What is Behavioral Health?

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Many who are anticipating an addiction recovery treatment may wonder, what is behavioral health? Behavioral health refers to the connection between an individual’s behaviors, decisions, and well-being, encompassing both mental and physical health.

The field of behavioral health care focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these conditions. It recognizes the intricate interplay between behaviors and their profound impact on an individual’s overall health and quality of life.

Behavioral Health Definition

Behavioral health encompasses the emotions and behaviors that profoundly impact your overall well-being and encompasses a diverse range of challenges known as behavioral disorders. Some behavioral health examples include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Crises resulting from various life stressors
  • Eating disorders
  • Behavioral addictions
  • Other addictive behavior patterns

Mental health and behavior are closely linked. Although the terms mental and behavioral health are often used interchangeably, mental health generally refers to a person’s overall psychological well-being, including their emotional, cognitive, and social functioning. Behavioral health, by contrast, focuses more specifically on behaviors that impact a person’s well-being, including both healthy and unhealthy behaviors.

A woman holds a pen and clipboard to represent behavioral health.

What Does Behavioral Health Treat?

Behavioral health addresses a wide range of conditions and concerns that impact an individual’s emotional well-being and behaviors. Some of the common issues treated in behavioral health include:

  • Mental health disorders: Behavioral health professionals provide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for various mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and schizophrenia.
  • Substance use disorders: Behavioral health interventions and therapies play a vital role in helping individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction. This can involve counseling, support groups, medication-assisted treatment, and relapse prevention strategies.
  • Eating disorders: Behavioral health specialists work with individuals experiencing eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge-eating disorder. Treatment may involve therapy, nutritional counseling, and support to address the underlying emotional and behavioral patterns related to disordered eating.
  • Behavioral addictions: Beyond substance use, behavioral health encompasses the treatment of behavioral addictions like gambling addiction, internet addiction, gaming addiction, and compulsive shopping. Therapy and cognitive-behavioral approaches are commonly utilized in managing these conditions.
  • Relationship and family issues: Behavioral health professionals offer support in addressing relationship difficulties, family conflicts, and marital issues. Counseling and therapy can help individuals and families navigate these challenges and develop healthier patterns of communication and interaction.

Behavioral health concerns can be effectively managed with the assistance of various professionals, including counselors, therapists, life coaches, psychologists, nurse practitioners, or physicians. These dedicated individuals are equipped to provide valuable support and employ a range of treatment options tailored to individual needs. Common interventions in behavioral healthcare include therapy, counseling, and medication management. These approaches aim to address the underlying emotional and behavioral patterns contributing to the individual’s well-being, facilitating positive change, and promoting overall mental wellness. Collaborating with these skilled professionals can be instrumental in navigating behavioral health concerns and achieving optimal outcomes.

Examples of Behavioral Health Treatments

Behavioral health treatments employ a variety of evidence-based approaches tailored to individual needs. Some examples of behavioral health treatments include:

  • Psychotherapy: Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy involves discussions between the individual and a trained therapist. Various modalities, such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) are used to explore thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and develop coping strategies.
  • Medication management: In cases where medication is beneficial, behavioral health professionals can prescribe and monitor psychiatric medications to manage symptoms of mental health disorders and support overall treatment plans.
  • Group therapy: Group therapy involves individuals with similar concerns coming together under the guidance of a therapist. It provides a supportive environment for sharing experiences, gaining insight, and learning from others.
  • Addiction counseling: Behavioral health professionals specializing in addiction utilize counseling techniques to help individuals overcome substance use disorders and develop relapse prevention strategies. This may include individual counseling, support groups, and family therapy.
  • Behavioral modification: This approach focuses on identifying and modifying unhealthy or maladaptive behaviors through positive reinforcement, goal setting, and self-monitoring techniques.

Regular physical exercise has been extensively studied and proven to yield numerous benefits, including positive effects on mental health. Research indicates that exercise has the potential to reduce anxiety, depression, and negative mood, while also enhancing self-esteem, relieving stress, and boosting energy and stamina, among other advantages.

The impact of diet on mental health is an area of ongoing exploration, and multiple studies have established a correlation between the two. A 2019 study suggests that modifying diet, often in conjunction with lifestyle changes, holds promise for the prevention and treatment of mental health conditions.

Research shows that mindfulness meditation has shown promise in improving emotional regulation, particularly by reducing worry and rumination. It is likely that practicing mindfulness can contribute to a decrease in symptoms of depression and anxiety.

A strong social support network has been linked to positive mental health outcomes. Building close relationships with family, friends, mentors, and trusted community members can foster a sense of connection, security, and support, contributing to overall mental well-being.

These lifestyle factors can play a significant role in promoting and maintaining good mental health. By prioritizing regular exercise, adopting a healthy diet, practicing mindfulness meditation, and cultivating a strong support network, individuals can take meaningful steps toward nurturing their mental well-being.

These examples represent just a snapshot of the diverse range of treatments available in the field of behavioral health. The specific treatment plan for an individual is determined through a comprehensive assessment and in collaboration with the behavioral health provider. We hope today’s glimpse at behavioral health vs. mental health has cleared up any confusion and we can help you combat any form of addiction or behavioral health issue here at Ohio Recovery Centers.

a woman looks out at a sunset to represent behavioral health at Ohio Recovery Centers.

Get Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

Welcome to Ohio Recovery Centers, where we specialize in providing individualized addiction treatment programs catering to alcohol, prescription medication, and illicit drug addictions.

Extensive research indicates that intensive outpatient treatment is just as effective as residential rehab for mild to moderate addictions. Not only does outpatient treatment offer comparable results, but it also provides a higher degree of flexibility and affordability, all while ensuring the same level of exceptional care. When you choose Ohio Recovery Centers in Cincinnati, you can select from the following programs:

Our treatment programs encompass a comprehensive approach to recovery, incorporating pharmacological, behavioral, and holistic therapies, all rooted in scientific evidence. By combining these various therapeutic modalities, we equip our clients with invaluable tools such as relapse prevention strategies, effective coping techniques, and ongoing therapy options if required. When you are ready to move beyond addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to our admissions team today. Immediate assistance is just a phone call away at 877-679-2132.

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn