Behavioral Health No Longer Kept in the Dark

October 28, 2016 - - 0 Comments Behavioral Health No Longer Kept in the Dark

It wasn’t too long ago that conversations surrounding mental and behavior health were often seen as taboo and simply wasn’t something that wasn’t discussed in public.  However, through the progression of both education and social awareness, we have now begun to address these serious issues more openly and honestly.  There are a lot of topics that come to mind when thinking about behavioral health; for example, mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, addictive behaviors such as substance abuse, and also how our surroundings may impact both our physical as well as our mental well-being.

Behavioral health facilities offer treatment options for individuals suffering from conditions connected to mental health as well as substance abuse.  Examples of some of these behavioral health services from a mental health aspect include:

  • Outpatient services-medical procedures or tests that can be done in a medical center without an overnight stay
  • Partial hospitalization – comprehensive, short-term, clinical treatment program, which is a step below inpatient hospitalization but more concentrated than traditional outpatient care
  • Inpatient hospitalization – intensive care that is administered within a behavioral health facility where the patient stays throughout the duration of treatment

Aside from mental health support, there are behavioral health services that also assist in the treatment of substance dependency and addiction.  Some examples of these services include, but are not limited to:

  • Outpatient services, which includes opioid substitution therapies
  • Intensive outpatient treatment and partial hospitalization
  • Residential or inpatient services
  • Medically managed inpatient services

Drug abuse, much like mental and behavioral health was another issue that at one time was not discussed much amongst people.  Even though many people were suffering from drug and alcohol addiction it still was something that was more or less “swept under the rug.” The negative connotation associated with receiving treatment for behavioral health conditions is starting to fade, especially since people are becoming more aware of different mental conditions.  It’s beneficial that we live in a time where these topics come into conversations and are even addressed in the mainstream media.  Public relations efforts have also added to the efforts of bringing awareness of behavioral health conditions to the masses.  For instance, April has become associated with autism, in the same light how October has been associated with Breast Cancer.

No matter the progress that has been made in terms of shedding light on these conditions.  It could still be a difficult subject to talk about, especially when talking to a friend or loved one.  One thing to remember when discussing the option of a behavioral health facility is to keep the conversation as positive as possible.  Even though the stigma of receiving behavioral health services has been lifted, people may still not be open and accepting of these types of amenities.

There are different motivating factors that would help sway a person to seek out behavioral health services such as: being court ordered, or being influenced by family and friends.  Since most people are influenced by the recommendations of professionals or experts, it might be best to have someone who you think is suffering from a behavioral health disorder to speak with a doctor or mental health professional.  One should keep in mind that this might be a very frightening conversation for some people to have, especially while someone could be reaching out for help.  It is important to reassure someone who is seeking help that you are there for them and can be relied on as an available source of comfort and support.  Who knows, it might be your words or actions that help someone seek the help that they need.

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