Mental and Behavioral Health


Behavioral health is an umbrella term that encompasses mental health and substance use disorders, life stressors and crises, and stress-related physical symptoms. Common behavioral health disorders include eating disorders, gambling addiction, and sex addiction. Mental health generally refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, affecting how we think, feel, and act. Illnesses related to mental health include depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. It’s important to keep in mind that major organizations such as the American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association don’t have formal positions on the difference between behavioral health and mental health. 


Mental and behavioral health profoundly impacts overall well-being, physical health, quality of life, relationships, productivity, and societal functioning; neglecting these aspects can lead to significant personal suffering, impaired functioning, and societal burdens. In 2022, 48.7 million people in the U.S. aged 12 or older reported having a substance use disorder in the past year. More than 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year, and 1 in 20 experience a serious mental illness. One in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year, and 50% of all lifetime mental illnesses begin by age 14. Additionally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-14. 


The understanding of mental and behavioral health has evolved from early stigmatization and institutionalization to modern recognition of the complex interplay between biological, psychological, and social factors. Landmark events include the deinstitutionalization movement, advances in psychotherapy and pharmacology, and growing advocacy for mental health parity and de-stigmatization efforts. Racial/ethnic, gender, and sexual minorities are more likely to suffer from poor mental health due to lack of access to high-quality mental health care services, cultural stigma, and discrimination.


Mental and behavioral health is influenced by socioeconomic disparities, access to healthcare, stigma surrounding mental illness, trauma, substance use, social media, work-related stress, environmental factors, and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to facilitate equitable access to quality mental health services; without which, mental and behavioral health issues can be exacerbated and persist for longer.


Prioritizing mental and behavioral health at a system level promotes overall well-being, decreases healthcare costs, improves quality of life, and fosters resilience. Addressing systemic barriers, reducing stigma, promoting culturally competent care, and the integration of mental health services into primary care can improve mental and behavioral health at scale. At the local level, community leaders can seek funding for community clinics, provide mental health education and awareness programs in schools and workplaces, foster collaboration between healthcare providers, social service agencies, schools and law enforcement, promote wellness through recreational funding, and advocate for policies that prioritize mental health funding. 


