Behavioral Health vs Mental Health: What’s the Difference?

The unrecognizable female teacher is happy when the teenage boy smiles and welcomes an unrecognizable male student.

StarMed is rolling out affordable behavioral health services soon — and we couldn’t be more excited. Because behavioral and mental health is just as important as physical health.

We thought we’d start by explaining a bit more about behavioral health. Specifically….how is it different than mental health? 

Keep reading to learn!

Behavioral health vs. mental health

The easiest way to explain the difference is that behavioral health describes the connection between behaviors and the health and well-being of the body and mind. This would include how behaviors like eating habits, drinking or exercising impact physical or mental health. Mental health is one important component of behavioral health.

Behavioral health refers to the way your habits affect your mental and physical health and wellness. Behavioral health disorders can include substance abuse, eating disorders, gambling addiction, and sex addiction. Each of these conditions stems from destructive behaviors. Behavioral health disorders may also include ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, and autism. 

Behavioral health disorders involve a pattern of disruptive or destructive behavior that lasts several months or more. It isn’t a spur-of-the-moment action, but rather a pattern that has built up over time.

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Mental health refers to a person’s emotional, social, and psychological wellness. It affects how we think and feel, relate to others, and handle stress. Mental health conditions refer to disorders of an individual’s mood, behavior, or thinking. Mental health disorders include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors.

Mental health is an important element of behavioral health. And effective behavioral health treatment includes mental health.

For example, you might experience anxiety or depression — and would naturally think of those as mental health disorders. But how do these disorders show up in our lives? How do they impact our daily actions? Is there a lack of motivation from depression that’s preventing us from following through with our goals? Does the anxiety manifest itself physically in the form of stomach issues or headaches?

Behavioral health addresses the whole picture — the mind-body connection. And when we treat mental health disorders from the larger behavioral health perspective, we can find true healing. 

We can learn to face and cope with trauma. We can implement healthy habits and lifestyle changes that support every aspect of our wellness. We can finally follow through on our goals and create the lives we’ve always wanted.

Behavioral health goes beyond just mental health. 

StarMed is launching affordable behavioral health care for all ages

With regular counseling sessions, our professional, licensed behavioral health providers are here to help you cope with trauma, manage anxiety and depression, and help you establish internal healing so that you can live the life you’ve always wanted to.

Stay up to date on when we launch behavioral health at