The Benefits and Challenges of Behavioral Health Treatment

The term Behavioral Health was coined almost 40 years ago. However, over time, the meaning of this word has evolved. Most people use behavioral health as a synonym for mental health, whereas there is a difference between the two.

Mental health deals with a person’s mental state or psychology but behavioral health deals with the habits a person possesses, such as eating patterns, sleeping patterns, the lifestyle choices they make. etc. If a person struggles with a mental health issue, it can be comorbid with behavioral health problems and physical health issues. According to estimates, 70 percent mental health issues exist in correlation with behavioral health issues. Therefore behavioral health treatment centers or services have become essential to combat the disease.

According to a study, around 44 million people struggle from mental health-related problems every year but only 40 percent of these are able to receive treatment. There are several reasons that contribute to people not seeking help for mental disorders. While 60 percent of the people do not seek treatment because of the associated social stigma, others do not seek treatment as they remain undiagnosed, do not have the money, lack the access to a reliable mental health facility, or do not have credible behavioral health centers near them.

Behavioral Health Services

Behavioral health services are not limited to mental health treatment programs. With its evolving scope, the range of services offered has only increased. Some of these services include:

Psychiatric
Psychology
Mental health counseling
Family and marriage counseling
Substance abuse treatment including prevention, recovery and intervention
Chronic disease management

Understanding Behavioral Health

Behavioral health refers to the relationship between daily habits (good and bad) and how they affect physical and mental health. Ideally, good habits (healthy eating, exercise, and sleep patterns) lead to a balance between good physical and mental health. On the contrary, bad habits often lead to poor physical and mental health.

Based on lifestyle choices made, behavioral disorders might include:

Living in unhygienic conditions
Eating disorder
Social isolation
Sleep disorder (sleeping too less or too much)
Substance abuse including drug, alcohol or chemical dependency
Addictive behavior such as gambling, sex, compulsive shopping, etc.

Why It Is So Difficult To Seek Treatment?

Most people do not seek help for behavioral disorders because they remain in denial. It is difficult for them to accept that they have a problem. Some people believe that it is a choice that they have made and therefore it cannot be called a problem. The reasons for not seeking treatment can be myriad and varied. Some of the other reasons may include:

Social Stigma and embarrassment
Fear of getting judged by society
Not being able to recognize symptoms effectively
Lack of trust and support
Feelings of loneliness and hopelessness

What Are The Benefits Of Seeking Treatment?

Behavioral health disorders are complex and require customized treatment, but it is difficult to convince patients to seek treatment. However, knowing about the benefits of treatment can provide the needed nudge to seek treatment. The advantages of seeking treatment are as follows:

Improves quality of life
Combats mental illness from its root
Improves personal and professional relationships
Reduces chances of complications especially for addiction-related problems
Improves productivity
Mitigates risk of medical issues

What Are The Treatment Options Available?

A treatment plan for behavioral health disorder may be a combination of the multiple therapies, the most important of which would be group therapy. Encouragement and support groups provide personal therapy that helps the patient understand themselves and their goals better. Group therapy also provides patients with contacts of others who have or are facing similar problems. Interacting with such persons helps the patient realize that they are not alone. It also provides them with the required moral support to take care of themselves and seek and continue treatment. However, the customized treatment programs require an effort from multiple types of professionals. These professionals may include:

Psychiatrists: These service providers can address a wide range of issues. They deal with psychiatry on various aspects such as adolescence issues, childhood struggles, or substance abuse. They prescribe medications to treat behavioral health disorders.

Psychologists: These professionals have experience in psychology consulting. This also includes clinical psychology. They carry out diagnostic work and conduct psychotherapy to treat the patient’s condition.

Social workers: They assist through government run programs. They work in a variety of fields related to children mental health, substance abuse, and mental health in the less privileged society.

Licensed professional counselors: These counselors usually specialize in treating patients with psychotherapy. These professionals may focus on specific areas of behavioral health, such as family problems, substance abuse, and relationship issues.

Residential treatment centers: These are inpatient treatment centers where people are allowed to reside under 24/7 medical supervision. The patients undergo a personalized treatment plan as per the severity and duration of the disorder. These centers provide a controlled environment for the treatment and combat relapse.

