached to Input Output Interface 314 and the output results may be audio signals output via a speaker device attached to the Input-Output Interface 314.

In Fig 3, User Registration/Authorisation 1151 performs the process of registering first time mental health user 317 of the system. The User Registration/Authorisation 1151 also validates and authorizes previously registered users by employing one or more security and access methods known to those skilled in the art. For example, user ID and secret password or personal identification number (PIN) is a commonly used technique for securing user access authorization.

Referring to Fig 3, the mental health professional 317 (Fig 6) sets up user educational data using User Education sub-system 1156. Mental health Knowledge sub-system 1163 consists of symptom, treatment, intervention procedures, recovery recommendations concerning mental health disorders. The mental health professional 317 (Fig 6) creates, maintains and manages such data using the mental April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 12 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation health Knowledge sub-system 1163. Similarly, URL Link management sub-system 1165 is utilized by the mental health professional 317 to set up external and internal mental health links containing mental health subject matter resources. Mental health News updates sub-system 1166 is utilized by the mental health professional 317 to provide articles and information on mental health subject.

2.4 Training system description In another embodiment of the present invention a method wherein data is retrieved which is representative of Management Report and Statistics 42 (Fig 9) is obtained by the office manager or supervisor 417 (Fig 9) by using Office Manager Supervisor's Computer 41. The interaction of the data is triggered when the office manager or supervisor 417 (Fig 9) and in turn the Office Manager Supervisor's Computer 41 initiates one or more of the software programs 1151, 1157, 1158, 1159 (Fig The data which comprises Management Report and Statistics 42 is input by the office manager/supervisor 417 (Fig 9) via the key board/input device 416, into the Memory 412 and Micro processor 411 of the Office Manager Supervisor's Computer 41, during various stages of data entry, viewed via the Visual display device and GUI Interface 415, and processed by the Memory 112 and Micro Processor 111 of the Server Computer 11 by transmitting the data over the Communication Links 81, 84 through a communication network 71 which is preferably a corporate intranet or the internet, so as to provide intermediate as well as final output data and information which is further utilized in performing computations and in storage of intermediary and final results in the relational database 117 as per the method of the present invention. The final data comprises that data which is or may be incorporated into output data reports that is either viewed on Visual display device 415 and/or printed through Network and Printer Interface 413. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention the input data may be in the form spoken words input by the client (patient) through a microphone device attached to Input Output Interface 414 and the output results may be audio signals output via a speaker device attached to the Input-Output Interface 414.

A detailed description of the each of the software programs 1151, 1157, 1158 and 1159 (Fig 3) utilised in the invention is described below.

Referring to Fig 3, User Registration/Authorisation 1151 performs the process of registering first time office managers 417 (Fig 9) as user of the system. The User Registration/Authorisation 1151 also validates and authorizes previously registered users by employing one or more security and access methods known to those skilled in the art. For example, user ID and secret password or personal identification number (PIN) is a commonly used technique for securing user access authorization.

In Fig 3, Management Training 1157 and Staff Guidance 1158 sub-systems provide the interactive function of providing online training to the individuals who have the role of office manager or supervisor.

Online Management Training 1157 includes Mental Health Subject content 1171 (Fig Symptom, Disorder, Intervention data 1179 (Fig 2) as well as method of training office workers in the use of the method and process embodied in the present invention. It also provides training in building team cohesion, change management, helping employees to cope with life style balance and emotional problems. The specific training method, format and content may incorporate future developments in the mental health industry and to incorporate future improvements in the use and application of the present invention.

Management Reporting and Statistics 1159 software sub-system provides the interactive function of online reporting and statistics. The reports and statistics identify at the overall organization level state of mental health problems in the organization, so that measures and actions may be taken to improve the well being of staff.

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention a method for metering and/or billing a client for use of the Management Training 1157, Staff Guidance 1158 and Management Reporting and Statistics 1159 sub-systems is implemented using Usage Metering Billing sub-system 1169. The Usage Metering April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 13 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation Billing 1169 sub-system provides for flexibility in metering and billing by allowing at least one of subscription metering/billing, duration, volume of data transmitted received, per-use metering/billing and mental health content-specific metering/billing. The usage meter details and billing details are stored in Usage meter and billing detail data 1180.

Administration system description In another embodiment of the present invention, a method wherein data is entered which is representative of System Monitoring and Configuration 52 (Fig 10) is obtained by the systems administrator 517 (Fig 10) by using Application Systems Administrator's Computer 51. The data is entered by the systems administrator 517 (Fig 10) via Application Systems Administrator's Computer 51 independently and separately. The interaction of the data is triggered when the systems administrator 517 and in turn the Application Systems Administrator's Computer 51 initiates one or more of the software programs 1151, 1162, 1164 (Fig The data which comprises System Monitoring and Configuration 52 (Fig 10) is input via the key board/input device 516, into the Memory 512 and Micro processor 511 of the Application Systems Administrator's Computer 51, during various stages of data entry, viewed via the Visual display device and GUI Interface 515, and processed by the Memory 112 and Micro Processor 111 of the Server Computer 11 by transmitting the data over the Communication Links 81, 85 through a communication network 71 which is preferably the corporate intranet or internet, so as to provide intermediate as well as final output data and information which is further utilized in performing computations and in storage of intermediary and final results in the relational database 117 as per the method of the present invention. The final data comprises that data which is or may be incorporated into output data reports that is either viewed on Visual display device 515 and/or printed through Network and Printer Interface 513. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention the input data may be in the form spoken words input by the client (patient) through a microphone device attached to Input Output Interface 514 and the output results may be audio signals output via a speaker device attached to the Input-Output Interface 514.

User Registration/Authorisation 1151 (Fig 3) performs the process of registering first time systems administrator user 517 of the system. The User Registration/Authorisation 1151 also validates and authorizes previously registered users by employing one or more security and access methods known to those skilled in the art. For example, user ID and secret password or personal identification number (PIN) is a commonly used technique for securing user access authorization.

Those skilled in the art will recognize the terms, their meaning, function and their use described in this preferred embodiment of the present invention, including the terms Server Computer, Client Computer, Communications Network, Communication Links/Interfaces, Network and Printer Interface, Output Interface, Visual display device, GUI Interface, Memory, Micro Processor, Input Output Peripheral Interface, System Monitoring and Configuration, user Id, secret password, User Registration/Authorisation and personal identification number (PIN).

2.6 Assessment and consulting processes enabled by the Consulting system The assessment, consultation and intervention modules are permitted only for registered users who have logged into the system. All other users can only access general information and education links.

A general user a casual user) can access mental health Information and Education services 911 (Fig 13) provided by the User Education software sub-system 1156 when the user selects Education service UI-14, UI-13 and UI-12 in Fig 16. When UI-13 is selected the user will be provided with mental health disorder-specific information on Emotional disorders, Stress, Anxiety etc. but not necessarily limited to only these disorders. Specific disorders not listed in UI-13 (Fig 13) may be viewed by the user by selecting UI-12 and entering the appropriate keywords for the disorder. For example, if the user wanted to search for "Sleep disorders" he/she can enter "Sleep" and select UI-12.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 14 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation As shown in Fig 13, the preferred embodiment of the invention allows the registered user who has logged on to the Consulting system to perform self-assessment and undergo consultation. Assessment and Consultation service 912 (Fig 13) involves the process of interactive question and responses conducted by means of questionnaires provided by User Interaction Quiz/response software sub-system 1152 (Fig Consultation is in the form of personalized recommendation reports through intervention components provided by the Consultation software sub-system 1154. Relevant Intervention components are determined by Assessment Re-assessment software sub-system 1153 based upon the goals selected by the user from a list of recommended goals relevant to the assessment.

Referring to Fig 17, the user performs the process of registering as a first time user of the system by entering User ID, Password etc. assisted by User Registration/Authorisation software sub-system 1151.

Previously registered users will need to logon to the system by entering their User ID and password as login entry (UI-11 in Fig 16). The User Registration/Authorisation software sub-system 1151 then validates and authorizes the registered users. Those skilled in the art would know that User ID and secret password or personal identification number (PIN) is a commonly used technique for securing user access authorization. User ID is any anonymous identity that a user may utilize in order to conceal the real identity of the user.

Referring to Fig 3, the Quiz/response software sub-system 1152 determines if the user is a first-time user by referencing the previously recorded user data 22 (Fig For first-time assessment, logged on users will be asked to complete the Preliminary Questionnaire 9121 (Fig 13). Preliminary Questionnaire has 2 parts, namely, Current issues assessment [Part I] and Historical issues [Part II]. It is necessary to complete Current issues questionnaire [Part I] for first-time assessment. Historical issues questionnaire [Part II] is optional.

The Preliminary Questionnaires 9121 (Fig 13) consists of processing several sections of the Preliminary Quiz as in 221, 223, 224, 225, 226 and 227 Sections A, B, C etc.), each section having one or more questions. Each question may be one of type Likert 4-point scale, Boolean, Multi-Choice, Value Range and Single Value. Sections are synonymous with 'Symptom Clusters' or 'Question Group' in the database design in the present invention. However, 'Question Group' has meaningful intelligent processing in Disorder-specific Questionnaire 9123 (Fig 13). Each question may have one or more subquestions. Some questions require further validation and confirmation of disorder through the Screening Questionnaire 9122 (Fig 13). The Screening Questionnaires generally apply to Emotional Problem section of the Preliminary Questionnaire but not solely limited to emotional problems, as the general principles of the screening questionnaire apply to any disorder.

It is through the Screening Questionnaire that the disorders are identified and/or confirmed. The Screening Questionnaire 9122 (Fig 13) response handling process has complex rules to determine the actual disorder. As a result, the user-selected disorder(s) may be overridden with the systems determined disorder. The rules and logic for determining disorders in described in the "Screening Questionnaire Steps" section below.

Most of the questions consist of either Likert 4-point scale or multiple choices. Other questions comprise Boolean, Multi-Choice, Value Range and Single Value. In the future question types other than these may be introduced. Associated with each of the multiple-choice response options in the database table 1172 is "interpretive words". Depending on the option selected by the user, the corresponding "interpretive words" will be used in preparing the Interpretive report for the user which is presented to the user 217, 218, 219 in the form of visual display 215 and/or printed document 213 and/or stored in a file using the interface 214, at the completion of the Preliminary Questionnaire 1172. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention the system is designed to locate a template for the interpretive report by using the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) in the Questionnaire table 1172 that contains the file location of the Interpretive Report template 1179. The "interpretive words" are "mail-merged" with the interpretive template.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 15 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation The user responds to the questions by either entering data in the user interface or by selecting the question options relevant to him/her. User responses to all the questions 221,223, 224, 225, 226, 227 (Fig 5) are recorded with the user identification (known as Client ID) in the appropriate database table of the PathFinder database 117 (the database table name is known in the preferred embodiment of the invention as Client Question Response database table in 1175). In addition, the Interpretive report is also recorded (the URL of the report is recorded in the Client Questionnaire database table in 1175 of the present invention).

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, the Usage Metering Billing 1169 sub-system provides for flexibility in metering and billing by allowing at least one of subscription metering/billing, duration, volume of data transmitted received, per-use metering/billing and mental health contentspecific metering/billing. The usage meter details and billing details are stored in Client-specific goals metrics 1176 (Fig 2) with such details as Client ID, user session start time, user session end time, type of data accessed disorder specific questionnaire, intervention plans and intervention components, mental health education obtained from the system etc).

The software sub-systems described in the preferred embodiment of the present invention may include the following processing sequence of programming steps for performing mental health assessment and consultation. It should be noted that some of these steps are iterative for each question/response, so need to be included in plurality of steps or program 'loop'.

1. User Logs On 2. findUserByName 3. findClientAuthenticationByld 4. findClientConsultationCourseByld findAssmtQuesByType 6. Display Questions on screen (plurality of steps) 7. Obtain Responses from user (plurality of steps) 8. findAssmtQuesRecoveryGoalRelnByld 9. createClientQuestionResponse findScreeningQuestion (plurality of steps) 11. findScreeningQuestionDecisionCriteria (plurality of steps) 12. createClientScreeningQuestionResponse 13. Once all questions are completed by the user then 14. findClientResponseByld lookupResponselnterpretiveWords 16. findSymptomDisorderRelationshipByld 17. createClientQuestionnaire 18. createClientConcern 19. createClientConsultationCourse Show Interpretive Report to user 21. Determine and provide the list of disorders identified to the user 22. findDisorderQuestionByType 23. Display Disorder Questions on screen (plurality of steps) 24. Obtain responses from user (plurality of steps) findDisorderQuesRecoveryGoalRelnByld 26. createClientQuestionResponse (for Disorder questions) 27. Once all questions are completed by the user then 28. findClientResponseByld 29. lookupResponselnterpretiveWords findSymptomDisorderRelationshipByld 31. createClientQuestionnaire 32. createClientConcern 33. Show Interpretive Report to user 34. Show Recovery Goals to user User selects Recovery Goals 36. Provide Recommendations showing Intervention Components April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 16 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation 37. Show Emotional Meter (Emometer) 38. User Logs Off 2.6.1 Preliminary questionnaire processing steps In referring to 9121 (Fig 13), at the start of displaying the Preliminary Questionnaire retrieved from 1172, a brief instruction describing the Preliminary Questionnaire is displayed (Refer UI-5 in Fig 20). The content for this is retrieved from the Questionnaire database table 1172 of the PathFinder database 117 (Fig 2).

Then, Part I of the Preliminary Questionnaire is presented to the user one section after the other in sequence until all questions are answered by the user. The questions are displayed in such a way to make the user experience pleasant and less strenuous. For example, the preferred embodiment of the invention is designed to show only a limited number of questions at a time. It is ensured that the questions are responded appropriately. For example, all responses must be completed. Once a page of questions is responded answered) by the user then the next set of questions is displayed to fit a page.

Besides the above to make the user experience pleasant, the Cyber Psychologist sub-system 1160 may present a personalized 'cyber psychologist' previously selected by the user from UI-4 (Fig 19) Cyber Psychologist profiles 1178 which provides the means for integrating display persona(e) with the questionnaire that will serve the purposes of providing opinion, commentary and suggestions to the individual interacting with said system in an engaging manner by means of text, animated graphics, audio and, still and/or video image.

At the end of each section the user responses are displayed so that the user can confirm responses their responses as correct. This allows the user to modify the responses if required before proceeding further processing. All preliminary questionnaire responses 221, 223, 224, 225, 226 and 227 answers) are recorded in the Client Question Response database table referred in 1175.

Each question or group of questions in the Preliminary questionnaire 1172 is associated with one or more Recovery Goals stored in the database Symptom, Disorder, Intervention data 1179 (Fig The Scoring Interpretation sub-system 1155 will make use of this data to identify the recovery goals that are relevant for the user. The Scoring Interpretation sub-system 1155 together with Metrics Computation algorithms sub-system 1168 will then enable the user to select and record Personalized goals 231 in the Client Specific Goals metrics database table 1176.

Popup Screen(s) associated with responses to any one or more questions in the Preliminary Questionnaire Part I may be displayed in order to advise and/or direct the user to modify behaviour during the interactive session.

If any of questions has "Screening_QuestionRequired" flag set to Yes then the Screening Questionnaire will be automatically displayed at the appropriate time of the user interaction by retrieving questionnaire data from the database table 1172. All Screening Questionnaire are to be collectively displayed at the completion of Part I Preliminary Questionnaire in order to streamline the user interaction flow. All screening question responses answers) are recorded in the Client Question Response database table referred in 1175.

Comorbidity is determined when responding to the Screening Questionnaire (from Comorbid_DisorderType in ScreeningQuestion database table 1172).

An option will be provided to the user to complete Part II of the Preliminary Questionnaire. If Part II is not selected by the user then, an interpretive report 232 (Fig 5) for Part I is provided to the user. Otherwise, Part II of the Preliminary Questionnaire 1172 is processed by User Interaction Quiz/Response software sub-system 1152 as similar to Part I questionnaire response process. When Part II Preliminary April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 17 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation Questionnaire is completed by the user a combined Part I and Part II interpretive report 232 is presented to the user as a visual display 215 and/or printed information 213 and/or sent to a file 214. The interpretive report will also contain any words related to the specific disorders affirmatively confirmed by the system processes.

