What is? What are?
Person experiencing severe distress associated with the onset of, or including the signs/symptoms of psychiatric problems.
Addiction is defined as the inability to control a psychological or physiological dependence on a substance or activity that further leads to self harm.
A person who provides information and support to and on behalf of another person in different areas, including rights and responsibilities.
In terms of mental health, assessment is an evaluation of a person’s mental, emotional and social capabilities. The major goals of assessment are to:
- Identify factors that suggest vulnerability
- Select the best treatment
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment and make future recommendations.
A Care Plan is a devised map of action that identifies the needs and strengths of a consumer. From this plan interventions are developed collaboratively and goals identified to meet the consumer’s needs as well as providing referrals for any health professional that can assist with this process.
A term used to describe the gradual worsening of a condition.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
A short-term goal oriented psychological treatment. It stresses the importance of thoughts in controlling behaviour and mood.
Community mental health team
Comprises of a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker and occupational therapist.
The co-occurrence of two or more disorders
A person utilizing, or who has utilised, a mental health service.
A Counsellor is a health professional that provides supportive listening and emotional support to individuals dealing with difficulties of varied nature as well as support given to families.
A belief, contrary to culturally accepted reality, firmly held in spite of external evidence to the contrary and common in paranoid disorders.
The determination that the set of symptoms or problems of a person indicates a particular disorder which is described in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV).
Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
The 5th edition of a manual produced by the American Psychiatric Association to define and classify mental and personality disorders.
ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy)
It is often recommended in treatment of severe depression or acute psychosis when other treatments are considered too risky or ineffective.
The ability to produce a desired therapeutic effect that does more good than harm for the patient as seen in clinical trials.
A drug or chemical that further leads a person to experience hallucinations. Drugs that cause this effect include LSD and methamphetamine.
Hallucinations are the perceptive experience that involves sensing things while being alert and/ or awake which appear to be real, however are created by the mind.
An impairment is any loss of function directly resulting from psychiatric problems.
This involves managing clinical and administrative tasks such as triage and/or assessment.
The act of taking initiative in order to modify and improve a health related matter.
An emotional state of intense unfounded elation evidenced in talkativeness, flight of ideas and distractibility, grandiose plans and spurts of purposeless activity. It is considered a component of ‘bipolar disorder’ in DSM V.
Clinically, a recognized and diagnosable mental illness with a specific set of symptoms meeting certain criteria in the DSM V. Legally, refers to short, acute disruptions in a person’s functioning due to a life crisis (according to Mental Health Act 2007).
A state of wellbeing, in which the individual can acheive their full potential, cope with the everyday stresses in life, have fulfiling relationships and participate in the society.
Cultural differences and subjectivity affect the way we define ‘Mental health’.
Mental health literacy
Mental health literacy is the ability to recognize specific disorders, knowing how to seek mental health information; knowledge of risk factors and causes, professional help available and attitudes that promote recognition and appropriate help seeking.
A systematic effort to provide mental health and well being services to individuals in need.
The general term for delusions of persecution, grandiosity or both, found in several pathological conditions.
The period immediately before and after birth. It generally starts at the 20th week of pregnancy and ends 1-4 weeks after birth.
Interventions that occur before the initial onset of a disorder.
A prognosis is a prediction of the likely course or outcome of a particular illness.
Those factors that produce resilience to the development of psychological difficulties in the face of adverse risk factors.
A primarily verbal means of helping individuals change their thoughts, feelings and behaviour to reduce distress and achieve greater life satisfaction.
A health professional who prescribes therapy or counselling as treatment for mental health problems.
A Medical Practitioner with specialist training in psychiatry who is able to prescribe medication for mental health conditions, as well as other forms of treatment.
Recovery is oriented towards the reconstruction of meaning and purpose in life, the experience of wellness and satisfaction with life.
The process of resuming personal and social functioning in an environment that is supportive of existing abilities.
Capacities within a person that promote positive outcomes, such as mental health and wellbeing, and provide protection from factors that might otherwise place that person at risk of adverse health outcomes.
Those characteristics that make it more likely that an individual will develop a disorder.
Self esteem is characterized as the perception an individual has of their self-worth and how their belief affects their social and emotional wellbeing.
A deliberate injury to one’s own body.
A Social Worker is a health professional that provides support to people and their families going through a crisis. The social worker is able to provide practical support, counselling, information and emotional support.
A Support Group is a place where a group of people meet to provide emotional support and exchange information and past experiences.
The taking of one’s own life.
Subsidized rental accommodation enabling the consumer to access health and/or disability support workers when required.
An outcome of proposed treatment counselling, management, rehabilitation or other services to promote recovery.
A triage prioritises the service type, need and urgency based on assessment risk, need and dysfunction. A service request is created and a referral to an appropriate service may be made.
The state of being and maintaining a balance of physical mental and emotional health.
To worry is the sense of feeling uneasy or concerned about one’s self, a person, circumstance or event.
Where do I go for help?
The WayAhead Directory is an online resource providing a comprehensive list of mental health related services in NSW.
Mental Health Information Line
1300 794 991
Anxiety Disorders Information Line
1300 794 992
Your local doctor (GP)
Translating & Interpreting Service
(TIS) 131 450
Please call the Mental Health Information Line through the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS). Free to Australian citizens or permanent residents.
This information is for educational purposes. As neither brochures nor websites can diagnose people it is always important to obtain professional advice and/or help when needed.
This information may be reproduced with an acknowledgement to WayAhead – Mental Health Association.
The Association encourages feedback and welcomes comments about the information provided.