What Is Behavioral Health?

Behavioral Health and Wellness

the state of well-being including social, emotional, physical, and spiritual

What is behavioral health?

“Behavioral health” often is used to describe the connection between our behaviors and the health and well-being of the body, mind, and spirit. This includes behaviors such as eating habits, drinking, or exercising that either immediately or over time impact physical or mental health.

Behavioral health includes not only ways of promoting well-being by preventing or intervening in mental illness such as depression or anxiety, but also has as an aim preventing or intervening in substance abuse or other addictions.

Depression

A mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.

Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.

If you have been experiencing any of these signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

Anxiety

A chronic disorder characterized by excessive, long-lasting anxiety and worry about nonspecific life events, objects, and situations.

Anxiety sufferers often feel afraid and worry about health, money, family, work, or school, but they have trouble both identifying the specific fear and controlling the worries.

  • Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event
  • Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
  • Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind “goes blank”
  • Worrying about excessively worrying
  • Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
  • Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness

Physical signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension or muscle aches
  • Trembling, feeling twitchy
  • Being easily startled
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sweating
  • Nausea, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Headaches

Mental Health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. common substance use disorders such as those related to alcohol, tobacco, cannabis (marijuana), stimulants, hallucinogens, and opioids.

About BHIP

The Behavioral Health Infrastructure Project (BHIP) focuses on the mental health and substance abuse infrastructure on Staten Island to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and increase quality behavioral health services. SIPCW serves as project lead for this Staten Island PPS project.