The Impact of Technology in the Classroom

How has the use of technology impacted teaching and learning in the PK-16 classroom?When is comes to behaviorism technology has made it even easier. It used to be just like Pavlov’s dog, when the student does something right they get praised verbally or with a good grade versus a treat or a scratch behind the ear. Shaping behavior is important and we need to ensure there is a baseline. Technology almost guarantees that specific learning will take place as the objectives are determined by the teacher. Teachers can set specific goals and the students will know what they need to do to get there. Benjamin Bloom first came up with the idea that the student will succeed in learning the task if they are given a specific time to do it. Technology allows for you to more easily chunk lessons into specific times. Students will perform better, especially when they succeed and get the praise of the teacher. Although the stimulus is provided by the teacher, it will do no good if the students do not receive it equally. (Snowman & Biehler, 2003)
Other ways computers assist is that they offer the ability for repetition and feedback to the student. Teachers can also incorporate the appropriate enforcer’s to the lesson whether it is text, video or audio. The student does the task right they can get a smiley face , text telling them they are “Correct” or audio saying “Good Job!”. (Parkay & Stanford 2004)Social Learning is learning occurs when students learn from each other whether it be through modeling, imitation or observing within the social context. How can you do that with technology? Normally the students work on their own computer, but you can have them do a group project. When students do a project together they will observe how other groups are proceeding and imitate them if it is working well. The teacher usually also models what they are requiring the students to accomplish. Even when working individually the students will assist each other as one knows more than another.There are cognitive factors in social learning as well as behaviorism. There is a clear line between learning by observation and student imitation. The cognitive process maintains that the attention of the student is the critical factor in the learning process. The expectations and consequences that are reinforced will bring about similar future behavior. (Ornstien & Lasley 2000)
Cognitive learning is learning that occurs when a learner process information. This is similar to behaviorism but the student has more input to accomplish how they reach the planned outcome. The teacher can model a project but the student may have other information that will aid them in accomplishing the outcome. An example would be how I instructed my students how to set up an Excel spreadsheet. I had them set up a basic spreadsheet showing how much their parents spent on them in a month. This was relevant to the students and caught their interest. They went beyond the initial project and had boarders, colors, etc. on their spreadsheets. The students who did this were praised aloud and the other students wanted to know what they did and how. This tied in the social learning as well as the behaviorism theory (Didn’t even realize it at the time).When is comes to designing and developing lessons to incorporate technology the constructionist have the nod. Seymour Papert of the MIT Media Lab stated,”Constructionism holds that children learn best when they are in the active role of the designer and constructor.” When the student is actively involved they have the buy-in to the success of the project or assignment. The students will be more apt to complete and learn more from it when they have some ownership. The students in turn will share their new found information when doing the assignment with the other students allowing for the constructionist learning. This form of teaching eliminates the grade and goes more with a go, no go process. Teachers assess the students by the completion of the assignment or lack of completion. This is better because of students being able to play a greater role in the process and assessing their own progress.We teach ourselves how to learn. This is the constructivism theory on how we learn. With technology this couldn’t be truer. Most students have a basic understanding of the computer. They can download songs, play games and set up Myspace web page. What they can not do is build a spreadsheet or power point presentation. The teacher will give them a basic understanding but the students will learn from trial and error and construct their own learning.History of the computer use in the classroom started off slow. Saloman and Globerson (1987) suggested that underachievement in schools is because of the lower expectations on the part of the teachers, parents, and society. That was because the teachers themselves really hadn’t been exposed to the marvels of what a computer and the associated software could do for them. The Commodore 64, Apple II along with the Macintosh began their strong emergence in the early 80′s. Software programmers had a vision about the computer and how it could be used in the classroom. They developed software that teachers could use along with their instruction. Apple began teaching the teachers and Macintosh soon followed suit. This was the beginning of incorporating the use of computers in the classroom. (Jonassen 2000)Using computers in the classroom allows for all the learning theories to come to fruition. A computer allows for the cognitive process to bloom and brings about the social learning as well. When a student is given an assignment or project on the computer they will strive to complete it. The different things they learn they will share with other students especially if they think it is the bomb, cool or whack. On the flip side it can inhibit learning if the student is completely computer illiterate as frustration sets in as they cannot proceed as well as others. The computer also allows the teacher to develop lessons for all the multiple intelligences.With the advances computers and programs are taking on a daily basis, it is allowing for more interaction in the classroom(s). It is even allowing students from different schools to interact. Technology also allows for time to be better utilized, the outcomes of the objectives to be more easily determined and goals easy to implement and automate.

Add Fun to Your Gaming by Playing Social Games Online

People all around the world play games online or have interest in playing different games while sitting online in front of the computer screens. Usually the online games people play is through Facebook apps or other social networking web sites. Playing online game is a very interesting and entertaining time pass and helps kill the boredom when there is nothing to do.Online gaming websites are the best platforms for people who enjoy playing online games. It is not a few games that you will get to play every day but there is a vast variety of quality online games such as action, adventure, and strategy. If you think to add more fun to it then you will be glad to know that you can socialize with your friends while playing these games as well. People are looking to socialize with each other through every way possible there have been a lot of social networking sites made to keep people all around the world connected. Usually this every day interaction and dull chats someday get dry and boring and start to fade out.Therefore, just to keep the fun and charm alive in the socializing, these networking channels started adding applications and online social games so that the users can interact with each other through online social games, too. Now playing games together is much more fun than just sitting in front of a wall post or messenger box and posting silly lines. It adds some sort of charm to the socializing and keeps the fun alive between users.The social game online site usually includes about more than a thousands of games, categorized under different tabs. There are action games, which include many games like shooting and war, etc. There are role-playing games and puzzle games and a lot more games under one web channel.Most popular social games are the Farmville on Facebook and the Poker. People from all around the world play games like that, build their own farm, and add neighbors. It is a very interesting and entertaining way to interact with your friends through a game like that when you ask if they could visit your farm once so you can get experience points.New the interesting part about the social game online site is that you can connect to your Facebook account and play with your friends or invite them to the game and get them started as well. If you are looking free games then this platform is one of the best to find free games online. The site includes lots and many games and free with a vast variety of categories to play in as well.If you are new to sites like that and have never played before then you can get started without any registration or entry. You will not have to pay from your credit card to start playing games because they are free and you can open your page, connect from your Facebook account, and start playing whenever you want to.