Do you need help for a behavioral health (mental health and substance use disorders) issue?

You're not alone.

September 30, 2022

It takes courage to admit you need help. Lending a hand to someone else who needs help can be just as tough. If you’re confused about what you or others are experiencing, that makes sense. The terms – "behavioral health" (BH) and “mental health” – are often used interchangeably. But they don't always mean the same thing. Mental health refers to a people’s psychological state. BH, on the other hand, refers to people’s state of mind and their physical condition.

Not sure whether you or someone you know needs help? We can help. Here are answers to some common questions about BH issues.

What are the signs that I may need BH support?

Everyone feels stress from time to time. But when you have feelings of distress often and in ways that affect your mood and behavior, you may want to get help. Other key signs are fatigue, feeling hopeless, frequent anxiety or a feeling that you lack control over your feelings.

How do I know when someone else needs help?

When someone shares that they feel worried and anxious, it’s likely a good time to urge them to get help. But when someone doesn’t share their feelings openly, you may want to look for these warning signs:

  • Trouble finishing routine tasks
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feeling irritable
  • Loss of interest in things they used to enjoy
  • Loss of memory

Are there ways to cope on my own?

Try things, like meditation or mindfulness, that may help you relax. And get moving! Exercise has benefits that go well beyond your physical health. It’s a proven and effective way to take your mind off stressors and release endorphins that help you feel better

What if self-care strategies aren’t enough?

There are many treatments available. What’s best for you depends on how serious your symptoms are. Therapies your provider may talk with you about include:

  • Outpatient treatments, like group and family sessions or talk therapy
  • Medication
  • Inpatient therapy if you need complex care

When you need help

Your primary care provider (PCP) is a great place to start if you think you need help. You can tell your PCP what you’re feeling, and your PCP can offer tips to help. You can visit an in-network BH professional without a referral. But your PCP may have suggestions about providers in your area who may be helpful.

Help in an urgent mental health emergency

Reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime at 988. Counselors are ready to listen, understand and offer support. Call, text or chat 988.