According to a study, almost 44 million adults are facing mental health issues and lack of resources, out of which 40% are actively receiving treatment. Behavioral Health being a key part of a person’s well-being, is as important as physical health. It is inclusive on emotional, psychological and social well-being.
Behavioral Health includes substance abuse, mental disorders and other disorders as following-
- Mental Disorders– It involves changes in the thought process or thinking behavior that may occur often or less often.
- Substance Abuse– It occurs when the recurrent use of alcohol or drugs causing health problems or any kind of disability, or failure to meet responsibilities at home, work or school.
- Co-occurring Disorders– It refers to a person who is suffering from both, mental disorder and substance abuse.
- Co-existing Disorders– It refers to a person who is suffering from behavioral and physical health condition or problems.
While behavioral health conditions are very common in people of all ages, genders, races and ethnicities, it is not because the person suffering did something wrong or is not mentally strong, rather it happens because of the major shift in mood and practices you follow on a daily basis such as in case of drug abuse.
Let’s get into understanding Behavioral Health Services & its Types.
Finding a Suitable Behavioral Health Service
In order to cure such issues, you require a behavioral health provider to help you. There are several different ways to do this.
Primary Care Providers includes doctor, nurse practitioner or other health care provider who will help screen and treat various behavioral health problems. Sometimes, a primary health care provider refers or recommends you to a behavioral health provider in cases of serious mental health problems.
With proper insurance papers, preauthorization and acceptance by the in-network provider, you can now start your treatment using their service, treatment or prescribed drugs if medically necessary. You might also require recommendations from other sources such as your family, friend or other people from the same community who can help guide you better to find a suitable Behavioral Health Provider & Service.
Types of Behavioral Health Services
With variety of services available to young adults expand every day, they focus of helping people live a healthier and happier life. A person might need several services to overcome their individual challenges using their help.
These services target a variety of issues such as depression, anxiety, diabetes management, weight loss, anger management, drinking, drug abuse and much more. It depends on the issue the person is facing as to which health care service is most suitable for them.
These providers help overcome various challenges starting from a child to adolescent psychiatric issues to geriatric or addiction psychiatry. They are qualified to write prescriptions in order to assist the patient with the healing process in case of severe issues. They also monitor medications and provide counselling and therapy sessions to the patient.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Also known as Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, these nurses are trained to provide assessment, diagnosis and therapy for mental disorders and substance abuse disorders. They are also eligible to prescribe medication and are certified in this field.
Trained in the science of psychology, psychologists work towards clinical, counseling and research setting. Their main job is to diagnose patient’s mental health issues and offer psychotherapy or other kinds of therapies in order to assist and heal the patient. They are not qualified to prescribe medication.
Social workers are professionals who provide a wide aray of services, usually in administrative positions within programs and institutions in order to help people. For instance, social workers work in areas of-
- Health care
- Child welfare
- Family welfare
- School social workers
- Mental health workers
- Substance abuse workers
- and Clinical Social Workers, who are qualified to make diagnoses and provide counseling and therapy and are eligible to manage a case and advocate.
There professionals specialize in psychotherapy to help and assist with a patient’s condition. They focus on specific behavioral health areas, for instance, marital problems or substance abuse. Licensed professional counselors usually do not provide a formal diagnosis and cannot prescribe medication, but they can help with improving life skills and relationships of a person.
Also called Peer Specialists are professionals who themselves have gone through a mental disorder or substance abuse, and are recovering from it. They give you an inside view of the condition and teach you about the health system, while providing with emotional and social support to help you recover better and quicker. Recovery coaches are trained and require certification to work.
Addiction or Substance Counselors are people who advice patients over substance or alcohol abuse disorders. They help in the treatment and also provide support during recovery of the patient.
When to Seek Behavioral Health Services?
Here are some warning signs and feelings that one might experience if they are going through a behavioral issue. If you have one or more of these, check with your doctor or a specialty provider.
- Too much or Too Little Eating or Sleeping
- Having low energy throughout the day
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Feeling sad, anxious or lonely
- Feeling irritable or annoyed over small things, more often than before
- Pulling away from close ones and usual activities
- Having unexplained aches and body pain
- Difficulty in concentrating, making decisions or recalling
- Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than ever
- Losing interest in hobbies
- Feeling of restlessness
- Feeling of confusion, forgetfulness, on-edge, anger, worry or scare without an explanation
- Having suicidal or self-harm thoughts
- Not being able to perform daily tasks
- Drinking 5 or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion for men, or 4 for women
- Drinking an average of 15 or more alcoholic drinks per week for men, or 8 for women
If you face any such symptoms, get help as soon as you can!
Now that you have a clear understanding of Behavioral Health Services, you know who to contact, refer and seek help from if you notice any of the above symptoms. It is important to seek treatment, because ignoring behavioral issues can lead to severe mental problems.
Therefore, do not think it is still a taboo, rather get help and make others aware about behavioral health problems in today’s youth and adults. Seek Help & Help Others!