In the event that the user decides to terminate the consultation process and restart from the beginning again either immediately or after a period of time has expired then it is automatically checked by the User Interactive Quiz/Response software sub-system 1152 to see if Part II of the Preliminary Questionnaire was answered in the previous consultation course 4 If so, then the option to answer the Part II questionnaire will not be presented to the user as it relates to historical issues that may have been gathered in the previous consultation course.

2.6.2 Screening questionnaire process The screening questions determine and confirm if a specific disorder selected by the user in the Preliminary Questionnaire exists for the user or not. There are relevant questions that determine if there is also comorbid disorder. The purpose of the screening questionnaire is to determine if Disorder-specific Questionnaire 1173 is required to be completed for the user or not. The process for determining this is based on a combination of affirmative responses to the questions contained in the Screening Questionnaire. In some cases a combination of negative responses may also confirm and determine the disorder.

Even after establishing the presence of the disorder through a set of affirmative negative responses, it may be overridden by one or more overriding questions that may negate the previously determined responses.

Also, the preferred embodiment of the present invention allows for a disorder not explicitly selected by the user to be additionally identified when responding affirmatively to a screening question. In such cases, the Screening Questionnaire related to this will need to be answered by the user as it overrides user-selected disorder. For the sake of simplicity, the system is deliberately restricted to allow for a maximum of 3 disorders to be handled at any one time for a user. A system facility is provided to alter this maximum limit to any manageable number of disorders.

The questions are displayed by the Screening Questionnaire 9122 (Fig 13) process in such a way to make the user experience pleasant and less strenuous. For example, the preferred embodiment of the invention is designed to show only a limited number of questions at a time. It is ensured that the questions are responded appropriately. For example, all responses must be completed. Once a page of questions is responded answered) by the user then the next set of questions will be displayed. At the end of each section the user responses are displayed so that the user can confirm responses their responses as correct. This allows the user to modify the responses if required before proceeding further processing.

Besides the above to make the user experience pleasant, the Cyber Psychologist sub-system 1160 may present a personalized 'cyber psychologist' previously selected by the user from Cyber Psychologist profiles 1178 which provides the means for integrating display persona(e) with the questionnaire that will serve the purposes of providing opinion, commentary and suggestions to the individual interacting with said system in an engaging manner by means of text, animated graphics, audio and, still and/or video image.

4 A consultation course is defined as the extended duration of time during which a client user patient) starts an assessment and/or consultation process and then completes or terminates the assessment and/or consultation process. A consultation course may extend over several days or weeks or months. In other words, if the client user starts a new consultation course he she would need to re-start from the beginning by answering the Preliminary Questionnaire even though he/she may have answered this in a previous consultation course.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 18 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation 2.6.3 Screening questionnaire steps The screening questions are displayed by the Screening Questionnaire process 9122 (Fig 13) for each of the Screening Questionnaire 1172 automatically selected by the system in response to some of the questions that is indicative of a relevant disorder in the Preliminary Questionnaire 1172. However, the disorder initially indicated may be overridden with a different set of disorder when one of the screening questions determines as such. In this case, the Screening Questionnaire related to the disorder newly identified will be displayed when the current set of screening questions have been responded (i.e.

answered by the user).

For the sake of simplicity, the system is specifically restricted to allow for a maximum of 3 disorders to be handled at any one time for a user. A system facility is provided to alter this maximum limit to any manageable number of disorders. Comorbid disorders identified in the process of answering questions will take overriding priority over user-selected disorder.

If a screening question is affirmatively answered such that it identifies comorbid disorder then the system will automatically ensure that the Screening Questionnaire for this identified disorder has not been previously answered. If previously answered then, no further action for this disorder. Otherwise, the preferred embodiment of the present invention will make sure to perform Screening Questionnaire 1172 for this identified disorder when the current Screening Questionnaire steps are completed. The system will have processing logic that will take precautions to make sure that there is no "vicious loop" with the comorbid disorder Screening Questionnaires process. All screening question responses answers) 222 (Fig 5) are recorded in the Client Question Response database table referred in 1175.

When all Screening Questionnaires are completed, the present invention will make a note to process the Disorder-specific Questionnaires 1173 for the disorders positively confirmed during the screening questionnaire process.

User responses to all the questions 222 (Fig 5) are recorded with the user identification (known as Client ID) in the appropriate database table of the PathFinder database 117 (the database table name is known in the preferred embodiment of the invention as Screening Question Response database table in 1175).

In addition, the Interpretive report is also recorded (the URL of the report is recorded in the Client Questionnaire database table in 1175 of the present invention).

Screening questions serves two purposes, one it confirms if a disorder selected by the user exists or not, and two it determines if comorbid disorder also exists.

The following section describes the rules and logic for determining disorders and comorbidity.

How to confirm if a disorder exists or not? This is achieved by using ScreeningQuestionDecision_Table 1172 in conjunction with AssessmentQuestion table 1172. For each screening question the Screening_Question_DecisionTable may contain the category of decision to which the question belongs to Compound "Yes" answer or Compound "No" answer or one of "Yes" answer or one of "No" answer represented by the keywords "DSQCompoundedY", "DSQCompunded_N", "DSQ_AnyneY", DSQAnyOneN" respectively).

Assuming that either one of (Q1-Yes and Q7-Yes) or (Q4-Yes or Q5-No) positively determines the disorder, the rule may be set up in the Screening_Question_DecisionTable in 1172 by the Emotional Problems Quiz set up software sub-system 326 as: Q1 DSQ_CompoundedY (meaning, cumulative response of 'Yes') Q7 DSQCompoundedY (meaning, cumulative response of 'Yes') April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 19 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation Q4 DSQ_AnyOne_Y (meaning, discrete response of 'Yes') DSQ_AnyOne_N (meaning, discrete response of 'No') The rule may be set up in DSQ_Override field of the Assessment_Question table in 1172 by the Emotional Problems Quiz set up software sub-system 326 as: DSQ_Override "Look Up Decision" If the DSQ_Override in Assessment_Question table is "Look Up Decision" then the Screening_QuestionDecision_Table will be used.

Example 1: Here is an example of how a user's response to the Screening Questionnaire with 8 questions represented by Q1 to Q8 may be processed by User Interaction Quiz/response software 1152 (Fig 3) using the Assessment_Question table and Screening_Question_Decision_Table in determining if the user has indications of the disorder being determined. For the sake of this example, it may be assumed that the user entered the following answers to the 8 screen questions.

Q1- Yes; Q2- No; Q3- No; Q4- Yes; Q5- Yes; Q6- No; Q7- Yes; Q8-No.

The User Interaction Quiz/response software 1152 (Fig 3) will determine from the user response described above in conjunction with the Screening_Question DecisionTable in 1172 that there is positive indication of the disorder being evaluated. This is because at the least the user response to Q1 and Q7 matches the values of 'Yes' in Screening_Question_Decision_Table 1172.

Example 2: For the sake of this example, it may be assumed that the user entered the following answers to the 8 screen questions.

Q1- No; Q2- No; Q3- No; Q4- Yes; Q5- Yes; Q6- No; Q7- Yes; Q8-No.

The User Interaction Quiz/response software 1152 (Fig 3) will determine from the user response described above in conjunction with the Screening_Question_Decision_Table in 1172 that there is positive indication of the disorder being evaluated. Although the user answered Q1 as answers to questions Q4 is 'Yes' affirming indication of the disorder.

Example 3: For this example, it may be assumed that the user entered the following answers to the 8 screen questions.

Q1- No; Q2- No; Q3- No; Q4- No; Q5- Yes; Q6- No; Q7- Yes; Q8-No.

The User Interaction Quiz/response software 1152 (Fig 3) will determine from the user response described above in conjunction with the Screening_Question_DecisionTable in 1172 that there is negative indication of the disorder being evaluated. This is because none of the answers fully match the criteria set up by the mental health authorizing system 322 (Fig 7) in the Screening_QuestionDecision_Table in 1172. That is, the cumulative responses of Q1 (No) and Q7 (Yes) will result in negative as well as discrete responses of Q5 (Yes) or Q4 (No) will also result in negative.

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention the rules and logic for determining disorders is by simply using the Assessment_Question table 1172 as first attempt. In this, there may not be entries in Screening_Question_Decision_Table 1172.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 20 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation Assuming that Q01-Yes, Q4-Yes and Q7-Yes positively determine the disorder, the rule may be set up in the Assessment_Question table in 1172 by the Emotional Problems Quiz set up software sub-system 326 as: DSQ_Override DSQ_CompoundedY (meaning, cumulative response of 'Yes') Example 4: Here is an example of how a user's response to the Screening Questionnaire with 8 questions represented by Q1 to Q8 may be processed by User Interaction Quiz/response software 1152 (Fig 3).

For this example, it may be assumed that the user entered the following answers to the 8 screen questions.

Q1- Yes; Q2- No; Q3- No; Q4- Yes; Q5- Yes; Q6- No; Q7- Yes; Q8-No.

The User Interaction Quiz/response software 1152 (Fig 3) will determine from the user response described above in conjunction with the Assessment-Question table in 1172 that there is positive indication of the disorder being evaluated. This is because the user response to Q1, Q4 and Q7 cumulatively match the values of 'Yes'.

Example If on the other hand the user entered the following answers to the 8 screen questions, Q1- Yes; Q2- No; Q3- No; Q4- Yes; Q5- Yes; Q6- No; Q7- No; Q8-No.

the User Interaction Quiz/response software 1152 (Fig 3) will determine from the user response described above in conjunction with the AssessmentQuestion table in 1172 that there is negative indication of the disorder being evaluated. This is because the user response to Q1, Q4 and Q7 do not cumulatively match the values of 'Yes'.

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention the rules and logic for determining disorders is by simply using the AssessmentQuestion table 1172 as first attempt. In this, there may not be entries in ScreeningQuestionDecision_Table 1172.

Assuming that any one of the No response to the 8 questions positively determine the disorder, the rule may be set up in the Assessment_Question table in 1172 by the Emotional Problems Quiz set up software sub-system 326 as: DSQ_Override DSQAnyOneN (meaning, discrete response of 'No') Example 6: Here is an example of how a user's response to the Screening Questionnaire with 8 questions represented by Q1 to Q8 may be processed by User Interaction Quiz/response software 1152 (Fig 3).

For this example, it may be assumed that the user entered the following answers to the 8 screen questions.

Q1- Yes; Q2- No; Q3- No; Q4- Yes; Q5- Yes; Q6- No; Q7- Yes; Q8-No.

The User Interaction Quiz/response software 1152 (Fig 3) will determine from the user response described above in conjunction with the Assessment_Question table in 1172 that there is positive indication of the disorder being evaluated. This is because the user responses to at least one of Q2, Q3, Q6 and Q8 discretely matches the values of 'No'.

How is Comorbidity determined? April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 21 ot67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation This is indicated in the ScreeningQuestion table in 1172.

The User Interaction Quiz/response software 1152 (Fig 3) in conjunction with Co-morbidity Analyser 1167 (Fig 3) will determine comorbidity from the user response in the ScreeningQuestion table in 1172 when a screening question is answered affirmatively and if Comorbid Disorder Type in ScreeningQuestion table 1172 indicates as such. The Comorbid Disorder Type indicates the comorbid disorder identified.

The Co-morbidity Analyser 1167 will have appropriate mutually exclusive rules and logic to eliminate conflicting comorbid disorder types.

A screening questionnaire 1172 is required to be processed for this disorder type.

2.6.4 Disorder specific process Referring to Fig 13, 9123, 9124, 9125, 9126, 9127, 9128, 9129 and 9130 describe the overall process.

The Disorder Specific Questionnaire 9123 process is completed once for each disorder. When all Disorder Specific 228 questionnaires have been processed by Disorder Specific Questionnaire 9123, the Recommendations 9124 provides an Interpretive Report to the user describing the overall assessment of the state of mental health with specific list of mental health problems identified. A list of measurable goals is also provided to the user. Goals 9125 manages the process of assisting the user to select specific and measurable goals in order to help with self-help recovery. Once the user selects suitable recovery goal or goals from the personalized list of goals 231 the Personalised Intervention Plan 229 is provided by the Intervention Component 9128 process. The Intervention Plan 229 consists of exercises, education and training instructions that may assist the user with recovery. These exercises, education and training may be performed at the user's own time and convenience external to the system described in the present invention or may be combined with the online education provided in the system that is described elsewhere in the present invention. After a minimum prescribed time period has passed the user may like to attempt re-assessment to measure progress. Re-assessment of mental health is performed by the Reassessment 9126 process. For each recovery goal selected by the user up to a specified number of Reassessment may be attempted by the user over a prolonged time period. The specified number is an artificially imposed system limit, which may be modified to accommodate higher number when required.

Each re-assessment is designated in the system by a Re-assessment Level number (Levels 1 to 4 are possible with potential to increase this to any manageable number). Each re-assessment consists of processing Disorder-specific Quiz response 228 in accordance with the process managed by Disorder Specific Questionnaires 9129. Since a user selected recovery goal may span one or more disorders, all disorders that have been previously identified for user as they relate to the selected recovery goal will be included in the Disorder Specific Questionnaire processing. On completion of the four Re-assessment levels, the user may repeat the recovery goal selection and re-assessment for the next set of recovery goal. Once all recovery goals have been completed by the user, the Consultation Course is deemed complete 9127; alternatively, the user may terminate 9130 the Consultation Course at anytime without needing to use the system.

In referring to Fig 24, the relationships and rules described in the entities in the block diagram intelligently determine treatment progress and/or deterioration and they enable dynamic determination and automatic provision of revised treatment plans and treatment components. The preferred embodiment of the present invention will apply statistical algorithms comprising neural networks and/or decision tree in conjunction with the rules and relationships determined by the entities in the block diagram (Fig 24). Questionnaire 10100 may consist of one or more Questions 10200, wherein Questionnaire 10100 may be of type Preliminary Questionnaire, Screening Questionnaire and Disorder Specific Questionnaire. Each Goal 10500 may relate to one or more Questions 10200 and thus provides the means to identify and personalize recovery goals for the user when the user answers the appropriate questions. Each Questionnaire 10100 may have one or more Question Groups 10300 (also known as "Symptom Clusters") that enable comparison of responses between any two assessment re-assessment levels 10400 to determine change 10600 wherein change identifies progress and/or deterioration of mental health in the present invention. The unique combination of Question group 10300, Assessment Level 10400, Goal 10500 and Question Group Level Change in Response 10600 the appropriate Intervention April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 22 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation Component 10700 relevant for the user. Those skilled in the art of Data Management would recognize the semantic meaning of entities, relationships and rules as it relates to data in information systems.

During the Screening Questionnaire process 9122 if it was determined by the User Interaction Quiz/response software 1152 (Fig 3) that the user has been identified to have a mental health disorders then the Disorder-specific Questionnaire process 9123 (Fig 13) will apply to all the respective disorders identified. The Disorder-specific Questionnaire 1172 will need to be completed for each of the disorders one after the other until all identified disorders are fulfilled during a user session.

The Assessment/Re-assessment Sub-system software 1153 (Fig 3) performs the required user response processing for disorder-specific questions. First-time assessment of disorders is treated as level 1. Reassessment of disorders is processed over levels 2, 3 and 4. Some of the disorder-specific questions will require the processing of Functional Analysis Questions 1172. The aim of functional analysis questions is to quantitatively measure certain disorders. Functional Analysis is required to be performed only at levels 1 and 3.

The preferred embodiment of the present invention requires disorder-specific questions to be grouped 'Symptom Clusters' or 'Question Group') for the purposes of computing the group-level scores and for measuring client user) progress at each levels of re-assessment.

