Mental health and substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life and all age groups. These illnesses are common, recurrent, and often serious, but they are treatable and many people do recover. Mental disorders involve changes in thinking, mood, and/or behavior. These disorders can affect how we relate to others and make choices (SAMHSA).
Behavioral health treatments are ways of helping people with mental illnesses or substance use disorders. For example, counseling and more specialized psychotherapies seek to change behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and how people see and understand situations.
Medications for mental and substance use disorders provide significant relief for many people and help manage symptoms to the point where people can use other strategies to pursue recovery.
For many people, the most effective behavioral health approach involves a combination of counseling and medication.
Early treatment is best. A trained professional should do a full evaluation to make the diagnosis. No single treatment works best. Treatments must address each person’s needs and symptoms.