Adult mental health service
An organisation that focuses on treating and supporting adults with diagnosed mental health difficulties. Refer also to Child and adolescent mental health service; Mental health service
Anxiety is an emotional and physical response to stress. Common bodily responses include a pounding heart, rapid breathing, butterflies in the stomach and a burst of energy. Anxiety is a natural and usually short-lived reaction to a stressful situation, associated with feelings of worry, nervousness, or apprehension.
For some people however, anxious thoughts, feelings, or physical symptoms are severe, upsetting, frequent, and interrupt daily life. If this happens it is important to seek help as early as you can.
Describes the act of feeding your baby milk from your chest. Chestfeeding may be used as a way for transgender and nonbinary parents to describe how they feed and nurture their babies after childbirth by feeding them milk from their chest. It can also refer to using a feeding tube attached to the nipple to feed a baby if lactation (milk secretion from the nipples) is not possible.
Harm to a child caused by a parent or other caregiver. The harm may be physical (violence), sexual (violation or exploitation), psychological (causing emotional distress), or neglect (failure to provide needed care) (source: American Psychological Association).
Child and adolescent mental health services
An organisation that focuses on treating and supporting children and adolescents with diagnosed mental health difficulties. Refer also to Adult mental health service; Mental health service
A total or partial loss of one or more bodily or mental functions. Disability may be something a person is born with or develops due to family heritage (genetics), accident or acquired illness. There are various types of disability, which may be visible or hidden, permanent or temporary, and vary in how they impact a person’s daily life.
Refer to self-regulation.
There is wide variation in the make up of Australian families, which can include combinations of mothers, fathers, same-sex parents, stepmothers, stepfathers, non-biologically related parents and carers, extended family members and other children.
Family and domestic violence (FDV)
Family violence refers to violence between family members, including current and former intimate partners, parents and children, siblings, and others. Usually, one or more people will try to exert power and control over a family member/s through fear of physical, sexual, emotional, social, verbal, spiritual and economic forms of abuse.
Domestic violence refers to violence between current and former intimate partners.
Family violence is often the preferred term of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to describe domestic violence because it covers extended family and kinship relationships.
This is a state of wellbeing in which ‘people can realise their potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and contribute to their communities’ (source: World Health Organization [WHO]).
Mental health service
An organisation with a focus on providing treatment, recovery or community health support for people with a diagnosed mental illness or other associated illness. Refer also to Adult mental health service; Child and adolescent mental health service
A wide range of diagnosed conditions that affect a person’s mood, thinking and behaviour.
Mental Health Nurse
Mental health nurses are registered nurses with specialist qualifications in mental health.
A parent is the primary adult caregiver of a child. In some instances, the term ‘parent’ may incorporate adult carers who are not the biological parents of the child but who have taken on a primary caregiving role such as grandparents, foster carers and kinship carers.
Regular, carer-supervised meetings of groups of preschool children that provide developmentally appropriate creative and social play opportunities for children to develop their social and support networks. The two main kinds of playgroup are:
- community playgroups, which aim to include all families; and
- supported playgroups, which aim to support children and/or families with particular needs or vulnerabilities that are run by at least one paid organiser.
A form of depression that parents may experience in the weeks or months following childbirth. Symptoms can include feeling overwhelmed, sadness, crying and trouble sleeping, and if left untreated may interfere with their daily life and ability to care for and enjoy their baby.
A health professional who can help a person to work out what’s going on, what they’re feeling and what might support they might need to manage their health difficulties in daily life.
A psychiatrist is a specialist medical doctor who assesses and treats patients with mental health difficulties, including medication in some circumstances. Referral (such as from a GP) is required to see a psychiatrist.
Psychologists study the human mind and human behaviour to understand how people, communities and societies think, feel, behave and learn. Armed with this understanding they work with people to empower them, help them thrive and support their mental health.
Psychological First Aid
Involves providing psychosocial support to help people affected by an emergency, disaster or traumatic event to reduce distress immediately afterwards and help them cope moving forward.
Refers to the ability to understand yourself and your behaviours, cope with life’s challenges, and recognise and express your positive and negative feelings in a productive way. By developing self-acceptance and social skills, and having a sense of control over our environment and circumstances, we gain a realistic and therefore positive view of life, others and ourselves. Refer also to Social and emotional wellbeing.
Refer to self-regulation/emotional regulation.
Resilience is the ability to do well during or after an adverse event, or period of adversity. The single most important factor for developing resilience in children is the presence of at least one committed and supportive relationship with a parent, caregiver or other trusted adult.
School counsellors guide students through learning and behavioural issues, and relationships with family, teachers and peers, either one-on-one or in a group setting. They also provide crisis support, course and career counselling and referrals to support services outside of school where required.
Self-regulation is the ability to manage our thoughts, feelings and behaviours in ways that help us to function day-to-day and achieve our goals. Building self-regulation skills, particularly early in life, lays the foundation for children’s positive social and emotional development.
Where a child becomes excessively anxious or upset when separated from their parents.
Social and emotional wellbeing (SEW)
Social and emotional wellbeing refers to the way a person thinks and feels about themselves and others. It incorporates behavioural and emotional strengths and is a facet of child development (source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare).
In broad terms, social and emotional wellbeing is the foundation for physical and mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is a holistic concept which results from a network of relationships between individuals, family, kin and Community. It also recognises the importance of connection to Land, culture, spirituality and ancestry, and how these affect the individual (source: Commonwealth of Australia).
‘Social and emotional wellbeing’ is also used by some people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, who may have differing concepts of mental health and mental illness (source: everymind.org.au). Refer also to Psychological wellbeing.
Refer to trigger.
Refers to a person’s nature or general mood, especially as it affects their behaviour. Temperament is a combination of mental, physical and emotional characteristics that add up to how we respond to the world.
An event that is so distressing or disturbing it affects a person’s ability to come to terms with that event. Traumatic experiences can be single incidents (e.g. a car accident) or ongoing experiences (e.g. chronic neglect).
Sometimes referred to as a stressor, a trigger is an action or situation that can lead to an adverse (negative) emotional reaction. In the context of mental illness, triggers usually refer to something that has brought on or worsened symptoms.
- has a physical illness or disability
- experiences mental health difficulties
- is abusing substances, or
- is frail.
Refer to adolescent.