At the end of level 1 assessment a set of goals 231 are identified related to the assessment result and Recommendations 9124 provided to the user. Users are allowed to select one or more goals from the list of identified goals 1176 for intervention purposes. This is facilitated by the process Goals 9125. Once a goal is selected, intervention modules 1177 related to that goal will be provided to the user by means of initial Intervention Report by the Consultation Sub-system 1154 and Scoring Interpretation sub-system 1155. Re-assessment can only be attempted after a prescribed period of intervention module is completed by the user. During re-assessment all Disorder-specific Questionnaires 1173 that was attempted at level 1 will be processed one after the other. However, only those disorder-specific questions that are related to the goal(s) selected will be displayed during levels 2, 3 and 4 for gathering new responses. At the end of the re-assessment at every level, the group-level scores are compared by the Scoring Interpretation sub-system 1155 with the previous level to derive the Intervention report 1177. The Intervention report is provided to the user after every assessment and re-assessment.

Once the specified number of levels of assessment re-assessment are completed for the selected goal then the user will be prompted by the Consultation Sub-system 1155 to select the next goal from the list of goals identified. Again, Assessment Re-assessment sub-system 1153 would require the user to complete re-assessment for levels 2, 3, 4 and so on for the new goal.

The user has the option of completing all the goals and intervention modules or may choose to terminate the consultation course at anytime. In either case the user can start a new course all over again. In this case the user will be asked to start from Preliminary Questionnaire 1172 and the flow follows as described in the previous sections.

2.6.5 Disorder-specific steps Referring to Fig 2, the Disorder-specific Questionnaire 1173 will be displayed by the Assessment Reassessment sub-system 1153 (Fig 3) for the user to answer questions related to the specific disorders previously identified during the Screening Questionnaire steps 9122. The disorder specific questions are of Likert 4-point scale or Multiple-choice type. In the future question types other than these may be introduced. The Likert 4-point scale questions provide the user a choice of 4 responses to select from, namely, and Alternatively, and as well as any other convention may also be used.

The questions are displayed in such a way to make the user experience pleasant and less strenuous. For example, the preferred embodiment of the invention is designed to show only a limited number of questions at a time. It is ensured that the questions are responded appropriately. For example, all April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 23 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation responses must be completed. Once a page of questions is responded answered) by the user then the next set of questions will be displayed. At the end of each section the user responses are displayed so that the user can confirm their responses as correct. This allows the user to modify the responses if required before proceeding further processing. User responses to all the questions 228 (Fig 5) are recorded with the user identification (known as Client ID) in the appropriate table in the Client Question Response database referred in 1175.

Besides the above to make the user experience pleasant, the Cyber Psychologist sub-system 1160 may present a personalized 'cyber psychologist' previously selected by the user from Cyber Psychologist profiles 1178 which provides the means for integrating display persona(e) with the questionnaire that will serve the purposes of providing opinion, commentary and suggestions to the individual interacting with said system in an engaging manner by means of text, animated graphics, audio and, still and/or video image.

Referring to Disorder Specific Quiz set up 322 (Fig the questions may be grouped according to 'Symptom Clusters' or 'Question Groups'. For example, if there are 14 questions in a disorder-specific questionnaire the questions may be grouped into 3 groups, namely, Q1 to Q3 in Group A, Q4 to Q7 in Group B and Q8 to Q14 in Group C. It should be noted that these are not fixed grouping. The grouping would be decided by the Mental health professional that is setting up the Disorder Specific Quiz 322. The criteria for grouping and size of the group may differ between Disorder Specific Questionnaires.

For a Disorder Specific Questionnaire the answers provided by the user will be grouped and analysed on Question Group basis by the Assessment Re-assessment Sub-system 1153 (Fig The highest of the Question Group-level score is taken for each group in the disorder-specific questionnaire. For example, if questions 1, 2 and 3 were in Group A and if Q1 was responded with a response of 0, Q2 with 3 and Q3 with 2 then the Question Group-level score is 3 which is the highest in the group. The highest score is then used by the Scoring and Interpretation sub-system 1155 to determine the Intervention Plan and Intervention Component 328 for the Question Group and for that specific assessment level. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, this is how the appropriate intervention plan and intervention components for the user will be identified.

In the case of re-assessment, the highest-level score at the Question Group-level is 6ompared with the previous assessment level response and the difference calculated. The difference between any two assessment re-assessment levels could be 0, -2 or The difference thus calculated together with the assessment/re-assessment level number will determine the Intervention Plan Intervention Component for the disorder for the re-assessment level. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, such algorithm together with neural network and/or decision tree functions may be used to determine a client's user) progress or deterioration for a disorder and the appropriate new Intervention Plan Intervention Component 328 recommended to the client (user) as appropriate for every re-assessment levels from Intervention related to Goals 329. As mentioned, the preferred embodiment of the present invention will apply statistical algorithms comprising neural networks and/or decision tree in order to determine treatment progress and/or deterioration and for dynamically determining and automatically providing revised treatment plans and treatment components. The treatment plans and treatment components are presented to the user 217, 218, 219 in the form of visual display 215 and/or printed document 213 and/or stored in a file using the interface 214.

Each question or group of questions in the Disorder Specific questionnaire 1173 is associated with one or more Recovery Goals stored in the database Symptom, Disorder, Intervention data 1179 (Fig The Scoring Interpretation sub-system 1155 will make use of this data to identify the recovery goals that are relevant for the user. The Scoring Interpretation sub-system 1155 together with Metrics Computation algorithms sub-system 1168 will then enable the user to select and record Personalized goals 231 in the Client Specific Goals metrics database table 1176.

During the re-assessment time only those disorder-specific questions that relate to the user selected recovery goal will be displayed. User responses to the re-assessment questions 230 (Fig 5) are recorded April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 24 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation with the user identification (known as Client ID) in the appropriate table in the Client Question Response database referred in 1175.

Any Functional Analysis related to the question will be processed for levels 1 and 3 only (Refer Functional Analysis Question table in the database). Functional Analysis responses are recorded in Client Functional Analysis Response table in 1175 along with Client ID. The functional analysis results are included along with Intervention report 232 as additional reportable item.

At the completion of the disorder-specific questionnaire the Progress Metrics Intervention report 232 is provided in UI-6 (Fig 21) by performing "mail merge" of intervention words found in Response Interpretation Words table in 1179 with the disorder-specific Intervention template document found in Questionnaire table 1173.

An emotional meter, called Emometer in the preferred embodiment of the present invention, is also displayed (Refer UI-64 in Fig 21). The Emometer is calculated simply by counting the sum of the Likert 4point scale and responses to disorder-specific questions. The results are tabulated where count of all 'O's are treated as Green colour; 'l's are treated as Yellow colour; '2's are treated as Orange colour; '3's are treated as Red colour. When performing assessment levels 2, 3, and 4 the responses from assessment level 1 is combined such that responses from the current assessment level replace the responses from assessment level 1. This is because in assessment levels 2, 3 and 4 only a limited set of questions that are related to the specific goal are displayed.

When re-assessment is completed the Emometer for re-assessment is computed and displayed along with assessment level 1 Emometer as a comparison to show progress.

2.7 Mental health subject matter authorinng processes enabled by the Authoring system The mental health authoring system provides the means for mental health professionals to create and maintain a repository of mental health questionnaires related to disorders, treatment plans, intervention plans, education, training, links to mental health subject content and resources, rules, instructions, procedures and guidelines for mental health problem identification, measurement, assessment and treatment in support of the computer-aided online interactive system. The questionnaires may consists of several inventories and forms including but not limited to: Cognitive Schema Inventory Activities Monitoring Inventory Adaptive Behaviour Inventory Functional Impairment Inventory PathFinder Depression Inventory PathFinder Anxiety Inventory SPathFinder Interactive and Timed Cognitive and Perceptual Test PathFinder Acute Stress Inventory SPathFinder Disorder-Specific Self-Monitoring Forms In referring to Fig 14, the user registration and authorization sub-system 9130 provides the means for registering and maintaining a mental health professional user's relevant personal details through the mental health professional's computer 31 (Fig 6).

The preferred embodiment of the invention allows the registered mental health user 317 who has logged on to the Authoring system to provide the means create and maintain a repository of mental health questionnaires related to disorders, treatment plans, intervention plans, education, training, links to mental health subject content and resources, rules, instructions, procedures and guidelines for mental health problem identification, measurement, assessment and treatment in support of the computer-aided online interactive system.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 25 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation The mental health professional user 317 performs the process of registering as a first time user of the system by entering User ID, Password etc. assisted by the User Registration sub-system 9130.

Previously registered users will need to logon to the system by entering their User ID and password as login entry. The User Registration software sub-system 9130 then validates and authorizes the registered users. Those skilled in the art would know that User ID and secret password or personal identification number (PIN) is a commonly used technique for securing user access authorization.

On logging on to the system the mental health user 317 may be directed to the screen identified by UI-7 (Fig 22). The mental health user may select from the range of functions available on the screen. On selecting the appropriate functions in UI-71 the user will be directed to the appropriate screen where the professional user 317 may set up quiz data pertaining to Personal and family information questionnaire 321, Relationship problem questionnaire 323, Family psycho-social problem questionnaire 324, Personality problem questionnaire 325, Emotional problem questionnaire 326 and Work-related problem questionnaire 327, aided by one or more of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM- IV) and International Classification of Diseases and health related problems (ICD-10) mental health theories, principles and research, and using the Questionnaire 9131 process.

The quiz set up may consist of several sections each Sections A, B, C etc.), each section having one or more questions. Each question may be one of type Likert 4-point scale, Boolean, Multi-Choice, Value Range and Single Value. Sections are synonymous with 'Symptom Clusters' or 'Question Group' in the database design in the present invention. However, 'Question Group' has meaningful intelligent processing in Disorder-specific Questionnaire 9123 (Fig 13). Each question may have one or more subquestions. Some questions require further validation and confirmation of disorder through the Screening Questionnaire 9122 (Fig 13). The Screening Questionnaires generally apply to Emotional Problem section of the Preliminary Questionnaire but not solely limited to emotional problems, as the general principles of the screening questionnaire apply to any disorder.

It is through the Screening Questionnaire that the disorders are identified and/or confirmed. The Screening Questionnaire 9122 (Fig 13) response handling process has complex rules to determine the actual disorder. As a result, the user-selected disorder(s) may be overridden with the systems determined disorder. The rules and logic for determining disorders is also set up by the mental health professional using the Rules, Guidelines and Instructions 9136.

The Preliminary Questionnaire and Screening Questionnaire data set up by the mental health professional user is recorded and stored in 1172. Once stored the data may be retrieved and updated with any changes required at anytime.

The Disorder specific quiz set up provides the means for creating and maintaining a plurality of disorder (Fig 8) specific questionnaire 322 including but not limited to disorder classification, disorder type, symptom and disorder handling procedures, Alcohol Related Problems, Agoraphobia, Anxiety (including Panic Attacks. Phobias, Stress), Aids/HIV, Anorexia, Anger Management Problems, Aggression, Bereavement, Loss and Grief, Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression, Bulimia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Drugs Related-Substances/Medication, Dysthymia, Eating Disorders, Epilepsy, Gambling Problems, General Anxiety, Grief, Loneliness, Bereavement, Loss and Grief, Major Depression, Manic Depression, Mania, Nicotine Addiction, Obesity, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Pain and chronic illness, Panic Disorder, Personality problems, Phobias, Rape (including sexual assault), Schizophrenia, Self-Esteem Problems, Sexual Problems, Shyness, Sleep Disorders, Smoking, Stress, Stuttering, Substance Abuse, Suicide, Trauma and Work related mental health problems.

Disorder classification, disorder type, symptom and disorder handling procedure data are recorded and stored in 1179. Disorder specific questionnaire data is recorded and stored in 1173. External mental health resource links and internal information and training resource linked may be recorded by the mental health professional in 1174. Such links are accessible by the user 217, 218, 219 on 61 (Fig Once stored the data may be retrieved and updated with any changes required at anytime.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 26 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation Referring to Fig 14, the Goal and Treatment Plan 9132 may be used by the mental health professional user 317 to create and maintain Treatment, Intervention and Goal data 329. Intervention data 9133 may be used to set up Intervention Plan and Intervention component 328.

Rules, Guidelines and Instructions 9136 is used to set up mental health theories, principles, research data 332 and for creating and maintaining rules, instructions, procedures, guideline, diagnostic and statistical maps of mental health disorders based on manuals and research materials including but not limited to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV) and International Classification of Diseases and health related problems (ICD-10) 330.

In addition, Rules, Guidelines and Instructions 9136 is used to set up disorder and comorbidity determination rules ScreeningQuestion_Decision_Table 1172.

Mental health Educational sub-system 9134 is used to create and maintain education and training data 332 and links to mental health subject content, news and resources. These are recorded and stored in 1174.

A multi-media management sub-system provides the means for creating, maintaining and presenting mental health training, education, treatment plan, intervention plan, treatment outcome and treatment process using text, animated graphics, audio and still and/or video images. In addition, a means to persistently and securely store data related to 'cyber psychologist' profile, preferences and characteristics in 1178 is also provided by the present invention.

2.8 Office Manager I Supervisor Training processes enabled by the Training system The reporting and mental health training system provides the means for office managers and department supervisors and/or any authorized person of an organization, and authorized mental health professionals to obtain information, statistics and reports on mental health status of the individual and/or group of individuals and/or the organization as well as to obtain computer-based education and training for guiding staff members and perform management skill building. The terms Department Supervisor and/or any Authorised Person are used synonymously with Office manager.

In referring to Fig 15, the reporting and mental health training system is enabled by User Registration 9140, Statistics and Reports 9141, Educating Management on Staff Guidance 9142 and Management Skill Building 9143 processes.

In referring to Fig 15, the user registration and authorization sub-system 9140 provides the means for registering and maintaining a Office Manager Supervisor user's relevant personal details through the Office Manager Supervisor's computer 41 (Fig 9).

The preferred embodiment of the invention allows the registered office manager or authorised user 417 who has logged on to the Training system to provide the means to obtain aggregated management reports and statistics; obtain education on staff guidance; and perform management skill building.

The office manager user 417 performs the process of registering as a first time user of the system by entering User ID, Password etc. assisted by the User Registration sub-system 9140. Previously registered users will need to logon to the system by entering their User ID and password as login entry.

The User Registration software sub-system 9140 then validates and authorizes the registered users.

Those skilled in the art would know that User ID and secret password or personal identification number (PIN) is a commonly used technique for securing user access authorization.

On logging into the system the office manager user 417 may obtain appropriate reports and statistics from the appropriate data tables in 117 indicating the state of health of the organization. From the reports and statistics it would not be directly possible for the office manager to identify the individual client user's (Referred by 217, 218, 219) personal particulars and assessment results. Thus the privacy and April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 27 of 6 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation confidentiality of the client 217, 218, 219 is protected. However, in emergency situations in the interest and welfare of the individual client, the details relating to an individual may be obtained indirectly by the office manager or any authorized person. Such details are obtained with prior permission of the individual concerned.

On logging on to the system the office manager user 417 may be directed to the screen identified by UI-8 (Fig 23). The office manager may select from the range of functions available on the screen. On selecting the appropriate report UI-82 the required reports will be presented to the user 417 in the form of visual display 415 and/or printed document 413 and/or stored in a file using the interface 414.

If Management Education is selected from UI-81 then Educating Management on Staff Guidance 9142 will guide the user 417 through one or more of the programmes, some examples are: o Managing work place absenteeism o Dealing with workplace violence Leadership during an organizational crisis o Leadership during organizational downsizing o Disciplining employees o Problems facing women executives and professionals These programmes are not limited. The present invention caters for more such programmes to be included in the future.

Training System 115-C which is assisted by Management Skill Building 9143 provides the office manager 417 with means for assessing own skill and improving skills through online computer-based mental health management skill building. Skills such as assertiveness, anger management, work place relationship management, balancing family and work, managing work-related stress etc. are provided by means of online computer-based system.

The Management Skill Building 9143 processes are permitted only for registered Office Manager users 417 who have logged into the system.

The preferred embodiment of the invention allows the registered user who has logged on to the Training System 115-C to perform skill assessment and undergo skill building in specific mental health subject areas. Skill Assessment and Skill Building involves the process of interactive question and responses conducted by means of questionnaires provided by Management Skill Building 9143. Skill Building is in the form of personalized recommendation reports through skill components provided by the Training system 115-C. The relevant skill components are determined by Skill Assessment software sub-system.

