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What Is Behavioral Health?

Behavioral health relates to the connection between behaviors and the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It’s often used interchangeably with mental health but is actually a more expansive term that incorporates not just our mental wellness, but the way our physical, psychological, and lifestyle factors collectively impact our overall sense of wellness. This can include behaviors related to mental health, as well as those related to relationships, substance use and abuse, and general health.

How Does Behavioral Health Work?

Behavioral health treatments are ways of helping people with mental illnesses or substance use disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common treatment that identifies specific thoughts that are affecting a person’s health and strives to adjust those health behaviors as needed to achieve a desired result (usually, the improvement of that person’s health). Other counseling and more specialized psychotherapies seek to change behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and how people see and understand situations. Medications for mental and substance use disorders provide significant relief for many people and can help reduce symptoms so that other methods of treatment can be pursued.

For many individuals, the most effective behavioral health approach involves a combination of counseling and medication. Early treatment is best. A trained professional should do a full evaluation to make the diagnosis. Treatment choices for mental health conditions will vary from person to person and should address each person’s needs and symptoms.

Why Is Behavioral Health Important?

Many providers and healthcare institutions are recognizing the benefits of integrated behavioral health, which refers to the practice of combining behavioral health care with primary care. Integrated behavioral health often results in better health outcomes for patients, as well as better patient experience. Behavioral health can also allow health care providers to take a more systematic, holistic approach by addressing the root behaviors that are causing diseases, rather than just treating the symptoms themselves.

Who Benefits From Behavioral Health?

Anyone can benefit from behavioral health! However, broadly speaking, behavioral health is particularly helpful for people who are dealing with conditions that have both a physical and mental component. Behavioral health can also be useful in addressing chronic illness, or diseases that have a behavioral component (for example, cardiovascular disease that is caused by a person’s dietary and activity behaviors, or insomnia caused by stress). Exercising, eating a healthy diet, and taking necessary steps to manage an existing disease or injury are all things that can help people achieve an ideal mental and physical balance.

RADIAS Health provides person-centered integrated healthcare services to people suffering from mental illness, substance use, or co-occurring disorders. Our services encompass primary care and behavioral health services delivered by compassionate, skilled health care and support staff. In addition, our care includes supplementary services such as case management, supportive housing, homeless services, residential services, outpatient DBT treatment, and more. If you or someone you know could benefit from our mission, contact us today or consider donating!

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