Resources & Tools


Screen capture of Prison Alternatives Boosted by Health Impact Assessment webpage
Prison Alternatives Boosted by Health Impact Assessment
Resource
Brought to you by Health Impact Project
Cover page of report
Mental Health, Higher Education, and COVID-19: Strategies for Leaders to Support Campus Well-being
Resource - Report
Brought to you by American Council on Education
Published on 04/08/2020
Cover page for Pain in the Nation report
Pain in the Nation
Resource
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Illustration of six people standing side-by-side, each with a different color shirt (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) and their pronouns written across their chest.
Beyond Allyship: Leveraging Activism Tools to Improve Transgender and Nonbinary Health
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 01/26/2022
Illustration of six people standing side-by-side, each with a different color shirt (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) and their pronouns written across their chest.
Beyond Inclusion: Pronoun Use for Health and Well-Being
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
First page of Colorado SB 20-001: Expand Behavioral Health Training for K-12 Educators Health Note
Colorado SB 20-001: Expand Behavioral Health Training for K-12 Educators
Resource - Report
Brought to you by Health Impact Project
First page of Health Note: Sales and Use Tax for Affordable Housing
Health Note: Sales and Use Tax for Affordable Housing
Resource - Report
Brought to you by Spokane Regional Health District
Cover page for Loneliness among Older Adults resource
Loneliness Among Older Adults
Resource - Report
Brought to you by AARP
Hospitals: Where Full Integration Begins
Hospitals: Where Full Integration Begins
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Two women sitting together. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.
Bright Spot: Seeking Safety for Adults
Resource - Model Policy
Brought to you by 100MHL
Screen capture of BRFSS image: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System ACE Data
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System ACE Data
Resource - Data Bank/repository
First page of
The Time to Act Is Now: Investing in LGBTQIA2S+ Student Mental Health in K-12 Schools With a Youth-Centered Approach
Resource - Journal Article
Brought to you by Society for Public Health Education
person supporting another person Photo by Rémi Walle on Unsplash
Bright Spot: Matrix Model
Resource - Model Policy
Brought to you by 100MHL
PDF Cover: Well-Being and Mental Wellness
Well-Being and Mental Wellness
Resource - Journal Article
Brought to you by OUP
Screen capture of 'Interactive Summary Health Statistics for Adults' webpage
Interactive Summary Health Statistics for Adults
Resource - Data Bank/repository
Brought to you by CDC National Center for Health Statistics
Screen capture of website photo: Native and Indigenous Communities and Mental Health
Native And Indigenous Communities And Mental Health
Resource - Website/webpage
Brought to you by MHA
Cover page of A Review of the Domains of Well-Being for Young People report
A Review of the Domains of Well-Being for Young People
Resource - Report
Brought to you by Urban Institute
Screen capture of Climate Change and Mental Health Interventions Workshop landing page
Climate Change and Mental Health Interventions Workshop
Resource - Webinar
Brought to you by APHA
Immigrants mental health fact sheet
Focus Population: Immigrants
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Screen shot of the front cover of the report
Tackling America’s Mental Health and Addiction Crisis Through Primary Care Integration
Resource - Report
Brought to you by Bipartisan Policy Center Inc.
youth skateboarding Photo by Daria Tumanova on Unsplash
Bright Spot: Seeking Safety for Adolescents
Resource - Model Policy
Brought to you by 100MHL
Screen capture of Health People 2030: Mental Health and Mental Disorders
Healthy People 2030: Mental Health and Mental Disorders
Resource - Assessment
Brought to you by ODPHP
Screenshot of Depression and Heart Disease
Depression and Heart Disease
Resource - Website/webpage
Brought to you by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Screen capture of Mental Health at Work webpage
Mental Health at Work
Resource - Fact Sheet
Screen capture of Disparities in Suicide webpage
Disparities in Suicide
Resource - Website/webpage
Brought to you by CDC
Screen capture of Young People of Color Support Guide
Young People of Color Support Guide
Resource - Guide/handbook
two men talking Photo by NONRESIDENT on Unsplash
Bright Spot: Applied Suicide Prevention Skills (ASIST)
Resource - Model Policy
Brought to you by 100MHL
Focus Population: Pregnant and Postpartum Women
Focus Population: Pregnant and Postpartum Women
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
First page of Strengthening Behavioral Health Services Through Partnerships and Data Integration journal article
Strengthening Behavioral Health Services Through Partnerships and Data Integration
Resource - Journal Article
Brought to you by Springer
Screen capture of Decolonizing the Mind video
Decolonizing the Mind
Resource - Webinar
Screen capture of Interactive Summary Health Statistics for Adults, by Detailed Race and Ethnicity webpage
Interactive Summary Health Statistics for Adults, by Detailed Race and Ethnicity
Resource - Data Bank/repository
Brought to you by CDC National Center for Health Statistics
First page of Age of Onset of Mental Disorders: A Review of Recent Literature
Age of Onset of Mental Disorders: A Review of Recent Literature
Resource - Journal Article
Brought to you by Wolters Kluwer
Community Mental Health Centers: Closing Gaps in Care
Community Mental Health Centers: Closing Gaps in Care
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
three people looking at a phone
Promising Policies: Multisolving for Mental Well-being and Equitable Economies
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by Community Commons
Black woman doing yoga on a beach Photo by Gabrielle Elleirbag on Unsplash
Bright Spot: CLEAR: Choosing Life: Empowerment! Action! Results!
Resource - Model Policy
Brought to you by 100MHL
Screen capture of Seize the Awkward home page
Seize the Awkward
Resource - Website/webpage
First page of Young Adults and Public Health brief
Young Adults and Public Health
Resource - Policy Brief
Screenshot of webpage
Greater Good's Guide to Well-Being During Coronavirus
Resource - Website/webpage
Brought to you by Greater Good Science Center
Managing isolation and loneliness during COVID-19
Managing Isolation and Loneliness During COVID-19
Resource - Website/webpage
Brought to you by Mass.gov
Screen grab of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive
Resource - Website/webpage
Brought to you by SAMHSA
Screen capture of The Impact of COVID-19 on Student Mental Health web page
The Impact of COVID-19 on Student Mental Health
Resource
Brought to you by Active Minds
First page of Colorado SB 20-014: Excused Absences in Public Schools for Behavioral Health Health Note
Colorado SB 20-014: Excused Absences in Public Schools for Behavioral Health
Resource - Report
Brought to you by Health Impact Project
Screen capture of What is Neurodiversity? webpage
What Is Neurodiversity?
Resource - Website/webpage
Screen grab of COVID's Impact on Mental Health
COVID's Impact on Mental Health
Resource - Webinar
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
First page of Increasing Equity in Access to Mental Health Care: A Critical First Step in Improving Service Quality journal article
Increasing Equity in Access to Mental Health Care: A Critical First Step in Improving Service Quality
Resource - Journal Article
Brought to you by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
First page of Colorado SB 18-024: Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Care Providers Health Note
Colorado SB 18-024: Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Care Providers
Resource - Report
Brought to you by Health Impact Project
Screen capture of The Intersection of Community Development & Mental Health
The Intersection of Community Development and Mental Health
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Build Healthy Places Network
Investing in Student Mental Health: Opportunities
Investing in Student Mental Health: Opportunities & Benefits for College Leadership
Resource - Policy Brief
Brought to you by American Council on Education
screenshot of the homepage of the resource
GLSEN Pronoun Guide
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by GLSEN
screenshot of the front page of the report
A People’s Guide to Healing the Nation
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
First page of Police-Recorded Crime and Disparities in Obesity and Blood Pressure Status in Chicago
Police-Recorded Crime and Disparities in Obesity and Blood Pressure Status in Chicago
Resource - Journal Article
Brought to you by American Heart Association
Cover of The Healthy Minds Study Fall 2020 Data Report
The Healthy Minds Study Fall 2020 Data Report
Resource - Report
Brought to you by Healthy Minds Network
Published on 02/01/2021
Cover page of Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults
Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults
Resource - Report
Brought to you by NAP
Basic Needs: Freedom from Trauma, Violence, and Addiction
Resource - Report
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Primary Care: A Gateway to Mental Health Care
Primary Care: A Gateway to Mental Health Care
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Staff Pick!
Cover of Alcohol and Drug Misuse and Suicide an the Millennial Generation - a Devastating Impact
Alcohol and Drug Misuse and Suicide an the Millennial Generation - a Devastating Impact
Resource - Policy Brief
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Screen shot of top of webpage: Firearms and Suicide Prevention
Firearms and Suicide Prevention
Resource - Website/webpage
PDF Cover: The Medicine Wheel Revisited: Reflections on Indigenization in Counseling and Education
The Medicine Wheel Revisited: Reflections on Indigenization in Counseling and Education
Resource - Journal Article
Brought to you by SAGE Publications
four teens with colored paint on hands and faces Photo by Patrick Buck on Unsplash
Bright Spot: Teen Outreach Program
Resource - Model Policy
Brought to you by 100MHL
Screen shot of the front cover of the report
The Mental Health Effects of Racism
Resource - Fact Sheet
Screenshot of The Role Youth and Young Adults Play in Mental Health Legislation
The Role Youth and Young Adults Play in Mental Health Legislation
Resource - Blog
Brought to you by Active Minds
Screen capture of Resources for Social Connection — Current Priorities of the U.S. Surgeon General webpage
Resources for Social Connection — Current Priorities of the U.S. Surgeon General
Resource - Data Bank/repository
Brought to you by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Screen capture of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System webpage
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
Resource - Website/webpage
Brought to you by CDC