The Skill Assessment and Skill Building processes are akin to Assessment and Consultation processes described in Section 9.6 with the focus being Management Skill Building and not mental health disorder processing.

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention a method for metering and/or billing a office manager 417 for use of the Statistics and Reports 9141, Educating Management of Staff Guidance 9142 and Management Skill Building 9143 sub-systems is implemented using Usage Metering Billing subsystem 1169. The Usage Metering Billing 1169 sub-system provides for flexibility in metering and billing by allowing at least one of subscription metering/billing, duration, volume of data transmitted received, per-use metering/billing and mental health content-specific metering/billing. The usage meter details and billing details are stored in Usage meter and billing detail data 1180.

2.9 Administration system process enabled by the Administration system The Administration system processes consist of systems administration and maintenance functions that are commonly practiced in the information technology industry. In addition, the systems administrator may April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 28 of of Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation have the means for reading and learning about mental health news, subject matters and information on available mental health resources and links.

The system administration function encompass configuring the system for effective performance, creating identification particulars of any user intending to use the system, creating personal preferences of the interactive online mental health system, wherein personal preferences include visual and audio preferences selectable from a predefined list and obtaining data and reports related to the operation, and administration of the system.

The preferred embodiment of the invention allows the administrative user 517 who has logged on to the Administration system to provide the means to obtain reports on system performance; obtain browse mental health news, subject matters and information on mental health; and configure the system with personal preferences and user identification etc.

The administrator user 517 performs the process of registering as a first time user of the system by entering User ID, Password etc. assisted by a User Registration sub-system. Previously registered users will need to logon to the system by entering their User ID and password as login entry. The User Registration sub-system then validates and authorizes the registered users. Those skilled in the art would know that User ID and secret password or personal identification number (PIN) is a commonly used technique for securing user access authorization On logging into the system the administrator user 517 may perform the functions described above.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 29 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation Although the above description contain many specificities it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. Many other embodiments of the invention are possible. For example, an alternatively embodiment of the present invention may be implemented as non-networked system. In this scenario the client computer, server computer, the software sub-systems and the database may all reside in one single computer without the need for the user to access the system over a remote computer network. Such a non-networked system would benefit those users who may reside in a location that is not served by communications network.

Yet another alternative is for such a non-networked system to be located in a 'walk-in' medical center or health care center where a visiting patient or client may use the system assisted by a mental health professional or even a general medical practitioner. Such method would have the benefit of reducing or eliminating the patient's inhibition or stigma associated with using the system.

In yet another alternative, some users may prefer to use only some of the sub systems of the present invention leaving the other sub systems to be substituted with face-to-face consulting. For example, the user may prefer a mental health professional to perform assessment and diagnosis of the user's mental health, but may be happy to use the present invention for treatment and intervention components. Such options are certainly possible in the present invention where the need for completing Preliminary Questionnaire, Screening Questionnaire and Disorder-specific Questionnaire may be avoided by directing the user straight to the consulting sub system where treatment plan and intervention components are provided.

April 25, 2005 Patet Aplictio Numer:20030499 5 ort Patent Application Number: 2003204909 30 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation 4.1 Field of the Invention The present invention relates to the field of mental health, more specifically, to assessment, guided problem identification, consultation and intervention of emotional, cognitive, psychosocial, behavioural and other psychological condition and states of an individual by means of computer, communication and Intemrnet technologies. The present invention pertains to the field of mental health known as e- Psychology that makes use of the intemrnet and world-wide web technologies in the provision of mental health service including behavioural, emotional, social, cognitive and psychological assessment, guided problem identification, consultation and mental health education.

4.2 Worldwide burden of mental health disability Recent publications and journals on mental health identify that the burden of mental health disability has major implications for the world economy. Despite decades of public education and an increased awareness of resources available, significant stigma and inhibitions persist in seeking help for emotional problems.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health (1999) notes that "For too long the fear of mental illness has been profoundly destructive to people's lives. In fact mental illnesses are just as real as other illnesses, and they are like other illnesses in most ways. Yet fear and stigma persist, resulting in lost opportunities for individuals to seek treatment and improve or recover".

A recent joint study by the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank and Harvard University study concluded that the burden of mental health disability is under estimated. The study found that: Mental illness accounts for 15% of all diseases Burden of mental disability on society is bigger than all cancers Disability caused by depression is equivalent to blindness Psychosis produces disability equivalent to quadriplegia Psychiatric and neurological conditions will increase by 50% by year 2020 The National Mental Health Report (1997) finds that mental health accounts for 17.7% of all disorders in Australia, which is comparable to the worldwide trend reported by the World Health Organisation and World Bank study. The report says, "The Commonwealth and State Governments designate mental health as one of the top five National Health Priority Areas".

In New South Wales, Australia alone 257,700 men and 358,700 women above the age of 16 are affected by psychosocial distress (National Mental Health Report, 1997). This is similar to anxiety and depression in other population studies.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (November, 1999), the burden of mental disorders in Australia is dominated by affective disorders, substance use disorders and anxiety disorders. Substance use disorders are the leading cause of mental disorder for males, accounting for 33% of their mental health Disability Adjusted Lost Years (DALY). Alcohol abuse accounts for 59% of male substance use disorder DALYs. The major cause of mental disorder for women is affective disorders, accounting for 39% of women's mental health DALYs. This is almost entirely depression April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 31 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation 4.2.1. Majority of people with mental illness DO NOT use mental health services The World Health Organization was launching its campaign for this year called: "Stop exclusion Dare to care", which aims to remove the stigma from mental illness. Dr Derek Yach, from the WHO said: "This (campaign) is overdue, given that mental health is a major cause of disability, family and community distress and loss of production." Report of the National Health Enquiry in Year Book Australia (1999) reports that 62% of the people with mental health illness do not use mental health services. This is a serious concern. As seen from a number of published reports, some of the reasons for not using mental health services are: High quality professional resources such as psychologists and psychiatrists are limited and expensive SPeople avoid mental health services due to the stigma, cost and inconvenience of doing so SMobility and time away from work is a powerful inhibitor in seeking help.

Of the 38% of the people who used mental health services, 29% consulted a general medical practitioner and a small percentage consulted a psychologist psychiatrist. A recent study by Tanja R. Pollack 5 finds that majority of employees suffer mental health illness symptoms for over 6 months before seeking any help.

4.2.2 The impact of mental health on organizational productivity "Mental disorders are the leading cause of years of life lost due to disability (YLD), accounting for nearly of the non-fatal burden of disease in Australia". [Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra (November, 1999): AIHW cat. no. PHE 17] Mental health problems are not only a burden on the public and social service organisations but also affect enterprise productivity. Stress in workplace is found to be ten times more costly than industrial relations disputes. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) finds that alcohol related diseases cost the industry $1.7 billion and 8 million lost working days through absenteeism.

Personal problem become personnel problem for human resource managers. For example, Statistics Canada reports the following mental health issues for organizations.

Emotional factors account for 61% of time lost through absenteeism Work performance of affected employees reduces productivity by An employee with problems disrupts the work environment of others: impacts organisational productivity Personal and inter-personal factors account for 65 to 80% of turnover Stress contributes to 85% of accidents 10 to 15% of workforces have personal problems. Personal problems become Personnel problem The Industrial and Labor Relations Review (1997) indicated how psychiatric disorders resulted in impaired concentration, reduced cognitive abilities and absenteeism in the labour market.

4.3 Description of the Related Arts The common method of assessing, diagnosing and consulting emotional, behavioural and cognitive psychological conditions involve periodic clinical sessions in which a mental health professional Tanja R. Pollack (2001): Employee Assistance Programs: How effective is short term counseling in contributing to the wellbeing of employees? April 25, 2005 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 32 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation attempts to obtain insights of an individual's mental health condition by conducting face-to-face interviews and, in some cases, administering tests and analyzing test results. Based on what the mental health professional observes during the face-to-face interview and the data and criteria he/she determines, the mental health professional generates outcomes and provides an intervention plan to the client the patient). This conventional method of mental health assessment and consulting often involves synchronous face-to-face interaction between and among mental health professionals and individuals with emotional problems (say, the client or patient) using what is seen and heard in person communication.

However, for a variety of reasons face-to-face interaction between the mental health professional and the client is not always possible. This has resulted in several individuals with emotional problems who do not use any mental health service. This has major implications for the national and world economy by causing several years of life lost due to disability (YLD), accounting for nearly a high percentage of the non-fatal burden of disease. Report of the National Health Enquiry in Year Book Australia (1999) reports that 62% of the people with mental health illness do not use mental health services. Several research articles and journals cite the following common reasons that prevent people from using the mental health services: High quality professional resources such as psychologists and psychiatrists are limited and expensive; People avoid mental health services due to the stigma, cost and inconvenience of doing so; Mobility and time away from family and work is a powerful inhibitor in seeking help.

Advances in the various fields of electronics and telecommunications have had an impact in the provision of health services in general and mental health in particular including monitoring equipment and devices that can be used for guided problem identification in distant and remote locations.

However, adoption of modern technology to diagnosing, monitoring or treating emotional and psychological problems has not progressed at the same rate as technological advances in areas of medicine that relate to physiological conditions.

In the first decades of the twentieth century, when medical expertise was not available in outback Australia, the telegraph was used to obtain diagnostic and prescribe intervention. Later, telephone and radio were used as well. In the 1960s, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) began experimenting with the technology to monitor astronauts' vital signals during their space program. In recent years video-conferencinv has been used to facilitate the provision of mental health services at distant locations. Biggins (1998) notes that this is an area this is still new to Australian psychologists.

The phenomenal growth of the Internet over the past few years has resulted in the increasing acceptance by individuals, families, educational institutions, businesses, government and public service organizations in conducting communications and transactions over the Internet often at substantially lower cost. Such technology-assisted distance assessment and counseling have been used in the prior art that involves the use of telecommunications and/or computers to enable mental health professional and clients to communicate at a distance when circumstances make this approach necessary or convenient.

6 Biggins, N. (1998). 'Virtual Reality" or "Virtual Unreality"? A comparison of neuropsychological assessments -'Face-to- Face' versus Teleconferencing.

A J il u?00 Apr u1 I UU Patent Application Number: 2003204909 33 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation In the prior art, remote communications technology-assisted assessment and counseling have taken one or more of the following forms 7 tele-assessment Involves synchronous immediate) distance interaction among mental health professionals and clients using one-to-one or conferencing features of the telephone to communicate.

telephone-based assessment Involves synchronous immediate) distance interaction between the mental health professional and the client using what is heard via audio to communicate.

e-mail based Individual assessment Involves asynchronous time delayed) distance interaction between the mental health professional and the client using what is read via text and graphics to communicate.

chat-based individual, couple and group assessment Involves synchronous immediate) distance interaction between the mental health professional and the client(s) using what is read via text to communicate.

video-based individual, couple and group assessment Involves synchronous immediate) distance interaction between the mental health professional and the client(s) using what is seen and heard via video to communicate.

These known prior arts covering remote communications technology-assisted assessment and counseling provide the following means to diagnose and provide intervention plans to clients.

These prior arts: require the presence of a live human mental health professional to assist the patient or provide service to the client at least at one of the stages of mental health consulting including assessment, treatment and mental health education; and /or involve a human mental professional who provides the procedures and instructions in preparation for the client to perform self-assessment and/or treatment; moreover some of such tasks does not seem to provide for a remote networked access; use video-conferencing or audio-conferencing or e-mail or internet chat as a mechanism for providing mental health assessment, problem identification and consultation; and or use video game simulators to assess mental health conditions; and or employ body probes and sensors to measure behaviour and thoughts lie detector system); and or 7 'The Practice of Intemet Counseling" by National Board of Certified Counselors, Inc. and Center for Credentialing and Education Inc., 3, Terrace Way, Suite D, Greensboro, NC 27403, U.S.A.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 34 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation collect individual client's mental health data either during or after assessment by human mental health professionals for such purposes as cost-effective means of providing mental health service and/or improving the quality of mental health service.

In the prior arts, there is requirement for the mental health professional to determine the criteria and results of mental health condition and state of the client and to provide intervention plans when communicating with the client.

No technology presently exists which utilizes and relies upon a method and an system that does away with the requirement for a live human mental health professional to be present either locally or remotely during the entire interactive session of emotional and psychological problem identification, assessment and consultation. In particular, no technology presently exists that provides a means and system for an individual's mental health problem identification and assessment of mental health condition and state discreetly using current and historic symptomatic data, in the same interactive session with no requirement for a live mental health professional to be present during the session. Also, no technology presently exists that provides a means for an individual to input data related to his/her mental health condition and states of dysfunction in real-time from a remote location and receive visual and/or audio report of self-assessment as well as personalized goals and tailored intervention plans automatically generated in real-time.

In the prior arts, automated intervention plan generators are known to exist. However, the live mental health professional determines data and criteria in order to generate results and intervention plans in the form of computer-generated reports.

No technology presently exists that provides a special case of online interactive self-assessment and conjoint personalized mental health consultation that provides mental health care for a Primary user supported by a Secondary user, both of who conjointly and concurrently access the output data and reports corresponding to the Primary user in providing assisted recovery goals and intervention plans for the Primary user.

Various other technology-assisted mental health tools are also known from the prior art, which provide computer-based and internet-oriented self-assessment of mental health conditions. However, these tools often stem from unclear theoretical foundations and lack the use of rigorous mental health principles and theories. Also, these technology-assisted tools provide no facility for recording the individual's diagnostic data and have often been found to provide one-off or single instance assessment that takes no account of historic and cumulative data collected from progressive assessment and consultation of the individual affected by the mental health condition. Furthermore, they do not provide any goals or intervention plans integrated with problem identification and continued self-assessment in a fashion appropriate for the individual affected by the mental health condition.

Some of the other technology-assisted tools seemingly provide generalized health monitoring and feedback, but do not provide a facility to perform problem identification, self-assessment and self reassessment.

A large number of computer technology-assisted tools simply automate interactive psychological testing to help remove prior learning of procedural skills bias and, cultural and language bias, but provide no facility for interactive self-assessment and consultation.

In the prior arts, internet-oriented personalized behaviour modification systems are known to exist. But these prior arts are focused on improving the compliance to prescribed recovery programme by providing tools and techniques for monitoring and feedback. The aim of such methods, tools and techniques is to modify the behaviour of the individual to comply to prescribed programmes rather than modify the emotional, social and psychological state of mental health condition of the individual using April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 35 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation evidence-based mental health theories and principles such as the cognitive behavioural theory (CBT).

Besides, these behaviour modification systems provide general-purpose life style assistance and offer tools for goal compliance and achievement.

No technology presently exists that integrates with an organizations intranet system to offer its employees a discrete facility for performing emotional and cognitive and behavioural mental health selfassessment and consultation as part of Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Further, no facility exists for managers and supervisors of an organization to measure the burden of mental health disability in the organization.

For all of the above reasons, a need exists for improved methods and system for mental health problem identification, assessment and consultation. This is especially true in the interest of organizational productivity, which is often impacted when employees suffer from job stress, self-esteem problems, depression, anxiety and other emotional, cognitive behavioral, psychological, inter-personal conflicts and problems.

The above described shortfalls in the prior art result from the absence of an end-to-end integrated approach to mental health problem identification, client self-assessment, automated provision of intervention plans and method of measuring progress. The present invention overcomes these shortfalls by providing a method and a system.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 36 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation Prior Arts References cited (Referenced By) Patent Date Inventor's name International Remarks by the authors of the Number Patent present invention Application Classification Number US6375469 April, 2002 Brown, Stephen J. G09B 019/00; Provides health information as G09B 023/28 "pulled" by remote users.

US6338039 January, 2002 Lonski, Michael; GO6F 159/00 Provides patient and treatment Burke, Phil plan information and reports to care givers for insurance and assisted patient care.

US6334778 January, 2002 Brown, Stephen J. G09B 007/00; Clinicians input client data and health professionals make assessment and provide therapy.

US6306077 October, 2001 Prabhu; Girish V. et A61M 021/00 This invention simply relates to al. treatment of stress using images.

US6293904 September, Blazey, et al. A61M 021/00 This invention simply relates to 2001 measurement of cognitive states and treatment of stress using images.

