Glossary of Terms


State Government of Victoria, Australia, Department of Health: Victorian Mental Health ServicesĀ 

2015 factsheet: A Guide To Mental Health Terminology

A Guide To Mental Health Terminology

This guide aims to provide a quick reference for anybody seeking to understand terms commonly used by mental health services.

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Individual Service Plan (ISP)

A plan, based on a comprehensive assessment, outlining the client's goals and strategies for the client's recovery, including the mental health services and general community services the client needs. The ISP is developed and regularly reviewed by the case manager, the client and, with the client's permission, their family or carer and other workers involved.

Informed Consent

In the context of mental health, this means that the client provides permission for a specific treatment to occur based on their understanding of the nature of the procedure, the risks involved, the consequences of withholding permission and their knowledge of available alternative treatments.

Inpatient Admission

See psychiatric inpatient admission.

Inpatient Service

See psychiatric inpatient service.


Refers to the level of understanding which a person suffering from a mental illness has into the nature of their illness, its causation and the possible treatments that are available.

Intake Assessment

The process which occurs when a person first becomes a client of a mental health service. The person will have an initial psychiatric assessment in order to determine the nature of their psychiatric problem, their treatment needs and the most appropriate service required.

Integration of Services

Coordination and linkage between services to ensure client's receive continuity of care.

Intellectual Disability

People with intellectual disabilities have learning difficulties and develop at a slower rate than normal. The condition is usually identified at birth or in early childhood.
Intellectual disability is not a mental illness and requires very different specialist skills from those offered by mental health services. However, people with intellectual disabilities can also suffer from a mental illness.


A planned action taken by a mental health worker which occurs in the context of treatment. Examples are counselling, intensive support, referral or prescribing medication.

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