Behavioral Health vs Mental Health

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Behavioral Health vs Mental Health
1
Thu, 12-26-2013 - 9:50am

What do you think of the term behavorial health being used in place of mental health?  It doesn't sit well with the author of this article, she feels that it continues the stigma around mental health: 

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/childinmind/2013/12/why_the_change_from_mental_hea.html?camp=rss:health&dlvrit=834439

What do you think?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Thu, 01-09-2014 - 10:30am

I do not really care for the term "mental health". I think it is vague and often synoymous with "emotional well-being". I think "behavioral health" is a much more accurate term. In terms of achieving "emotional well-being" behavioral changes are often necessary. For example, people will generally "feel better" if they go outside and walk or move instead of sitting at the computer. :)

I disagree with the author that "behavioral health" increases the stigma of "mental illness". I think interchanging the terms "mental health" and "mental illness" creates stigma. Unlike excercising to increase mood or well-being, there are some psychiatric conditions such as post-partum psychosis, which are serious and are not going to go away by themselves. I think calling that an "emotional problem" or a "mental health problem" dilutes the severity. It is a problem, an illness, something that requires additional help and resources. Getting outside and walking isn't going to make a serious mental illness go away. I prefer "psychiatric disability" to "mental illness", but I do not know of an adequate expression.

0.02