US6283761 September, Joao, Raymond G09B 019/00 Generates and provides diagnostic 2001 Anthony reports to health care provider, payer and insurer.

US6282441 August, 2001 Raymond, et al. A61B 005/040.2 Body sensors used; patient inputs data in a handheld device; data collection and management systems included.

US6260022 July, 2001 Brown, Stephen G06F 017/60 Video game display unit for James diagnosis and assessment. Patient operates switches. Results sent to mental health professional.

US6228038 May, 2001 Claessens, A61B 005/00 Individual and group stumuli data Dominique Paul collection and processing. Used Gerard for medical, marketing etc.

US6186145 February, 2001 Brown, Stephen J. A61B 019/00 Virtual reality simulators used for diagnosing and treating patients with support from health care professionals.

US6120440 September, Goknar, M. Kemal A61B 010/00 Clinician assisted psychometric 2000 data and analysis. Patient data compared with another patient data etc.

US6102846 August, 2000 Patton, et al. A61M 021/00 Biofeedback equipment used in image and stimuli-based measurement of psychological and physiological state of individuals.

US6030226 February, 2000 Hersh, Michael G09B 019/00 Multi-media technology applied to testing brain damaged patients as well as for general population.

Computer-generated evaluative probing used. Report transferred to disk or printer; no remote access.

April 25, 2005 2005.

Patent Application Number: 2003204909 37 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation US5961332 October, 1999 Joao, Raymond G09B 019/00 Remote access, diagnosis and Anthony treatment of individual largely assisted by health professionals.

Data input also by health professional with option for the individual to enter data. Claims data, insurance data etc collected.

Cost efficiency and optimum treatment method main driver.

Reports to health care provider and payer.

US5954510 September, Merrill, deceased, et G09B 019/00; Interactive system for assisting 1999 al. G09B 019/18; people in achieving and learning A63B 069/00 to achieve self-determined goals.

Measures progress from data collected from users. Mainly uses touch-tone telephone and fax.

US5951300 September, Brown, Stephen J. G09B 019/00; Personalised health content and 1999 G09B 023/28 patient selected entertainment.

"Pulled" by patients.

US5778882 July, 1998 Raymond, et al A61B 005/040.2 Health monitoring system that compiles chronological health history. Monitor is self-contained chest strap.

WO0177952 October 18, Bindler, Paul R (US) G06F17/60 Network-based psychological 2001 service. Client logs into central service area and are able to access various service areas.

Personalised modules possible.

Assessment, intervention, education and information.

Biofeedback and electronic instruments used in diagnosis.

Chat group and professional resource accessible over the network.

US6113540 September 5, Iliff, Edwin C (US) A61B 5/00 IVR-based 100 commonly known 2000 medical diagnosis and treatment access WO0139097 May 31, 2000 Tzur, Doron (IL) G06F 19/00 System provides mental stimulation for personal (psychological) issues; overcomes mental block. Cartoon-style personage and comic style text frame is used.

GB2310377 August 27, Stove, Andrew A61B 5/16 Image recognition system used to 1997 Gerald gather visual features of the user.

Skin conductivity sensors used.

US6435878 August 20, Knight, Jeremy; G09B 19/00 Computer program measures and 2002 Reynolds, Josh. analyses mental abilities. Just a measurement tool.

US6280198 August 28, Merzenich, Michael G09B 19/00 Remote cognitive testing tool.

2001 etal.

US5941829 August 24, Coffman, Damon et A61B 5/04; A61B Health professional assisted 1999 al. 5/0402 patient remote monitoring system.

US6046761 April 4, 2000 Echerer, Scott H04N 7/14 Health professional assisted remote audio and video system for monitoring and treating patients.

WO0075748 December 14, Douglas, Peter et al. G06F Compliance behaviour monitoring 2000 tool and portal. Personalised internet content identification and delivery. Diet modification etc.

Not specifically tailored for mental health disorders. On line April 25, 2005iPatent Application Number:-2003204909 of-6 _m Patent Application Number: 2003204909 38 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation group meeting where emotions can be expressed to the group.

Health advisor involved in the interaction. No assessment or treatment modules.

WO0199085 December 27, Eaton, Charles G09B 19/00 Prepares patients for a medical 2001 Freedom et al. event and post-event recovery.

Self-education. No assessment or treatment.

US5718247 February 17, Frankel, Kenneth A61B 19/00 Both patient and talk 1998 psychotherapist simultaneously access patient data and psychotherapist enters notes.

US6053866 April 25, 2000 McLeod, Malcolm A61B 005/00 Used for diagnosis. No treatment plan and no consultation.

Directing patients to compare against case study to determine disorder. No remote access.

Supports health providers with documentation of diagnosis.

Application February 14, Ware, John E. et al G06F 017/60 General testing of patients No. US 2002 suffering from chronic health 20020019747 problem, through interactive question and response. Open health domain. Minimal mental health disorders. Statistical methods applied for validity. No mention of treatment plans and consultation.

April 25, 2005 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 39 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation In view of the above, it is an object of the present invention to provide initial professional mental health assessment in the area of mental health with no human professional specialist participation. It is another object of the invention to facilitate the provision of mental health assessment such that accessing such a service by the individual with mental problems is not impeded by lack of time, traveling distance or any physical disability of the individual. It is yet another object of the invention to foster psycho-education and awareness in the discipline of mental health in the wider non-clinical population. A further object of the present invention is to base this on empirically sound psychological principles cognitive behavioural, interpersonal, family/systems theories) and practices employed by professional mental health specialists in their day-to-day, face-to-face consulting.

It is an object of the invention foster advantages to individuals and managers in work places. It is an object of the invention to bring the following advantages to the employees.

It enables the ability to bring mental health care services closer to patients, rather than the converse; SEmployees can access the software from geographically dispersed location whenever they want; SCost-effective due to lack of overheads; can be offered as a free service to employees subject to organizational policies Convenient for employees who have limitations on their time and/or mobility; No contact with intermediaries such as reception staff and secretaries; No need to book appointments; SEmployees can have a printable record of their area of concern. Confidentiality is retained and privacy protected at all time; Employees may also feel less inhibited online than they would with face-to-face consultation. So, there is a possibility that their core concerns may get addressed at an early stage. Greater depth in self-disclosure may be helpful in obtaining the appropriate intervention they need; Helps identify mental health problems and clarify issues; Trains employees in coping skills; Educates employees in self management self-development techniques; Provides appropriate follow up exercises to monitor success in maintaining personal change efforts and activities; Encourages employees to accept personal responsibility, thereby facilitating empowerment; April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 40 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation Facility is not confined to people with emotional problems as it can be used purely for educational and informational purposes. Thus, this present invention provides proactive features, aiding inoculation against major emotional problems before they occur.

It is yet another object of the invention to bring the following advantages to the employers.

Improved productivity in workplace; Improved employee performance; Lower staff attrition and turnover; Improved employee morale; SReduced absenteeism; Has the potential to minimise the cost of Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) expenditure; SImproved communication at the work place; Increased organisational commitment; Reduced Interpersonal conflict at work place; SProvide management and executive skills training programme modules.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide the employer with summary level statistics and reports of mental health problems of their employees while retaining the privacy and confidentiality of the employees. Human resource managers may use the statistics and reports to proactively plan and prevent major impacts on the organisation.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 41 O Of Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation The present invention will become better understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein: FIG. 1 is a block diagram that illustrates the mental health self-assessment and consultation system of this invention, showing microprocessor-based server and client devices connected by local area network and /or wide area network, preferably internet intranet.

FIG 2: illustrates the block diagram of the centralized server computer that houses the mental health selfassessment and consultation software and the relational database storage repository that contains collection and analyses of guided problem identification and intervention data originating with large number patient interactions with the system; FIG 2A: shows the block diagram of the systems covered by the present invention.

FIG 3: shows the software sub-systems that perform self-assessment questionnaire processing, interactive computer-assisted consultation process and application system support processes; FIG 4: illustrates the block diagram of the remote client (patient) computer system components and graphical display and keyboard device through which the client (user) interacts with the remote server computer for responding to personalised questionnaire and consultation. An individual user or conjoint users or group users can use the system. The arrows denote interactions with the system.

FIG 5: narrates the specific set of questionnaire and responses provided by the client during the interaction with the server computer software. It also shows personalised intervention plans, goals and metrics.

FIG 6: demonstrates the block diagram of the microprocessor-based remote computer used by the mental health professional for setting up mental health subject data in the server computer storage repository.

The arrows denote interactions with the system.

FIG 7: illustrates the blocks of mental health subject matter data used by the mental health professionals to set up the server computer storage repository in preparation for client (patient) use.

FIG 8: contains a table of mental health disorders that the present invention caters for, but is not limited to these disorders only.

FIG 9: illustrates the block diagram of the microprocessor-based remote computer used by the office manager office supervisor for generating management reports and statistics. It also shows that the office manager office supervisor and/or any authorized person can use the remote computer for management training and staff guidance purposes as well by using visual display device of the remote computer. The arrows denote interactions with the system.

FIG 10: illustrates the block diagram of the microprocessor-based remote computer used by the Application Systems administrator for configuring and monitoring the server computer for operational functioning and performance. The arrows denote interactions with the system.

FIG 11: shows that the communication network can be any of types listed in the figure.

FIG 12: shows that the communication links interfaces can be wired and or wireless.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 42 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation FIG 13: illustrates the diagram of the processes in each of the systems Consultation system; Authoring system; Training system; and Administration system). The processes involved in the Consulting system are shown in this FIG 13.

FIG 14: illustrates the diagram of the processes in the Authoring system.

FIG 15: illustrates the diagram of the processes in the Training system.

FIG 16: illustrates the preferred embodiment of the graphical user interface in the present invention.

FIG 17: illustrates the preferred embodiment of the user registration screen in the present invention.

FIG 18: illustrates the preferred embodiment of the security management method in the present invention.

FIG 19: illustrates the preferred embodiment of the 'Cyber consultant' method in the present invention.

FIG 20: illustrates the preferred embodiment of the assessment method in the present invention.

FIG 21: illustrates the preferred embodiment of the intervention method in the present invention.

FIG 22: illustrates the preferred embodiment of the authoring process in the present invention.

FIG 23: illustrates the preferred embodiment of the office manager supervisor training process in the present invention.

FIG 24: illustrates the block diagram of the main entities, their relationships and rules. The relationships and rules described in these entities determine treatment progress and/or deterioration and in dynamically determining and automatically providing revised treatment plans and treatment components.

April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 43 of 67

Claims (51)

