It’s easy to think that mental and physical health doesn’t affect each other. Research, however, tells us the opposite is true.
Your mental health affects your physical health in various ways, and vice versa. Conditions like addiction and mental illness have major impacts on your body.
So, how do you effectively address both sides of this equation?
That’s where behavioral health comes in. In this article, we’ll be discussing what behavioral health services are, who needs them, and what benefits they bring.
What Is Behavioral Health?
Behavioral health describes the connection between your behavior and well-being. It describes the overall health of the body, mind, and spirit. How do things like drinking, exercising, or eating affect your physical and mental health? The key is looking for a connection.
In past decades, behavioral health was seen as singling out behaviors that prevented illness or affected health. Later, it became concerned with behaviors that help manage diseases.
There’s also been much more attention paid to how mental health affects our behaviors. We’re realizing more and more how traumatic events affect our physical state of being.
Behavioral health looks at how conditions like addiction affect other symptoms like anxiety.
Behavioral Health vs. Mental Health: What’s the Difference?
Behavioral health often gets mixed up with mental health. This is because of their similar focus on how a person’s mind affects their everyday lives.
When talking about these two disciplines in tandem, it’s important we don’t confuse these terms.
Behavioral health is a blanket term that includes mental health. It looks at how behaviors affect someone’s physical and mental health.
In other words, mental health is a single category of behavioral health.
Mental health has a variety of factors including biology, habits, and psychology. Behavioral scientists look at how those habits are affecting a person’s mental and physical health.
A behavioral scientist might address an eating disorder differently than other doctors. They’ll track down behaviors and habits that contributed to that person’s disorder.
What Are Behavioral Health Services?
So, what do behavioral health services look like?
We’ve established how behavioral health encompasses a wide range of symptoms and issues. This complicates our definition of behavioral health services.
In other words, behavioral health services look different for each patient. One person might need help overcoming addiction. Another person might need help addressing their anxiety or eating disorder.
When patients engage with a behavioral health service program, they have a wide range of professionals to choose from.
Behavioral health professionals include:
Psychiatrists are the most qualified physicians when it comes to things like mental health and addiction. They can diagnose your condition and single out behaviors that might be affecting your overall health.
These professionals are part of institutions aimed at helping people overcome mental and physical health issues. Child, family, or substance abuse social workers are pivotal in addressing behavioral health symptoms.
Psychologists offer help to those that need psychotherapy or a more specific psychological diagnosis. They can help narrow down psychological symptoms that might be affecting your behaviors.
Counselors don’t provide specific diagnoses or prescribe medication. Instead, they help patients address a specific condition or issue, such as addiction or marital issues.
Benefits of Behavioral Health Services
But what are the benefits of behavioral health services?
Behavioral health looks at a person’s health from a holistic perspective. This means addressing their addictions or issues this way improves both physical and mental health.
This means no stone is left unturned. Behavioral health services help patients find the root cause of some of their symptoms.
As such, positive behavioral health leads to happier lives. It means you can be more productive at work. You’ll be able to cope better with everyday stresses since you know where your stressors come from.
It helps eliminate negative behaviors like addiction. This means healthier eating or sleeping habits.
Who Benefits from Behavioral Health Services?
Broadly speaking, almost everyone will benefit from behavioral health services. The CDC claims that more than 50% of Americans will suffer from mental illness at least once in their lives.
As we’ve established, there are also connections between mental health issues and medical issues. Heart disease, respiratory illness, and other physical health challenges are often connected to mental health.
Behavioral health services can benefit anyone who suffers from these problems. Professionals can help get to the root of those issues and address it in a healthy and meaningful way.
Let’s look at two examples of people who benefit from behavioral health services here:
These mental and physical health challenges often intersect in the American workplace. Over 60% of American adults are part of the workforce, and nearly 1 in 5 are struggling with mental illness.
Behavioral health services in the workplace can help address some of these issues. It can lead to better work engagement, happiness, and productivity.
It can also prevent further health complications for workers. Addressing their mental health early decreases the risk of heart disease or other physical health issues down the line.
People struggling with addiction benefit greatly from behavioral health. For example, counseling and therapy can break down someone’s behaviors and habits that are leading to substance abuse.
It combines counseling with medication to get at the root of the issue. Behavioral health services help manage these symptoms to the point where people can use other strategies to overcome addictions.
Leverage Behavioral Health Services Today
Addressing mental health or substance abuse is always complicated and doesn’t have one convenient solution. Behavioral health services look at finding those solutions in a productive and holistic way.
Use this article to understand what behavioral health does and how it can help those in need.
Are you or someone you know suffering from mental illness or substance abuse? Contact us today and we can help you find the right solution.