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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Management of public mental health services by the general health system, for example, by public hospitals.

Major Psychiatric Illness

See severe mental illness.

Major Tranquillisers

See anti-psychotic drugs.

Manic Depressive Psychosis

See bi-polar affective/mood disorder.

Manic Episode

A state of elevated mood which is out of keeping with a person's normal behaviour and may vary from cheerfulness to almost uncontrollable excitement or irritation. It typically results in over activity, rapid speech, decreased need for sleep, being easily distracted and a loss of social inhibitions. A person may embark on extravagant schemes, spend money recklessly, become aggressive or flirtatious, or believe they possess extraordinary powers.

Medical Sedation

The prescribing and administration of medication that has a tranquilising, calming effect.

Mental Health

Describes the capacity of an individual to interact with other people and with the person's environment in ways that promote the person's sense of well being, enhance their personal development and allow the person to achieve their life goals.

Mental Health Act 2014

Legislation providing for the assessment and treatment of persons with mental illness.

Mental Health Complaints Commissioner

The MHCC is an independent complaints body that deals with concerns or complaints about mental health service providers.

Mental Health Professional

Staff of mental health services with professional training and qualifications, and experience in working with clients who have a mental illness. Mental health professionals include social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrist medical officers, occupational therapists and psychologists.

Mental Health Services

See public mental health services.

Mental Health Tribunal

The Tribunal is an independent tribunal established under the Mental Health Act 2014. The Tribunal makes Treatment Orders and hears applications for the revocation of Temporary Treatment Orders and Treatment Orders, applications for electroconvulsive treatment and neurosurgery for mental illness. It also hears applications against transfers to another mental health service and reviews the orders of security patients.

Mental Illness

A person is described as having a mental illness when their thoughts, feelings and behaviour cause them or others distress, and are not in keeping with their cultural background. Examples are schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders.

Mental State Examination (MSE)

An interview using a standardised set of questions with the primary purpose of identifying a person's current mental state.
See psychiatric assessment.

Mobile Support and Treatment Service (MSTS)

A multidisciplinary, community based mental health service which supports and treats clients who have experienced many psychiatric crises, have associated psychiatric disability and are at risk of readmission to hospital without this support.

Multidisciplinary Team

Mental health professionals employed by a public mental health service who work together to provide treatment and care for people with mental illness. They include social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, medical officers, occupational therapists and psychologists.

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