1. A system for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education to an individual and/or a group of individuals, said system comprising8: computer processes which aid an individual or a group of individuals to interact with said system anonymously on his/her own self with no requirement for a live human mental health professional to be present either locally or remotely during the entire online interactive session 9 to seek self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment, personalized mental health education and, general mental health education and information, wherein said online interactive session consists of the duration of time from logon 1 to logoff 11 of said individual or group of individuals from said system, and anonymously means the true identity of said individual or a group of individuals is not required to be revealed to seek online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education from said system wherein said system contains a repository of mental health data stored in a database or plurality of databases that are authored by mental health professional and/or group of mental health professionals in preparation for said individuals or a group of individuals to interact with and make use of said system anonymously; in addition said system provides processes for making reports generated from data indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment outcome, treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals, to be accessible by an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person. computer processes which provide the means for a mental health professional and/or a group of mental health professionals to interact with said system independently and separately with the objective of authoring a repository of customized mental health data in a database or plurality of databases in preparation for individuals or a group of individuals to interact with and make use of said system anonymously to seek online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education from said system as well as in preparation for an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person to interact with said system independently and separately with the objective of obtaining mental health training from said system; and SThe word 'comprising' is used throughout this document to mean to consist of and 'be composed of. A session is a series of interactions between two communication end points that occur during the span of a single connection. Typically, when the remote computer terminal requests a connection with the central computer system and if the central computer system replies agreeing to the connection, then the remote computer terminal and the central computer take turns exchanging commands and data. The session begins when the connection is established at both ends and terminates when the connection is ended on either side. 'Logon' is a computer or information technology industry terminology that is a security procedure to prevent unauthorized access to a computer system and/or application that normally requires a registered user of the system to enter a unique user identification code and the associated secret password in a remote computer terminal. When a user successfully logs onto the computer system and/or application an online connection is established between the remote terminal and the central computer system allowing the user to access and exchange information. 11 'Logofr is a computer or information technology industry terminology that is a security procedure that requires the user who has previously established connection to the computer system and/or application to terminate from the computer system and/or application. April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 44 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation computer processes which provide the means for an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person to interact with said system independently and separately with the objective of obtaining data and reports and mental health training from said system, wherein authorised person is anyone who is authorized by the custodian of said data and said system to access said system, data and reports wherein said system contains reports generated from data indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment outcome, treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals; in addition, said system contains a repository of mental health data stored in a database or plurality of databases that are authored by mental health professional and/or group of mental health professionals in preparation for mental health training of office managers and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person. computer processes that provide the means for computer system administrators to install, operate and support said system, wherein said system administrator may access said system remotely or locally using client devices connected to said system through a communication network.
2. The system for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 1, wherein said system further comprising a mental health consulting system that provides the means for online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education to an individual and/or a group of individuals by utilizing a repository of mental health data stored in a database or plurality of databases that are authored by mental health professional and/or group of mental health professionals, wherein said mental health consulting system consists of a plurality of remote or local client devices connected to a centralised server computer through a communication network, said centralized server further containing a repository of mental health data stored in a database or plurality of databases that are authored by mental health professional and/or group of mental health professionals in a mental health authoring system
3. The system for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 1, wherein said system further comprising a mental health authoring system that provides the means for mental health professionals to create and maintain a repository of mental health disorder questionnaires, treatment plans, intervention plans, education, training, links to mental health subject content and resources, rules, instructions, procedures and guidelines for mental health problem identification, measurement, assessment and treatment in support of individuals or a group of individuals to interact with and make use of said mental health authoring system anonymously to seek online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education from said authoring system as well as in preparation for an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person to interact with said authoring system independently and separately with the objective of obtaining mental health training from said authoring system, wherein said mental health authoring system consists of a plurality of remote or local client devices connected to a centralised server computer through a communication network;
4. The system for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 1, wherein said system further comprising a reporting and mental health training system that provides the means for office managers and department supervisors and/or any authorized person of an organization, and authorized mental health professionals to obtain information, statistics and reports on mental health status of the individual and/or group of individuals and/or the organization by utilizing the reports generated from data indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 45 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation treatment outcome, treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals; obtain computer-based education and training for guiding staff members and perform management skill building by utlising a repository of mental health data stored in a database or plurality of databases that are authored by mental health professional and/or group of mental health professionals in preparation for mental health training, wherein said reporting and mental health training system consists of a remote or local client devices connected to a centralised server computer through a communication network; and The system for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 1, wherein said system further comprising a mental health administration system that provides the means for computer systems administrators to install, operate and support said system of claim 1, wherein said administration system consists of a plurality of remote or local client devices connected to a centralised server computer through a communication network.
6. The system for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 1, wherein said system further comprising a common mental health repository of data, information and reports, stored in a database or plurality of databases residing in a server computer or plural of server computers, that is shared and utilized between the consulting, authoring, training and administration systems and processes of claim 1.
7. A method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education to an individual and/or a group of individuals, said method comprising: computer-aided processes and steps whereby an individual or a group of individuals interacts with the system of claim 1 anonymously on his/her own self with no requirement for a live human mental health professional to be present either locally or remotely during the entire online interactive session to seek self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment, personalized mental health education and, general mental health education and information, wherein said online interactive session consists of the duration of time from logon to logoff of said individual or group of individuals from said system, and anonymously means the true identity of said individual or a group of individuals is not required to be revealed to seek online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education from said system wherein said system contains a repository of mental health data stored in a database or plurality of databases that are authored by mental health professional and/or group of mental health professionals in preparation for said individuals or a group of individuals to interact with and make use of said system anonymously; in addition said method provides steps and processes for making reports generated from data indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment outcome, treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals, to be accessible by an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person; computer-aided processes and steps which provide the means for a mental health professional and/or a group of mental health professionals to interact with the system of claim 1 independently and separately with the objective of authoring a repository of customized mental health data in a database or plurality of databases in preparation for individuals or a group of individuals to interact with and make use of said system anonymously to seek online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education from said system as well as in preparation for an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person to interact with said system independently and separately with the objective of obtaining mental health training from said system; and computer-aided processes and steps which provide the means for an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 46 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation to interact with the system of claim 1 independently and separately with the objective of obtaining data and reports and mental health training from said system, wherein authorised person is anyone who is authorized by the custodian of said data and said system to access said system, data and reports wherein said system contains reports generated from data indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment outcome, treatment progress related to individual and/or group of individuals; in addition, said system contains a repository of mental health data stored in a database or plurality of databases that are authored by mental health professional and/or group of mental health professionals in preparation for mental health training of office managers and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person. Computer-aided processes and steps that provide the means for computer system administrators to install, operate and support said system of claim 1, independently and separately.
8. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 7, wherein said method further comprising a mental health consulting process and steps that provide the means for online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education to an individual and/or a group of individuals by utilizing a repository of mental health data stored in a database or plurality of databases that are authored by mental health professional and/or group of mental health professionals, wherein said mental health consulting process involves plurality of remote or local user access to a centralised server computer connected through a communication network, said centralized server further containing a repository of mental health data stored in a database or plurality of databases that are authored by mental health professional and/or group of mental health professionals in a mental health authoring system:
9. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 7, wherein said method further comprising a mental health authoring process and steps that provide the means for mental health professionals to create and maintain a repository of mental health disorder questionnaires, treatment plans, intervention plans, education, training, links to mental health subject content and resources, rules, instructions, procedures and guidelines for mental health problem identification, measurement, assessment and treatment in support of the individuals or a group of individuals to interact anonymously with and make use of said mental health said authoring system of claim 3 to seek online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education from said authoring system as well as in preparation for an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person to interact with said authoring system independently and separately with the objective of obtaining mental health training from said authoring system; said mental health authoring process involves plurality of remote or local user access to a centralised server computer connected through a communication network; The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 7, wherein said method further comprising a reporting and mental health training process and steps that provide the means for office managers and department supervisors and/or any authorized person of an organization, and authorized mental health professionals to obtain information, statistics and reports on mental health status of the individual and/or group of individuals and/or the organization by utilizing reports generated from data indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment outcome, treatment progress related to individual and/or group of individuals; obtain computer- based education and training for guiding staff members and perform management skill building by utlising a repository of mental health data stored in a database or plurality of databases that are authored by mental health professional and/or group of mental health professionals in preparation for mental health training; April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 47 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation said reporting and mental health training process involves remote or local user access to a centralised server computer connected through a communication network; and
11. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 7, wherein said method further comprising a mental health _administration process and steps that provide the means for computer systems administrators to install, operate and support said consulting, authoring, training and administration systems of claim 1, said administration process involves remote or local user access to a centralised server computer connected through a communication network.
12. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 7, wherein said method further comprising the steps of: said individual or a group of individuals completing the Preliminary Questionnaire Part I in order for the system of claim 2 to provide said individual or a group of individuals with guided problem identification of present state of healthy condition and/or mental health disorder(s); said individual or a group of individuals optionally completing the Preliminary Questionnaire Part II in order for the system of claim 2 to provide said individual or a group of individuals with an assessment of reasons and causes leading to said present state of mental health disorder(s); said individual or a group of individuals completing a plurality of Screening Questionnaire associated with any one or more questions in said Preliminary Questionnaire Part I in order for the system of claim 2 to determine and provide said individual or a group of individuals with at least one of a confirmation of a mental health disorder and identification of comorbidity 12 and assessment of mental health disorder(s) wherein confirmation of a mental health disorder concerns the process of isolating conflicting number of mental health disorders indicated by similar symptoms and identification of comorbidity involves the process of discovering co-existing mental health disorders; said system of claim 2 displaying a plurality of Popup Screens associated with responses to any one or more questions in said Preliminary Questionnaire Part I in order to advise and/or direct said individual or group of individuals about at least one of a mental health advisory and directing said individual or group of individuals to take specific action; said individual or a group of individuals completing a plurality of Disorder-specific Questionnaire with the objective of generating output data and reports corresponding to the individual or group of individuals, said data and reports indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition and psychological profile; said system of claim 2 generating output data and reports corresponding to the individual or group of individuals, said data and reports containing personalized treatment goals, a treatment plan, a treatment process, a treatment progress steps related to said individual and/or group of individuals; said individual or a group of individuals performing Re-assessment process which involves periodically repeating the step of 12(e) one or more times for each recovery goals selected by said individual and/or group of individuals with the objective of generating output data and reports corresponding to the individual or group of individuals, said data and reports indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and 12 Those skilled in the art would know the terminology for comorbidity to mean coexistence of two or more mental health disorders in a person. April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 48 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation outcome, treatment outcome, treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals, wherein each Re-assessment attempt is known by a Level number in said system; and said individual or a group of individuals performing a registration procedure once which consists of recording own personal details inclusive of user identification and password or any such security method in the system of claim 2 prior to seeking self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and personalized mental health education from said system, and said individual or a group of individuals performing a logon procedure for every subsequent attempt to access said system with a unique user identification and password or any such security method that corresponds to said individual or groups of individuals;
13. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 7, wherein said method further comprising: the steps of the system of claim 2 providing an individual and/or a group of individuals with one or more predefined questions relating to symptoms of one or more mental health problems in one or more Pathfinder Mental Health Inventory questionnaire formats from a repository of said system which facilitate the means for recording the individual's and/or group's responses to said one or more questions in a database with the objective of generating output data and reports corresponding to the individual or group of individuals, said data and reports indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment goals, a treatment plan, a treatment outcome, a treatment process, a treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals, wherein the process of generating output data comprises clinical interpretation of states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, comparison of previous assessment results of said individual or group of individuals with present assessment results using specific statistical algorithms comprising neural networks and/or decision tree in order to determine treatment progress and/or deterioration and dynamically determining and automatically providing revised treatment plans and treatment components; the steps of providing an individual and/or a group of individuals with data and report indicating at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment goals, a treatment plan, a treatment outcome, a treatment process, a treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals, wherein said data and report corresponding to the individual or group of individuals; and said processes, steps, data, Pathfinder Mental Health Inventory questionnaire and reports conforming to and used in conjunction with at least one or more mental health theories, principles, research and experience.
14. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 7, wherein said method further comprising: guided problem identification means that includes the steps of the system of claim 2: providing by visual display to said individual and/or group of individuals initially with a number of pre-determined Preliminary Questions and receiving responses to said questions from the individual and/or group of individual wherein said preliminary questions comprise groups of questions including but not limited to personal and family information, relationship problem, family psycho-social problem, personality problem, emotional problem and work-related problem, and optionally, historic information related to past mental health problems; April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 49 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation (ii) validating and evaluating said responses from said individual and/or group of individual to identify and determine present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition and psychological profile as well as to determine any specific dysfunction(s) correlating to symptoms identified in said response, wherein validation comprises processing responses from a group of Screening questions to further determine existence of a dysfunction and/or existence of comorbidity, in accordance with a set of boolean processing logic and evaluation comprises comparison against any past response to said question and applying processing logic using rules and procedures against disorder classification, disorder type, symptom, diagnostic and statistical maps of mental health disorders based on manuals and research materials including but not limited to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV) and International Classification of Diseases and health related problems (ICD-10) from said databases of said system; (iii) providing by visual display to said individual and/or group of individual with a plurality of Disorder- specific Questions corresponding to said dysfunction(s) determined from responses to Preliminary Questions and receiving responses to said disorder-specific questions from the individual and/or group of individual wherein said disorder-specific questions comprise groups of questions including but not limited to Alcohol Related Problems, Agoraphobia, Anxiety (including Panic Attacks. Phobias, Stress), Aids/HIV, Anorexia, Anger Management Problems, Aggression, Bereavement, Loss and Grief, Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression, Bulimia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Drugs Related-Substances/Medication, Dysthymia, Eating Disorders, Epilepsy, Gambling Problems, General Anxiety, Grief, Loneliness, Bereavement, Loss and Grief, Major Depression, Manic Depression, Mania, Nicotine Addiction, Obesity, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Pain and chronic illness, Panic Disorder, Personality problems, Phobias, Rape (including sexual assault), Schizophrenia, Self-Esteem Problems, Sexual Problems, Shyness, Sleep Disorders, Smoking, Stress, Stuttering, Substance Abuse, Suicide, Trauma and Work related mental health problems; (iv) validating and evaluating said disorder-specific responses from said individual and/or group of individual to identify and determine present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition and psychological profile as well as to determine any recovery goals, treatment plans, treatment components and intervention components correlating to symptoms identified in said responses, wherein validation comprises processing of responses in order to determine correctness of said responses in accordance with a set of processing logic, and evaluation comprises comparison against any previous responses to said question and applying scores and metrics that are a measure of said individual's intensity of dysfunction; and presenting by visual display means a personalized 'cyber psychologist' previously selected by said individual which provides the means for integrating display persona(e) with said questionnaire and guided problem identification that serves the purposes of providing opinion, commentary and suggestions to the individual interacting with said system in an engaging manner by means of text, animated graphics, audio and, still and/or video image. personalized consultation means that includes the steps of the system of claim 2: presenting by visual display to said individual and/or group of individuals with a personalized interpretive report comprising a summary of psychological profile and a description of symptoms and associated dysfunction; (ii) presenting by visual display to said individual and/or group of individuals with personalized 'emotional meter' that provides a visual display of said individual and/or group of individual's emotional and/or psychological and/or behavioural condition and state including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition; April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 50 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation (iii) presenting by visual display to said individual and/or group of individuals with a number of personalized recovery goals wherein each of the goals is determined from scores and metrics that correspond to said individual's intensity of dysfunction, and providing the option to select from said list of recovery goals; (iv) providing by visual display means and/or in print format tailored intervention plans and intervention components based on said goals selected by said individual from a list of measurable goals wherein intervention components comprise one or more exercises and intervention regimen to be performed by said individual and/or group of individuals over a prescribed period of time before undertaking re-assessment, wherein said intervention components consist of at least one of healthcare information, medical information, textbook reference materials, video image, audio content, health and welfare information, fitness information, treatment information, case study information, research information and treatment procedure information; providing personalised mental health education by visual display means and/or in print format; and (vi) presenting by visual display means a personalized 'cyber psychologist' previously selected by said individual which provides the means for integrating display persona(e) with said recovery goals, treatment plan and intervention plan that serves the purposes of providing opinion, commentary and suggestions to the individual interacting with said system in an engaging manner by means of text, animated graphics, audio and, still and/or video image. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 7, wherein said method further comprising: treatment progress determination means that includes the steps of the system of claim 2: providing by visual display to said individual and/or group of individual with a plurality of Disorder- specific Re-assessment Questions corresponding to said dysfunction(s) determined from at least one of a corresponding previous assessment and previously selected recovery goals and receiving responses to said disorder-specific questions from the individual and/or group of individual wherein said disorder-specific questions comprise groups of relevant questions including but not limited to Alcohol Related Problems, Agoraphobia, Anxiety (including Panic Attacks. Phobias, Stress), Aids/HIV, Anorexia, Anger Management Problems, Aggression, Bereavement, Loss and Grief, Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression, Bulimia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Drugs Related-Substances/Medication, Dysthymia, Eating Disorders, Epilepsy, Gambling Problems, General Anxiety, Grief, Loneliness, Bereavement, Loss and Grief, Major Depression, Manic Depression, Mania, Nicotine Addiction, Obesity, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Pain and chronic illness, Panic Disorder, Personality problems, Phobias, Rape (including sexual assault), Schizophrenia, Self-Esteem Problems, Sexual Problems, Shyness, Sleep Disorders, Smoking, Stress, Stuttering, Substance Abuse, Suicide, Trauma and Work related mental health problems; (ii) validating and evaluating said disorder-specific responses from said individual and/or group of individual to identify and determine present and past mental health condition and states including differences and variations in states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition and psychological profile as well as to determine any recovery goals, treatment plans, treatment components and intervention components correlating to symptoms identified in said responses, wherein validation comprises processing of responses in order to determine correctness of said responses in accordance with a set of processing logic, and evaluation comprises comparison against previous responses to said question and applying changed scores and metrics that are a measure of said individual's progress and/or deterioration of dysfunction; and (iii) presenting by visual display means a personalized 'cyber psychologist' previously selected by said individual which provides the means for integrating display persona(e) with said questionnaire and Anril 25 2005 bvg Pe Patent Application Number: 2003204909 51 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation rtreatment determination that serves the purposes of providing opinion, commentary and suggestions to the individual interacting with said system in an engaging manner by means of text, animated graphics, audio and, still and/or video image. personalized consultation means that includes the steps of the system of claim 2: presenting by visual display to said individual and/or group of individuals with a personalised interpretive report comprising a summary of psychological profile and a description of symptoms, comparison of present and previous assessment of identified dysfunction; (ii) presenting by visual display to said individual and/or group of individuals with personalized 'emotional meter' that provides a visual display of said individual and/or group of individual's present and previous emotional and/or psychological and/or behavioural condition and state including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition; (iii) presenting by visual display to said individual and/or group of individuals with a new set of N personalized recovery goals when previously selected recovery goals have been completed over a course of consultation wherein each of the new goals is determined from scores and metrics that correspond to said individual's intensity of dysfunction, and providing the option to select from said list of recovery goals; (iv) presenting by visual display means and/or in print format report on treatment progress, treatment outcome, dynamically determining and providing tailored intervention plans and intervention components based on changed and/or status quo intensity of dysfunction wherein intervention components comprise one or more exercises and intervention regimen to be performed by said individual and/or group of individuals over a prescribed period of time before re-assessment is attempted, wherein said intervention components consist of at least one of at least one of healthcare information, medical information, textbook reference materials, video image, audio content, health and welfare information, fitness information, treatment information, case study information, research information and treatment procedure information; providing personalised mental health education by visual display means and/or in print format; and (vi) presenting by visual display means a personalized 'cyber psychologist' previously selected by said individual which provides the means for integrating display persona(e) with said recovery goals, treatment plan and intervention plan that serves the purposes of providing opinion, commentary and suggestions to the individual interacting with said system in an engaging manner by means of text, animated graphics, audio and, still and/or video image.
16. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 15wherein said method further comprises a process for periodically repeating said re-assessment process whenever initiated by said individual or group of individuals, for a pre-determined number of times for each recovery goals until all said personalized recovery goals of said individual and/or group of individuals have been completed by said individual and/or group of individuals, wherein each said periodic re-assessment attempt is denoted by a pre-determined Level number.
17. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 16 wherein said method further comprises a process for dynamically and automatically altering said treatment plans, treatment components and intervention components for said individual and/or group of individuals for each Levels as appropriately determined from at least one of changes in treatment progress between any two Levels and no changes in treatment progress between any two Levels, wherein treatment progress comprises changed scores and metrics April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 52 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation reflecting a measure of said individual's progress and/or deterioration of dysfunction as a result of undergoing exercises and intervention regimen.
18. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 16 wherein said method further comprises specific metrics computation algorithm that provides the means to evaluate and/or predict an individual's and/or group's response outcome on a plurality of re-assessment questions by using statistical techniques and algorithms including but not limited to neural networks and/or decision tree;
19. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 16 further comprises a process for inhibiting an individual and/or group of individuals from attempting said re-assessment process until a pre-determined time interval has collectively passed for said prescribed treatment components resulting from previous assessment or re- assessment. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claims of 12 to 19 wherein said method further comprise a special case called Conjoint Consultation in the present invention, wherein an individual, known as Primary user, interacts with said system supported by another individual, known as Secondary user, both of whom conjointly and concurrently access the output data and reports corresponding to the said Primary user, said data and reports indicative of at least one of said Primary user's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment goals, a treatment plan, a treatment outcome, a treatment process, a treatment progress related to said Primary user, wherein the process of generating output data comprises clinical interpretation of states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, comparison of previous assessment results of said Primary user with present assessment results using specific statistical algorithms comprising neural networks and/or decision tree in order to determine treatment progress and/or deterioration and dynamically determining and automatically providing revised treatment plans and treatment components.
21. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 20 wherein said method further comprises a process whereby either one of said Primary user invites the said Secondary user to participate in said Conjoint Consultation or said Secondary user seeks the permission of the said Primary user to support said Primary user in said Conjoint Consultation, wherein said Secondary user can be any person who has a vested interest in the welfare of said Primary user.
22. The method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education of claim 20 wherein said method further comprises the system of claim 2 presenting report on treatment progress, treatment outcome, dynamically determining and providing tailored intervention plans and intervention components based on changed and/or status quo intensity of dysfunction wherein intervention components comprise one or more exercises and intervention regimen to be performed by said Primary user assisted by said Secondary user over a prescribed period of time before re-assessment is attempted, wherein said intervention components consist of at least one of at least one of healthcare information, medical information, information related to inter-personal issues, textbook reference materials, video image, audio content, health and welfare information, fitness information, treatment information, case study information, research information and treatment procedure information.
23. The method for providing a mental health authoring process to a mental health professional and/or a group of mental health professionals of claim9, wherein said method further comprising the steps of: periodically creating and maintaining disorder classification data, disorder type data, symptom data and disorder handling procedures in the system of claim 3 for persistent storage in plurality of databases; April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 53 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation periodically creating and maintaining questions in plurality of questionnaire formats relating to symptoms of plurality of mental health problems in said system for persistent storage in plurality of databases wherein said questionnaire formats relate to Pathfinder Mental Health Inventory; periodically creating and maintaining treatment plans, treatment outcomes, treatment processes, disorder-specific intervention plans and recovery goals, in relation to the permutations and combinations of all possible anticipated outcomes from the assessment and/or re-assessment steps of the mental health consulting method described in the earlier claims 14 and 15, in the system of claim 3 for persistent storage in plurality of databases; periodically creating and maintaining output data and/or report formats and report content in the system of claim 3 for persistent storage in plurality of databases; periodically creating and maintaining mental health education and training schemes and modules in the system of claim 3 for persistent storage in plurality of databases; periodically creating and maintaining rules, instructions, procedures and guidelines for mental health problem identification, measurement, assessment and treatment in the system of claim 3 for persistent storage in plurality of databases; and periodically creating and maintaining references and links to mental health information and resources in the system of claim 3 for persistent storage in plurality of databases, wherein mental health information and resources further containing fitness, wellness, research, warning, potential experiment outcome, exercise, meditation and treatment information in at least one of a variety of formats including text, data, audio, video and image; and said method, steps and data conforming to at least one or more mental health theories, principles, research and experience.
24. The method for providing a mental health authoring process to a mental health professional and/or a group of mental health professionals of claim 23, wherein said method further comprising the steps of: initially entering said data on said client device, validating the data for accuracies and correctness in accordance with rules defined in program logic, and persistently storing the authored data in said databases of said server computer for use in said online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation; retrieving said data from said databases in said server computer for presenting to said client devices of mental health professionals in order to make any updates to the persistently stored data; retrieving said data from said databases in said server computer for presenting to said client devices of mental health professionals in order to print reports. The method for providing reporting and mental health training to office managers and department supervisors and/or any authorized person of an organization, and authorized mental health professionals of claim 10, wherein said method further comprising the steps of: periodically obtaining aggregate statistics of state of mental health problems in the organization from the system of claim 4 wherein aggregate statistics collectively provide state(s) of mental health in said organization at various levels of grouping including department level, divisional level and such organizational boundaries, said method includes processing rules for safeguarding identity of said individuals and/or group of individuals from being revealed in said aggregate statistics; April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 54 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation periodically obtaining aggregate statistics of state of emotional health in the organization from the system of claim 4; periodically obtaining data and report of an individual or group of individual's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment goals, treatment plan, treatment outcome, treatment process, treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals, said data and report on said individual and/or group being obtainable at least at any one of the circumstances comprising a life-threatening event for the individual and/or group and a voluntary disclosure or permission provided by said individual and/or group including one's own and true identity, or disclosure required by governing law of the territories where said individual and/or group has access to said data and report; said office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized person receiving mental health training as required, said training containing procedures, processes and information for managing and handling mental health problems in said organization;
26. The method for providing installation, operation and support processes to an administrator of claim 11, wherein said method further comprising the steps of: installing and maintaining the said system setup, system configuration as well as system and network interfaces, and system users' authorization and access.
27. The mental health consulting system of claim 2, said system further comprising: a networked system which includes a client device that comprises a local and/or remote user interactive means for utilizing said system, said local and/or remote user interactive means further comprising, an input means for an individual or a group of individuals to directly provide data pertaining to the individual or group wherein said remote user online interactive means facilitates provision of data and control the operation of said system; and (ii) an output means for providing to an individual and/or group at least one of general mental health education, information and data corresponding to an individual and/or group wherein said data indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment goals, treatment plan, treatment outcome, treatment process, treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals.
28. The mental health consulting system of claim 2 which includes said client device of claim 27 which is at least one of a personal computer, a portable computer, a pocket computer, personal digital assistant (PDA), a mobile phone and a fixed telephone, the client device further comprising a means for connecting to the server computer via a communications network system.
29. The mental health consulting system of claim 2 which includes said client device of claim 28 comprising a network interface device and a means of interfacing and communicating with at least one of a local area network (LAN), a wireless local area network (WLAN), a personal area network (PAN), wide area network (WAN), metropolitan area network (MAN), the Internet, intranet, extranet, World-wide Web (WWW), public switched telecommunication network (PSTN), private leased line network, satellite and wireless networks, said network interface device comprising at least one of a modem, a set top box and gateway device. April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 55 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation The mental health consulting system of claim 2 which includes said client device of claims 27 and 28 wherein said input means comprises an input interface device and a means of interfacing and communicating with at least one of a keyboard, a keypad, touch-screen input, a mouse device, joy stick, video camera, microphone, telephone handset and mobile phone, said input means further providing means of inputting at least one of text, data, audio, graphical and video image.
31. The mental health consulting system of claim 2 which includes said client device of claims 27 and 28 wherein said input means further comprises a means of securing access to input data provided by an individual user and/or group of users, said data indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment goals, a treatment plan, a treatment outcome, a treatment process, a treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals, said means of securing input comprising a means to restrict access of said input data provided to said individual or group of individuals corresponding to said individual or group of individuals who provided said input data.
32. The mental health consulting system of claim 2 which includes said client device of claim 27 wherein said output means comprises an output interface device and a means of interfacing and communicating with at least one of a graphical user interface, a printer, a facsimile machine, a telephone, a mobile phone and a speaker, said graphical user interface further comprising at least one of a video monitor, a touch-screen display, television, said output means further providing means of presenting at least one of text, data, audio, graphical image and video output.
33. The mental health consulting system of claim 2 which includes said client device of claims 27 and 32 wherein said output means further comprises a means for securing output data, text, audio, graphical image and video indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment goals, a treatment plan, a treatment outcome, a treatment process, a treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals, said means of securing output comprising a means to restrict said output corresponding to said individual or group of individual who retrieves said output.
34. The mental health consulting, authoring, training and administration systems of claim 1 said system further comprising: a networked system which includes a server computer or plural of server computers associated with at least one of any organization, mental health service provider and Internet service provider, that provides the means for processing the data provided by an individual user and/or group of users of said system in accordance with the method described in claim 7, said data corresponding to said individual user and/or group of users, and said server computer provides the means to process and generate output data and reports indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment goals, a treatment plan, a treatment outcome, a treatment process, a treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals, said data and reports conforming to and processed in conjunction with at least one or more mental health theories, principles, research and experience, wherein said organization includes for-profit and non-profit legal entities who undertake as the custodian of said system in offering said computer-aided online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education service to a collective group of individuals who may be associated with said organization as at least as any one of employee, contractor, supplier, shareholder and stakeholder. The mental health consulting, authoring, training and administration systems of claim 1 which includes said server computer of claim 34 wherein said server computers comprising network interface devices and a April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 56 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation means of interfacing and communicating with at least one of a local area network (LAN), a wireless local area network (WLAN), a personal area network (PAN), wide area network (WAN), metropolitan area network (MAN), the Internet, intranet, extranet, World-wide Web (WWW), public switched telecommunication network (PSTN), private leased line network, satellite and wireless networks, said network interface device comprising at least one of a modem and communication gateway device.
36. The mental health consulting, authoring, training and administration systems of claim 1 which includes said server computer of claim 34 wherein said server computer is at least one of a personal computer, a portable computer, a main frame computer, a mini computer, a Unix server computer and a Linux server computer, the server computer further comprising a means for simultaneously supporting local and/or remote online interactive connections from plurality of said client devices via said communications network system of claim
37. The mental health consulting, authoring, training and administration systems of claim 1 which includes said server computer of claim 34 wherein said server computer further comprises at least one of a Web server, application server, file server, Wireless Application Server (WAP), and data server.
38. The mental health consulting, authoring, training and administration systems of claim 1 which includes said server computer of claim 34 wherein said server computer further comprises one or more microprocessors, memory, network and peripheral interface devices, input and output storage interfaces and devices, and computer operating system software and mental health self-assessment and consultation software.
39. The mental health consulting, authoring, training and administration systems of claim 1 which includes said server computer of claim 34 wherein said server computer further comprises mental health self-assessment and consultation software which provides the means for presenting said questions relating to symptoms of one or more mental health problems and processing input data provided by an individual user and/or group of users of said system in accordance with the method described in claim 7, and generates output data and reports indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment goals, a treatment plan, a treatment outcome, a treatment process, a treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals, said data and reports conforming to and processed in conjunction with at least one or more mental health theories, principles and research. The mental health consulting, authoring, training and administration systems of claim 1 which includes said server computer of claim 34 wherein said server computer further comprises a relational database storage and/or other suitable digital file storage devices for persistently and securely storing data provided by an individual user and/or group of users of said system and reports processed and generated by said server computer which is indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment goals, a treatment plan, a treatment outcome, a treatment process, a treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals, usage metering and billing detail data related to said individual and/or group of individual's use of said system, said relational database storage further comprising mental health subject content, mental health external links and web URLs (Uniform Resource Locator), mental health preliminary questionnaire, mental health disorder-specific questionnaires, symptom, disorder and intervention data, and mental health education and training data, wherein data is securely stored by using encryption algorithms.
41. The mental health consulting, authoring, training and administration systems of claim 1 which includes said server computer of claim 34 that provides the means of processing the data of any one of claims 34 to wherein one or more instances of the same said server computer and its associated communication network interface devices, Web server, application server, file server and data server, mental health self- assessment and consultation software and relational database storage and/or other suitable digital file storage devices may be duplicated at least at any one of the same physical location or at geographically April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 57 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation different locations such as to provide a means for fault tolerance, resilience and uninterrupted access to said server computer.
42. The mental health consulting, authoring, training and administration systems of claim 1 which includes said server computer of claim 34 that provides the means of processing the data of claim 41 wherein a means may be provided such that said data and processes residing on one instance of said duplicated server computers is synchronized with the same said data and processes residing on other instances of said server computer without interrupting and/or affecting the operation of said system.
43. The mental health consultation system of any one of claims 27 to 33 wherein said client device further comprising: general browsing means for allowing an individual and/or group of individuals choice of menu selection options, means for reading and learning about mental health news, subject matters and information on available resources and links, wherein a plurality of information resource and internal or extemrnal links may be associated with said menu; registration means for creating user identification particulars of an individual and/or group of individuals, for optionally recording own personal details and for securely interacting with said system to perform mental health self-assessment, personalized consultation, treatment and mental health education; customisation means for creating personal preferences and profiles of the virtual environment for online mental health self-assessment and consultation, wherein personal preferences include an individual's choice of 'cyber psychologist', d6cor of 'virtual consulting room', visual and audio preferences selectable from a predefined list; quizzing means for presenting a plurality of questions related to mental health assessment, directing an individual and/or group of individuals to provide responses to said questions, processing and performing computations on the said responses, receiving said responses together with computed results and providing personalized results and outcome to said individual and/or group of individuals; re-assessment means for presenting a plurality of re-assessment questions related to history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment goals, a treatment plan, treatment outcome, treatment progress corresponding related to said individual and/or group of individuals, directing said individual and/or group of individuals to provide responses to said re-assessment questions, processing and performing computations on the said responses, receiving said responses together with computed results and for providing personalized results and outcome to said individual and/or group of individuals; presentation means for presenting an automated interpretive report of at least one of psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment outcome, treatment progress and mental health assessment outcome indicative of present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition of said individual or group; reporting means for presenting data and reports indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition, psychological profile, history of past responses to mental health questions and outcome, treatment goals, a treatment plan, a treatment outcome, a treatment process, a treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals; and communications means for transmitting data and receiving data, information and reports in said networked system; and April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 58 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation a processing means for processing program instructions wherein one or more microprocessors together with a plurality of memory devices perform said processing logic and computations.
