Defining Behavioral Health

Behavioral health is the scientific study of the emotions, behaviors and biology relating to a person’s mental well-being, their ability to function in every day life and their concept of self. “Behavioral health” is the preferred term to “mental health.” A person struggling with his or her behavioral health may face stress, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, addiction, ADHD or learning disabilities, mood disorders, or other psychological concerns. Counselors, therapists, life coaches, psychologists, nurse practitioners or physicians can help manage behavioral health concerns with treatments such as therapy, counseling, or medication.

The Difference Between Behavioral Health and Mental Health

Many people are more familiar with the term, “mental health.” Mental health covers many of the same issues as behavioral health, but this term only encompasses the biological component of this aspect of wellness. The term, “behavioral health” encompasses all contributions to mental wellness including substances and their abuse, behavior, habits, and other external forces.

What is Psychiatry?

Psychiatry is the practice of diagnosing and treating behavioral and mental health disorders. This includes creating personalized treatment plans around an individuals’ disorder that can include medication, therapy, counseling, CBT, alternative medicines or any combination of these. Psychiatry is practiced by specially trained doctors or nurse practitioners depending on state law.

If you are in crisis, call 988 to talk with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, text HOME to 741741 to connect to a free crisis counselor, or go to your nearest emergency room.