As behavioral and mental health overlap, so do the professions. Here is some clarification. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, research showed that more than 50 million adults in the U.S. lived with behavioral health problems. This number is likely to have increased dramatically.
The pandemic affected residents in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. During the initial phase, many older people were severely limited in their ability to socialize to protect themselves from the virus. As a result, their behavioral health and mental well-being suffered.
Behavioral Health vs. Mental Health
Although these terms are used synonymously, both refer to different conditions. Behavioral health is directly concerned with how people’s daily habits influence their mental and physical well-being. Behavioral health problems include substance abuse, disordered eating, and a tendency to isolate.
On the other hand, mental health focuses on a person’s state of mind. Behaviors are only one consideration in this context.
What Does a Behavioral Health Professional Do?
Behavioral Health Professionals work in different fields, some of the relevant professions include:
- Clinical psychologists
- Licensed mental health counselors
- Licensed clinical social workers
- Licensed mental health nurse practitioners
- Other counselors and clinicians
Each of those professionals specializes in different aspects of behavioral health care, depending on their background, training, and research interests.
For assisted living facilities, it is essential to work with a professional focused on elderly patients in community settings. Behavioral Health professionals will design and manage a program tailored to a facility’s needs.
What is Behavioral Health Science?
Behavioral health science studies how humans behave and interact with each other. Relevant degree programs cover decision-making and group processes, for example.
Researchers consider best practices to help establish and maintain positive behaviors. They make it easy for clients to choose positive over detrimental approaches. Behavioral health science also investigates how the brain affects our day-to-day actions and choices. Plus, it covers cultural influences such as social injustice and diversity.
Behavioral health professionals also understand the role of family dynamics and trauma. They can spot detrimental behaviors and address them by offering resources and counseling to those affected.
What is Community Behavioral Health?
The community setting of assisted living facilities is well suited to offering behavioral health services. Community behavioral health professionals develop programs that support the integration of all residents.
Isolation and loneliness have been identified as significant contributors to behavioral health problems in elderly care. Creating opportunities to overcome these problems is one of the critical areas of community behavioral health care. It is essential after two years of living through a pandemic.
Another critical aspect is behavioral health counseling. Talking through emotions can help identify the root causes of problematic behaviors. Once those causes are clear, it becomes easier for the behavioral health professional and their client to alleviate them.
Offering a well-designed behavioral health program benefits all residents of an assisted living facility, no matter how much they rely on professional support. Even independent, active residents often struggle with the transition into assisted living. Having access to support helps them develop healthy habits from day one.
Not every facility has resident behavioral health professionals. Partnering with a proven, experienced care provider like TrueCare™ is an excellent solution for assisted living residences.
TrueCare™’s Behavioral Health program has been customized for assisted living facilities and approved by Medicare. As a result, it is available at no cost to you and your residents.
Our team of behavioral health professionals starts by offering residents an assessment to identify potentially problematic habits. Based on the findings of this consultation, we work with your team and your residents to encourage healthy behaviors.
As a result, the quality of care improves, and residents enjoy their life to the fullest.
The TrueCare Behavioral Health platform offers a comprehensive, in-person, Medicare-accepted program—building an environment where residents can grow stronger emotionally and help build a healthier community.