Screen capture of Prioritizing Minority Mental Health webpage
Prioritizing Minority Mental Health
Resource - Website/webpage
First page of Defining Key Concepts: Access, Coverage, Standards
Defining Key Concepts: Access, Coverage, Standards
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
First page of Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Health of College Students
Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Health of College Students
Resource - Journal Article
Published on 06/08/2021
PDF Cover: SAMHSA's Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach
SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by SAMHSA
Focus Population: Native Americans
Focus Population: Native Americans
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Focus Population: LGBTQ People
Focus Population: LGBTQ People
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Focus Population: Veterans
Focus Population: Veterans
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Shareable Resources on Coping with COVID-19
Shareable Resources on Coping with COVID-19
Resource - Website/webpage
Brought to you by NIH
Webpage of Detox Local
Detox Local
Resource - Website/webpage
Focus Population: Unhoused Individuals
Focus Population: Unhoused Individuals
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Focus Populations: Addressing Unique Needs
Focus Populations: Addressing Unique Needs
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Photo of two people sharing a bench. Photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash
Bright Spot: Prize Incentives Contingency Management for Substance Abuse
Resource - Model Policy
Brought to you by 100MHL
caregiver touching arm of elderly man holding a ball
Bringing the Vital Conditions to Life: Basic Needs for Health and Safety
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 01/30/2020
Community Commons interns at the zoo
To Improve Student Health and Well-Being Focus on Mental Health
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Masked college student with dark coily hair, sitting in a large well-lit lecture hall
College Student Mental Health Equity during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Screen capture of Mental Health Crisis Centers and EmPATH Units: Offering Care That Busy ERs Can’t article
Mental Health Crisis Centers and EmPATH Units: Offering Care That Busy ERs Can’t
Story - Written
Brought to you by STAT
Published on 04/26/2024
open streets Detroit street art
Closing a Street, Opening a Community
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Screen shot of Stop Conflating Mass Shootings With Mental Illness article
Stop Conflating Mass Shootings With Mental Illness
Story - Written
Brought to you by The Seattle Times
screenshot of the front page of the story
The Pandemic Did Not Affect Mental Health the Way You Think
Story - Original
Brought to you by The Atlantic
photo of a wooden sculpture of a hand holding up a large tree
Community of Support
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 03/23/2020
Close-up photo of two people holding hands, and rainbow light reflected on their hands.
LGBTQ+ People and Identity-Based Stress
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Photo of pharmacy shelves stocked with boxes of medication
Growing Accessibility of Opioids in Rural Areas
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 02/21/2017
hands reaching toward word community with a red lighting background
Social Connection Advances Community Well Being
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 12/11/2019
on Being Podcast Page
Happiness as Human Flourishing
Story - Audio
Brought to you by On Being
laboratory stand with various vaping devices photo from Unsplash by from CDC
E-cigarettes and Vaping: The New Tobacco Battleground
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 01/30/2020
three students sitting at a counter while working on computer
Using Dialogue to Grow Campus Well-Being
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Hand with rainbow connections. Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash
Cross-Cutting Themes: Working Across the Vital Conditions
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Blue banner with the All-America Cities icon and titles that read
Commons Good Podcast: Thamara LaBrousse, Tracey-Ann Anthony, and Tamara Wadley of Miami Gardens
Story - Audio
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 08/24/2021
Students standing around therapy dog
The Student Stress Crisis: What is Portland State Doing to Make a Difference?
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Close-up photo of a person's hands holding a cell phone.
Telemental Health Provides Opportunity to Improve Population Mental Health
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
four people sitting on a stone bench listening Photo by Kate Kalvach on Unsplash
Bringing the Vital Conditions to Life: Belonging & Civic Muscle
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Screen capture of Mental Health Awareness Month Toolkit landing page
Mental Health Awareness Month Toolkit
Tool - Toolkit/toolbox
Screen capture of map of locations: PTSD Program Locations
PTSD Program Locations
Tool - Data/mapping Tool
Screenshot of Mental Health America: Adult Data 2022 webpage
Mental Health America: Adult Data 2022
Tool - Data/mapping Tool

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Adverse Childhood Experiences

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Accessibility

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Autism

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