Behavioral health is the scientific study of behaviors, biology, and emotions relating to a person’s mental and physical wellbeing. During the 1970s-1980s, behavioral health had a different meaning. First, it was defined as the behaviors that prevent, promote, or cause illnesses. Then, as the term became more prevalent and familiar among people, it was defined as behaviors that helped people cope with the disease. However, presently, behavioral health is considered as a far-reaching term that includes your overall wellbeing.
Today, many people suffer from behavioral health disorders, which refer to illnesses perpetuated by people’s mindful decisions, such as unhealthy eating, drinking, addictive behaviors, etc., which consequently affect their health. As a result, most of them suffer from anxiety, drug use, drinking, depression, weight loss, or more. Perhaps, individuals who suffer from behavioral health disorders often don’t talk about their condition because there’s a terrifying stigma attached to the topic.
According to recent statistics, in the US alone, approximately 42.2% of adults are obese. The rate has surpassed up to 26 percent since 2008. Besides, more than two-thirds of deaths caused by heart diseases are associated with unhealthy food choices among people. Likewise, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America identified anxiety disorders as the most common mental illness in the US, which affects approximately 40 million adults each year.
All these statistics highlight the lack of positive health behaviors, consequently developing several physical and mental health issues among people. Today, many public health professionals work in collaboration with other healthcare workers to create strategies and techniques that can help people understand the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle. So if you’re a compassionate healthcare professional willing to make a difference in the lives of such individuals, applying for an online MPH program will help you create a fundamental change worldwide. Since virtual education is the new normal, many health experts conduct online education programs, seminars, and conferences to make people more informed about their health.
Behavioral Health vs. Mental Health
Although the term behavioral health is interchangeably used with mental health, in actual it covers not only your mental health but also the way your thoughts contribute to your overall wellbeing. Behavioral health isn’t just confined to the actions of an individual; it includes the overall wellness and health of the spirit, mind, and body. In other words, it is an umbrella term that includes mental and physical health issues.
When considering the differences between behavioral health and mental health, it is imperative to note how interconnected they are. Our behaviors can direct our thoughts, just the way our thoughts can influence our behaviors or actions. For instance, a behavioral health professional might look into various factors that contributed to developing obesity among patients. In comparison, a mental health professional might suggest behavioral changes in curing mental health issues like depression, anxiety, stress, etc.
Warning Signs of Ineffective Behavioural Health
Symptoms of terrible behavioral health can be in the form of poor habits or behaviors that negatively influence an individual’s wellbeing. Some of these include:
- Social isolation
- Poor hygiene
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Sex addiction
Being ignorant of your unhealthy behaviors and their effects may develop serious consequences in the longer run. Having said that, recent research has shown that over 45 million Americans are currently suffering from behavioral disorders. However, only 43% are actively receiving remedial care. This staggering increase in behavioral disorders negatively affects the cost of healthcare delivery in the United States. It further serves as a contributing factor to the deteriorating health of the overall community.
Early detection, prevention, and treatment of behavioral health conditions are thus essential to improve people’s wellbeing. Besides, many health experts suggest counseling as a holistic modality that allows individuals to manage their behaviors associated with health-related problems or mental illnesses. Therapies help individuals alter their behaviors for the better, finding ways to overcome negative barriers and reinforce positive behaviors. This process is reliant on diagnosing and dealing with mental health problems. Experts who may offer behavioral health counseling include social workers, general physicians, and psychologists.
Other than reaching out to these professionals, it is important for people to embrace lifestyle changes that may prevent them from recurring physical and mental illnesses. Some of these behaviors include daily exercise and intake of food that fulfills all your nutritious requirements.
You see, behavioral health is important and contributes to an individual’s physical and mental wellbeing. You have to keep in mind that healing takes time, and admitting that you need help is a courageous part of the process. Given the rise in health issues, it has become important to address behavioral health concerns to improve the quality of life among people. Hence, people suffering from behavioral health issues can reach out to a health educator who can help them in developing positive behavioral and attitudinal changes for their overall wellbeing.