44. The mental health consulting system of claim 2 which includes said server computer of claim 34 a secure communications means for transmitting data, information and reports to a plurality of said client devices and receiving data from a plurality of said client devices through said networked system; a secure communications means for transmitting data, information and reports to a plurality of said peer server computers and receiving data from a plurality of said peer server computers through said networked system; a processing means for processing program instructions wherein one or more microprocessors together with a plurality of memory devices perform said processing logic and computations; and an interfacing means comprising one or more of network and printer interfaces and input/output and storage interfaces. The mental health consulting system of claim 2 which includes said server computer of claim 34 along with said mental health self-assessment and consultation software of claim 39 further comprises: user registration and authorization sub-system that provides the means for registering and maintaining an individual user's relevant personal details; user interaction quiz response sub-system which provides the means for presenting general and personalized mental health questions, directing users to respond to said questions and offering the facility to record responses in a database; assessment and re-assessment sub-system which allows evaluation of responses to questions against mental health theories, principles, research and experiential data, and provides the means for deriving assessment outcome indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition and psychological profile; scoring and interpretation sub-system which provides the means to determine scores on a plurality of dimensions of value as a result of the individual's and/or group's responses on the plurality of questions and to present a report containing interpretation of said responses and said scores; consultation sub-system which provides the means for presenting psychological profile, treatment goals, treatment plan, intervention plan, treatment outcome, treatment process, treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals indicative of at least one of an individual's or group's present and/or past mental health condition and states including states of any dysfunction and/or healthy condition; user education sub-system that provides the means for presenting online general education on mental health subject matters; 'cyber psychologist' sub-system which provides the means for integrating display persona(e) with said questionnaire, guided problem identification and intervention plan that serves the purposes of providing opinion, commentary and suggestions to the individual interacting with said system in an engaging manner by means of text, animated graphics, audio and, still and/or video image; April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 59 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation comorbidity analyser sub-system that provides the means for identifying, isolating and determining co- existing mental health disorders indicative of an individual's or group's present mental health condition and states including states of dysfunction; metrics computation algorithm sub-system that provides the means to evaluate and/or predict an individual's and/or group's responses on the plurality of questions by using statistical techniques and algorithms including but not limited to neural networks and/or decision tree is utilized; and usage metering billing sub-system that provides the means to record details of an individual and/or group of individual's interaction with said system in said database for enabling a means to charge and bill for any of said assessment, re-assessment, consultation and user education said usage metering billing providing for flexibility in metering and billing by allowing at least one of subscription, duration, volume of data transmitted received, per-use and mental health content-specific metering/billing.
46. The mental health consulting system of claim 2 which includes said server computer of claim 34 along with said relational database storage and/or other suitable digital file storage devices of claim 40 further comprises, client responses to questionnaire and client profile for providing the means to persistently and securely store client responses to said questions and psychological profile of said individual or group of individuals; means to persistently and securely storing client specific goals and metrics indicative of an individual's or group's present mental health condition and states including states of dysfunction and/or healthy condition as well as recovery goals selected by said individual and/or group of individuals; and means to persistently and securely storing client specific intervention plans that stores treatment plans, treatment plan, intervention plan, treatment outcome, treatment process, treatment progress related to said individual and/or group of individuals.
47. The mental health authoring system of claim 3, said system further comprising: a networked system which includes a client device that comprises a local and/or remote user online interactive means for utilizing said system, said remote user online interactive means further comprising, an input means that provides a mental health professional and/or a group of mental health professionals with a secured means to interact with said system independently and separately with the objective of authoring a repository of mental health data in a database or plurality of databases, said data conforming to and processed in conjunction with at least one or more mental health theories, principles, research and experience, wherein said input means comprises an input interface device and a means of interfacing and communicating with at least one of a keyboard, a keypad, touch-screen input, a mouse device, joy stick, video camera, microphone and mobile phone, said input means further providing means of inputting at least one of text, data, audio, graphical and video image; (ii) an output means that provides a mental health professional and/or a group of mental health professionals with a secured means to obtain data and reports from said authored repository of mental health data stored in a database or plurality of databases, said data and reports conforming to and processed in conjunction with at least one or more mental health theories, principles, research and experience, wherein said output means comprises an output interface device and a means of interfacing and communicating with at least one of a graphical user interface, a printer, a facsimile machine, a telephone, a mobile phone and a speaker, said graphical user interface further comprising at least one of a video monitor, a touch-screen display, television, said output April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 60 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation means further providing means of presenting at least one of text, data, audio, graphical image and video output; (iii) wherein user online interactive means comprising a client device which is at least one of a personal computer, a portable computer, a pocket computer, personal digital assistant (PDA), a mobile phone, the client device further comprising a means for connecting to the server computer of any one of claims 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42 via a communications network system comprising at least one of a local area network (LAN), a wireless local area network (WLAN), a personal area network (PAN), wide area network (WAN), metropolitan area network (MAN), the Intemet, intranet, extranet, World-wide Web (WWW), public switched telecommunication network (PSTN), private leased line network, satellite and wireless networks; and (iv) wherein said client device comprising user online interactive means includes one or more of network and printer interfaces and input/output and storage interfaces.
48. The mental health authoring system of claim 47 wherein said client device further comprising: general browsing means for allowing a mental health professional and/or a group of mental health professionals with a choice of menu selection options, means for reading and learning about mental health news, subject matters and information on available resources and links, wherein a plurality of information resource and internal or extemal links may be associated with said menu; registration means for creating identification particulars of a mental health professional, for optionally recording own personal details and for securely interacting with said system to author a repository of mental health data in a database or plurality of databases; customisation means for creating personal preferences of the interactive online mental health system, wherein personal preferences include visual and audio preferences selectable from a predefined list; authoring means for creating and maintaining a repository of mental health questionnaires related to disorders, treatment plans, intervention plans in relation to the permutations and combinations of all possible anticipated outcomes from the assessment and/or re-assessment steps of the mental health consulting system described in the earlier claims 43 and 45, as well as authoring means for creating and maintaining a repository of mental health education, training, links to mental health subject content and resources, rules, instructions, procedures and guidelines for mental health problem identification, measurement, assessment and treatment; reporting means for presenting data and reports related to said authored data; secure communications means for transmitting data and receiving data, information and reports in said networked system; and a processing means for processing program instructions wherein one or more microprocessors together with a plurality of memory devices perform said processing logic and computations.
49. The mental health authoring system of claim 3 which includes said server computer of claim 34 that provides the means of processing the data of claim 47 further comprises, a secure communications means for transmitting data, information and reports to a plurality of said client devices and receiving data from a plurality of said client devices through said networked system; a secure communications means for transmitting data, information and reports to a plurality of said peer server computers and receiving data from a plurality of said peer server computers through said networked system; April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 61 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation a processing means for processing program instructions wherein one or more microprocessors together with a plurality of memory devices perform said processing logic and computations; an interfacing means comprising one or more of network and printer interfaces and input/output and storage interfaces. The mental health authoring system of claim 3 which includes said server computer of claim 34 that further comprises, user registration and authorization sub-system that provides the means for registering and maintaining a mental health professional user's relevant personal details; general quiz set up sub-system which provides the means for creating and maintaining inclusive of but not limited to personal and family information questionnaire, relationship problem questionnaire, family psycho-social problem questionnaire, personality problem questionnaire, emotional problem questionnaire, management skill assessment questionnaire, management needs assessment questionnaire and work-related problem questionnaire; disorder specific quiz set up sub-system which provides the means for creating and maintaining a plurality of disorder specific questionnaire including but not limited to disorder classification, disorder type, symptom and disorder handling procedures, Alcohol Related Problems, Agoraphobia, Anxiety (including Panic Attacks. Phobias, Stress), Aids/HIV, Anorexia, Anger Management Problems, Aggression, Bereavement, Loss and Grief, Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression, Bulimia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Drugs Related-Substances/Medication, Dysthymia, Eating Disorders, Epilepsy, Gambling Problems, General Anxiety, Grief, Loneliness, Bereavement, Loss and Grief, Major Depression, Manic Depression, Mania, Nicotine Addiction, Obesity, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Pain and chronic illness, Panic Disorder, Personality problems, Phobias, Rape (including sexual assault), Schizophrenia, Self-Esteem Problems, Sexual Problems, Shyness, Sleep Disorders, Smoking, Stress, Stuttering, Substance Abuse, Suicide, Trauma and Work related mental health problems; treatment plan set up sub-system which provides the means for creating and maintaining treatment and intervention goals, intervention plans and intervention components; mental health theories, principles, research data set up sub-system which provides the means for creating and maintaining rules, instructions, procedures, guideline, diagnostic and statistical maps of mental health disorders based on manuals and research materials including but not limited to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV) and Intemational Classification of Diseases and health related problems mental health literature data set up which provides the means to create and maintain education, training, links to mental health subject content, news and resources; multi-media management sub-system that provides the means for creating, maintaining and presenting mental health training, education, treatment plan, intervention plan, treatment outcome and treatment process using text, animated graphics, audio and still and/or video images.
51. The mental health authoring system of claim 3 which includes said server computer of claim 34 along with said relational database storage and/or other suitable digital file storage devices of claim 40 further comprises, means to persistently and securely store data related user registration; April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 62 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation means to persistently and securely store data related to mental health theories, principles, research, rules, instructions, procedures, guideline, diagnostic and statistical maps; means to persistently and securely store data related to preliminary questionnaire; means to persistently and securely store data related to a plurality of disorder-specific questionnaire; means to persistently and securely store data related to mental health education, training, links and URLs to mental health subject content, news and resources; means to persistently and securely store data related to symptom, disorder, recovery goal, treatment and intervention; and means to persistently and securely store data related to 'cyber psychologist' profile, preferences and characteristics.
52. The reporting and mental health training system of claim 4, said system further comprising: a networked system which includes a client device that comprises a local and/or remote user online interactive means for utilizing said system, said remote user online interactive means further comprising, an input and output means that provide the means for an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person to securely interact with said system independently and separately with the objective of obtaining data and reports from the computer system in a secure manner, said data and report; (ii) wherein said input means comprises an input interface device and a means of interfacing and communicating with at least one of a keyboard, a keypad, touch-screen input, a mouse device, joy stick, video camera, microphone and mobile phone, said input means further providing means of inputting at least one of text, data, audio, graphical and video image; (iii) an output means that provides an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person with a secured means to obtain information, statistics and reports on mental health status of the individual and/or group of individuals and/or the organization, and obtain computer-based education and training, wherein said output means comprises an output interface device and a means of interfacing and communicating with at least one of a graphical user interface, a printer, a facsimile machine, a telephone, a mobile phone and a speaker, said graphical user interface further comprising at least one of a video monitor, a touch-screen display, television, said output means further providing means of presenting at least one of text, data, audio, graphical image and video output; (iv) wherein user online interactive means comprising a client device which is at least one of a personal computer, a portable computer, a pocket computer, personal digital assistant (PDA), a mobile phone, the client device further comprising a means for connecting to the server computer of any one of claims 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42 via a communications network system comprising at least one of a local area network (LAN), a wireless local area network (WLAN), a personal area network (PAN), wide area network (WAN), metropolitan area network (MAN), the Intemet, intranet, extranet, World-wide Web (WWW), public switched telecommunication network (PSTN), private leased line network, satellite and wireless networks; and wherein said client device comprising user online interactive means includes one or more of network and printer interfaces and input/output and storage interfaces. April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 63 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation
53. The reporting and mental health training system of claim 52 wherein said client device further comprising: general browsing means for allowing an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person with a choice of menu selection options, means for reading and learning about mental health news, subject matters and information on available resources and links, wherein a plurality of information resource and intemrnal or extemrnal links may be associated with said menu; registration means for creating identification particulars of an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person, for optionally recording own personal details and for securely interacting with said system to obtain reports and computer-based online mental health training; customisation means for creating personal preferences of the interactive online mental health system, wherein personal preferences include visual and audio preferences selectable from a predefined list; reporting means for obtaining information, statistics and reports on mental health status of the individual and/or group of individuals and/or the organization, and/or to obtain computer-based education and training for guiding staff members, and/or perform management skill building; secure communications means for transmitting data and receiving data, information and reports in said networked system; a processing means for processing program instructions wherein one or more microprocessors together with a plurality of memory devices perform said processing logic and computations; and usage metering billing means that provides the means to record details of an office manager and/or a department supervisor and/or an authorized mental health professional and/or any authorized person's interaction with said system in said database for enabling a means to charge and bill for computer- based training and education said usage metering billing providing for flexibility in metering and billing by allowing at least one of subscription, duration, volume of data transmitted received, per-use and mental health content-specific metering/billing.
54. the reporting and mental health training system of claim 4 which includes said server computer of claim 34 that provides the means of processing the data of claim 52 further comprises, a secure communications means for transmitting data, information and reports to a plurality of said client devices and receiving data from a plurality of said client devices through said networked system; a secure communications means for transmitting data, information and reports to a plurality of said peer server computers and receiving data from a plurality of said peer server computers through said networked system; a processing means for processing program instructions wherein one or more microprocessors together with a plurality of memory devices perform said processing logic and computations; an interfacing means comprising one or more of network and printer interfaces and input/output and storage interfaces. The reporting and mental health training system of claim 4 which includes said server computer of claim 34 that further comprises, April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 64 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation user registration and authorization sub-system that provides the means for registering and maintaining an office manager and/or department supervisor and/or a mental health professional user and/or any authorized person's relevant personal details; reporting sub-system which provides the means for providing aggregated management reports and statistics; reporting sub-system which provides the means for providing a mental health professional with an individual's and/or group of individual's mental health report indicative of said individual's or group's present mental health condition and states including states of dysfunction and/or healthy condition wherein said reports are provided in a secure and confidential manner by taking into account privacy of said individual; and training sub-system which provides the means for providing online computer-based mental health management training to an office manager and/or department supervisor and/or any authorized person wherein said office manager and/or department supervisor and/or any authorized person chooses the specific mental health topics from plurality of topics; management skill building sub-system provides the means for providing own skill assessment and skill improvement using online computer-based mental health management skill building to an office manager and/or department supervisor and/or any authorized person wherein said office manager and/or department supervisor and/or any authorized person chooses the assessment and or skill building modules; usage metering billing sub-system that provides the means to record details of an individual and/or group of individual's interaction with said system in said database for enabling a means to charge and bill for any of said training said usage metering billing providing for flexibility in metering and billing by allowing at least one of subscription, duration, volume of data transmitted received, per-use and mental health training content-specific metering/billing.
56. The reporting and mental health training system of claim 4 which includes said server computer of claim 34 along with said relational database storage and/or other suitable digital file storage devices of claim further comprises, means to persistently and securely store data related user registration; means to persistently and securely store data related to reports and statistics; means to persistently and securely store data related to mental health training; and means to persistently and securely store data related to management skill building.
57. The mental health administration system of claim 5, said system further comprising: a networked system which includes a client device that comprises a local and/or remote user online interactive means for utilizing said system, said remote user online interactive means further comprising, an input means that provides a computer systems administrator with a secured means to interact with said system independently and separately with the objective of ensuring the operation, administration and maintenance of the computer system and data wherein said input means comprises an input interface device and a means of interfacing and communicating with at least one of a keyboard, a keypad, touch-screen input, a mouse device, joy stick, video camera, April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 65 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation microphone and mobile phone, said input means further providing means of inputting at least one of text, data, audio, graphical and video image; (ii) an output means that provides a computer systems administrator with the means to interact with said system independently and separately with the objective of securely obtaining operation, administration and maintenance data of the computer system, wherein said output means comprises an output interface device and a means of interfacing and communicating with at least one of a graphical user interface, a printer, a facsimile machine, a telephone, a mobile phone and a speaker, said graphical user interface further comprising at least one of a video monitor, a touch- screen display, television, said output means further providing means of presenting at least one of text, data, audio, graphical image and video output; (iii) wherein user online interactive means comprising a client device which is at least one of a personal computer, a portable computer, a pocket computer, personal digital assistant (PDA), a mobile phone, the client device further comprising a means for connecting to the server computer of any one of claims 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42 via a communications network system comprising at least one of a local area network (LAN), a wireless local area network (WLAN), a personal area network (PAN), wide area network (WAN), metropolitan area network (MAN), the Intemrnet, intranet, extranet, World-wide Web (WWW), public switched telecommunication network (PSTN), private leased line network, satellite and wireless networks; and (iv) wherein said client device comprising user online interactive means includes one or more of network and printer interfaces and input/output and storage interfaces.
58. The mental health administration system of claim 57 wherein said client device further comprising: general browsing means for allowing a computer systems administrator with a choice of menu selection options, means for reading and leamrning about mental health news, subject matters and information on available resources and links, wherein a plurality of information resource and intemrnal or extemrnal links may be associated with said menu; registration means for creating identification particulars of a computer systems administrator, for optionally recording own personal details and for securely interacting with said system to obtain reports and computer-based online mental health training; registration means for creating identification particulars of a user intending to use said system, for recording personal details of said user for securely interacting with said system; customisation means for creating personal preferences of the interactive online mental health system, wherein personal preferences include visual and audio preferences selectable from a predefined list; operation, administration and support means for obtaining information, statistics and reports on said system operation, status and performance as well as means to install, create and maintain said system configuration and parameters; reporting means for presenting data and reports related to said operation, administration and support data; secure communications means for transmitting data and receiving data, information and reports in said networked system; and a processing means for processing program instructions wherein one or more microprocessors together with a plurality of memory devices perform said processing logic and computations. April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 66 of 67 Computer-aided system and method for self-assessment and personalised mental health consultation
59. The mental health administration system of claim 5 which includes said server computer of claim 34 that provides the means of processing the data of claim 57 further comprises, a secure communications means for transmitting data, information and reports to a plurality of said client devices and receiving data from a plurality of said client devices through said networked system; a secure communications means for transmitting data, information and reports to a plurality of said peer server computers and receiving data from a plurality of said peer server computers through said networked system; a processing means for processing program instructions wherein one or more microprocessors together with a plurality of memory devices perform said processing logic and computations; an interfacing means comprising one or more of network and printer interfaces and input/output and storage interfaces. The mental health administration system of claim 5 which includes said server computer of claim 34 that further comprises, user registration and authorization sub-system that provides the means for registering and maintaining an office manager and/or department supervisor and/or a mental health professional user and/or any authorized person's relevant personal details; reporting sub-system which provides the means for providing aggregated system operation and performance reports and statistics; training sub-system which provides the means for providing customisation of personal preferences and profiles of the virtual environment for online mental health self-assessment and consultation, wherein personal preferences include an individual's choice of 'cyber psychologist', d6cor of 'virtual consulting room', visual and audio preferences selectable from a predefined list.
61. The mental health administration system of claim 5 which includes said server computer of claim 34 along with said relational database storage and/or other suitable digital file storage devices of claim 40 further comprises, means to persistently and securely store data related user registration; means to persistently and securely store data related to reports and statistics; and means to persistently and securely store data related to system configuration.
62. A system for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education to an individual and/or a group of individuals substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings and the details of said invention.
63. A method for providing online interactive self-assessment, personalized mental health consultation, treatment and mental health education to an individual and/or a group of individuals substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings and the details of said invention. April 25, 2005 Patent Application Number: 2003204909 67 of 67
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