Blog Entry

The Importance of Behavioral Health Services to Mental Illnesses

Many people are struggling with some form of mental illness, especially in a hectic world where stress is rampant. Various factors can impact the overall being of a person, all of which affect mental health one way or another. That’s why understanding what behavioral health entails is crucial to understanding different ways to achieve physical and mental wellness. 


Behavioral Health vs. Mental Health: What’s the Difference? 


Many people interchangeably use behavioral health and mental health, but the distinction matters more than you think. Think of behavioral health as a blanket term that encompasses other factors that impact your wellbeing, which happens to include your mental health as a key component. 


Defining Behavioral Health


It encompasses your habits and describes how your choices affect your physical and mental wellbeing, allowing you to make lifestyle changes that can improve your mental state. Not to mention, behavioral health also helps professionals see the root of your maladaptive habits, leading to disorders like the following: 


  • Substance abuse;

  • Gambling; 

  • Sex addiction; 

  • Eating disorders; 


Defining Mental Health


Patients who are struggling with disorders due to brain chemistry or genetic inheritance fall under mental health issues such as: 


  • Bipolar disorder;

  • Schizophrenia; 

  • Depression; 

  • Generalized anxiety disorder;


Looking at both aspects helps professionals consider all the factors that influence the patient’s wellbeing, allowing psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychologists, and therapists alike to create an effective treatment plan that is tailored to their unique needs.


Understanding the Link Between Behavioral Health and Mental Health 


Behavioral and mental health are like two peas in a pod. While behavioral health describes unhealthy habits, these negative behaviors can stem from a form of mental illness. Similarly, mental illness can also develop or exacerbate due to poor behavioral health, especially with maladaptive tendencies like drinking, overeating, and drug abuse. 


This means that both can co-occur, which is why understanding the link between behavioral health and mental health matters when creating effective treatment plans. With that in mind, supporting medication with positive coping mechanisms like meditation, exercise, or a healthy diet can do wonders in improving both your physical and mental well-being. 


Combining Both to Obtain the Right Diagnosis and Best Treatment 


As mentioned above, behavioral health and mental health are deeply connected, but they are different. It’s easy to misdiagnose your condition when professionals fail to recognize your behavioral pattern as bad habits can dampen the effectiveness of your medication. 


Meanwhile, it will also be difficult to implement necessary behavioral changes without considering the patient’s psychiatric state. In that regard, using both behavioral and mental health promotes collaborative care and allows medical professionals to provide the best possible treatment. 


If you’re looking for quality medical care, visit us at Well Life Medicine in Hillsboro, Salem or virtually*! Contact us at 971-301-4411 and see how we can help you.

*Patient must physically be located in the state of Oregon at the time of the visit. 




Tuesday July 14, 2020