Behavioral Health Resource Center

Icon representing behavioral health Behavioral or mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. Higher levels of well-being are associated with decreased risk of disease, illness, and injury; better immune functioning; speedier recovery; and increased longevity. Additionally, behavioral health plays a major role in people’s ability to maintain good physical health.

Behavioral Health Overview Video

More Information on Behavioral Health

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Many different factors can affect your behavioral or mental health. They include:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems
  • Lifestyle, such as diet, physical activity, and substance use

Specific actions can help maintain or improve your behavioral health. Activities range from simple steps you can take each day to more detailed action. They include: 

  • Staying positive
  • Having gratitude
  • Taking care of your physical health
    • Be physically active
    • Get enough sleep
    • Practice healthy eating habits
  • Connecting with others
  • Cultivating a sense of meaning or purpose in your life
  • Developing and implementing coping skills
  • Meditation
  • Using relaxation techniques

Icon representing a brain Below is a list of some common behavioral health issues you or someone you know may experience. Please remember that only medical professionals can diagnose an individual for a behavioral or behavioral health issue. Medical professionals should also be consulted before any treatment is considered.
Anxiety Disorder: When a person responds to certain objects or situations with fear or dread that can be both psychological and physical. The person's anxious response may be irrational, uncontrollable, or begin to alter that person's life in an effort to avoid the anxiety. Disorders include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Eating Disorders: When a person experiences extreme emotions, attitudes and behaviors towards weight, food, and body image. Disorders include:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating
  • Bulimia

Substance Use Disorders: When a person uses substances or is dependent on a substance. Substance use disorders may be experienced along with depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, or a personality disorder.

Mood Disorders/Affective Disorders: When a person feels constantly sad, has a loss of interest in key parts of life, or fluctuates between extreme lows of sadness and extreme highs of happiness. In addition, the person’s emotional state is affected every day by the disorder. Disorders include: 

  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Self-Harm

Suicidal Behavior: When individuals harm or attempt to harm themselves with the intention of ending their own life. There are often – but not always – warning signs to suicidal thoughts and actions.  

Talk with your Primary Care Provider. In addition, it may be helpful to: 

  • Write down your questions ahead of time
  • Record what medications you take
  • Know your family history
  • Bring a trusted friend or family member with you
  • Be honest and open
  • Ask any questions you may have


  • Commonly has a master's degree and may have a license or certification. Note that requirements vary by state 
  • May help with understanding and coping with thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  • May be able to diagnosis and assess mental health conditions


  • Has a doctoral degree and is licensed by the boards in the provider's state
  • May make diagnoses, provide individual and group therapy 
  • May use CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) or other methods


  • Has a doctoral degree and residency training
  • Licensed by the provider's state and may be board certified as well
  • May prescribe and monitor medication
  • May diagnose mental health conditions
  • May provide therapy

Psychiatric or Behavioral/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner:

  • Has a master’s or doctoral degree
  • Licensed by the state the provider is in
  • May have licenses: National Council Licensure Examination or Board Certification
  • May assess or diagnosis mental health conditions or disorders
  • May provide therapy
  • In some states, may be allowed to prescribe and monitor medication

Primary Care Provider:

  • Has a doctoral degree and can prescribe some medication but is not specialized
  • Licensed in the state in which the provider practices
  • Works with mental health professionals as a team

Family Nurse Practitioner:

  • Has a master’s or doctoral degree
  • Licensed in the state in which the provider practices
  • May also have National Council Licensure Examination or Board Certified 
  • May prescribe medication but is not specialized
  • Works along with mental health professional 

How to Find a Provider

To find a behavioral health practitioner, click on Find a Doctor at the top of the page and search under “Behavioral/Mental Health.”

State Health Plan Benefits 

For information and details regarding behavioral health, behavioral health, and substance use disorder benefits and services, please visit the Employee Benefits page and refer to your plan’s Benefits Booklet for the Base PPO Plan (70/30) or Enhanced PPO Plan (80/20) as appropriate.

Free Resources:  

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Online Chat
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - SAMHSA National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741)
  • HOPE4NC: A Crisis Counseling Program tailored for COVID-19 
    • Call: 1-855-587-3463 
    • Text "hope" to 1-855-587-3463

Headway Behavioral Health

The State Health Plan’s third-party administrator, Blue Cross NC, has started a partnership with Headway, a new behavioral health provider. Headway allows members (age 13+) to get the best behavioral health clinician for their needs and preferences. This service is for members on the Enhanced PPO Plan (80/20) and Base PPO Plan (70/30). In addition, the service includes one-click booking of appointments as well as price transparency on the copay. All providers available via Headway are Clear Pricing Project Providers resulting in a $0 copay. State Health Plan members that are North Carolina residents may find a provider and schedule an appointment through the “Find a Doctor” tool or via the Headway website.

To receive a referral, fill out this behavioral health referral form or call 800-367-6143.