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Mental Health vs. Behavioral Health

What is the difference?

Mental Health is the connection between the health and well-being of the body and the mind. Behavioral Health is a larger umbrella that includes mental health. Beyond just the body and mind, behavioral health encompasses the emotions, lifestyle, habits, and behaviors affecting health and well-being.  

In other words, behavioral health includes the relationship between our daily habits (good and bad) and their impact on physical and mental health, including mental health disorders and substance abuse or other addictions

What Do Youth and Child Behavioral Health Workers Do?

Individuals who work in Behavioral Health with children, youth, and families provide a variety of services in various settings. 

  • Services Provided by Entry-level Workers
    Help children and youth learn healthier behaviors (e.g. managing big emotions, dealing with new social situations, etc.) Provide peer support services by drawing on their lived experience and expertise to help others heal and recover from life challenges Provide referrals and linkages to community and public resources (e.g. Medicaid, food banks, housing) Transport and/or accompany clients to appointments or community/public resources
  • Services Provided by Graduate Degree-level Workers
    Provide clinical mental health evaluations and treatment to those living with mental, emotional, or substance abuse challenges, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs Provide individual and group therapy to assist in overcoming varying personal challenges Guide clients in developing skills or strategies for dealing with their problems Provide mental health promotion and education
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  • Services Provided by Entry-level Workers
    Help children and youth learn healthier behaviors (e.g. managing big emotions, dealing with new social situations, etc.) Provide peer support services by drawing on their lived experience and expertise to help others heal and recover from life challenges Provide referrals and linkages to community and public resources (e.g. Medicaid, food banks, housing) Transport and/or accompany clients to appointments or community/public resources
  • Services Provided by Graduate Degree-level Workers
    Provide clinical mental health evaluations and treatment to those living with mental, emotional, or substance abuse challenges, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs Provide individual and group therapy to assist in overcoming varying personal challenges Guide clients in developing skills or strategies for dealing with their problems Provide mental health promotion and education

What Are Some Personality Characteristics & Work Settings for Behavioral Health Workers?

What Are Some Behavioral Health Job Titles? 

Like any other field, job titles in behavioral health vary and often are dependent on the level of formal education. Titles in your city or county may vary. Learn More

  • Services Provided by Entry-level Workers
    Help children and youth learn healthier behaviors (e.g. managing big emotions, dealing with new social situations, etc.) Provide peer support services by drawing on their lived experience and expertise to help others heal and recover from life challenges Provide referrals and linkages to community and public resources (e.g. Medicaid, food banks, housing) Transport and/or accompany clients to appointments or community/public resources
  • Services Provided by Graduate Degree-level Workers
    Provide clinical mental health evaluations and treatment to those living with mental, emotional, or substance abuse challenges, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs Provide individual and group therapy to assist in overcoming varying personal challenges Guide clients in developing skills or strategies for dealing with their problems Provide mental health promotion and education
Job Interview
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Are There Job Opportunities and Good Wages In Behavioral Health?

Behavioral health jobs in California are in high demand and the need continues to rise. Wages vary by city and county and generally increase with more training and education. 

  • Services Provided by Entry-level Workers
    Help children and youth learn healthier behaviors (e.g. managing big emotions, dealing with new social situations, etc.) Provide peer support services by drawing on their lived experience and expertise to help others heal and recover from life challenges Provide referrals and linkages to community and public resources (e.g. Medicaid, food banks, housing) Transport and/or accompany clients to appointments or community/public resources
  • Services Provided by Graduate Degree-level Workers
    Provide clinical mental health evaluations and treatment to those living with mental, emotional, or substance abuse challenges, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs Provide individual and group therapy to assist in overcoming varying personal challenges Guide clients in developing skills or strategies for dealing with their problems Provide mental health promotion and education

How Much Formal Education and/or Training Do You Need to Work in Behavioral Health? 

People who work in the Behavioral Health field are lifelong learners. Learning can happen at a college or university, through on-the-job work training, and from personal life experiences. 

  • Services Provided by Entry-level Workers
    Help children and youth learn healthier behaviors (e.g. managing big emotions, dealing with new social situations, etc.) Provide peer support services by drawing on their lived experience and expertise to help others heal and recover from life challenges Provide referrals and linkages to community and public resources (e.g. Medicaid, food banks, housing) Transport and/or accompany clients to appointments or community/public resources
  • Services Provided by Graduate Degree-level Workers
    Provide clinical mental health evaluations and treatment to those living with mental, emotional, or substance abuse challenges, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs Provide individual and group therapy to assist in overcoming varying personal challenges Guide clients in developing skills or strategies for dealing with their problems Provide mental health promotion and education

What Tools Can Help Me Pursue a Career in Behavioral/Mental Health?

These tools will help you identify work-related interests, what you consider important in a job, and help you explore occupations that relate closely to those attributes.  

  • Services Provided by Entry-level Workers
    Help children and youth learn healthier behaviors (e.g. managing big emotions, dealing with new social situations, etc.) Provide peer support services by drawing on their lived experience and expertise to help others heal and recover from life challenges Provide referrals and linkages to community and public resources (e.g. Medicaid, food banks, housing) Transport and/or accompany clients to appointments or community/public resources
  • Services Provided by Graduate Degree-level Workers
    Provide clinical mental health evaluations and treatment to those living with mental, emotional, or substance abuse challenges, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs Provide individual and group therapy to assist in overcoming varying personal challenges Guide clients in developing skills or strategies for dealing with their problems Provide mental health promotion and education

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For questions e-mail: behavioralhealth@clpccd.org

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