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Glossary of Terms

The following links will direct you to a comprehensive listing of glossary terms that are categorised in alphabetical order. The terms cover a range of subjects and should be useful to you whether you are undertaking advocacy, or just want to know what a certain word or phrase means.

Please click on the relevant letter below to be taken to the appropriate list of terms. If you know of a word, a term or a phrase that you think should be listed, please go to our feedback section and let us know.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin: A person who self-identifies, or is identified as, being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.

Aboriginal origin: A person who self-identifies, or is identified as, being of Aboriginal heritage.

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics): Australia 's official statistical organisation, aims to assist and encourage informed decision-making, research and discussion within governments and the community, by providing a high quality, objective and responsive national statistical service.

Access: The ability to reasonably and equitably provide services based on need irrespective of geography, social standing, ethnicity age, race, level of income or sex.

Accommodation Bond: Accommodation payments - bonds and charges - are a contribution to the cost of accommodation in a residential care facility. If a person's assets exceed a set amount when they enter low level (hostel) care, they may be asked to pay a bond. A person receiving care on an extra service basis may also be asked to pay a bond regardless of whether they need high or low level care. The amount of the bond will be negotiated with the service provider. The provider can keep a certain amount from the bond for the first five years (five years is cumulative for those who might move from one service to another where they are asked to pay a bond). The balance of the bond will be repaid to the resident when they leave.

Accommodation Charge: Accommodation payments - bonds and charges - are a contribution to the cost of accommodation in a residential care facility. If a person's assets exceed a set amount when they enter high level (nursing home) care, they may be asked to pay an accommodation charge (or bond if receiving care on an extra service basis or where they may agree with the provider to rollover an existing bond if they transfer within 28 days from a service where they paid a bond). The charge can't exceed a certain amount.

Accomodation bonds and Accomodation charges: Basic Daily Care Fee. Residents of residential aged care homes will be asked to pay a daily fee for the care they receive. This includes a basic daily care fee for residents and a daily income-tested fee for some residents, depending on their income.

Accreditation: Accreditation is granted to services that comply with the Accreditation Standards, which are defined in the Aged Care Act, 1997. The Standards cover management systems, staffing and organisational development; health and personal care; resident lifestyle and physical environment and safe systems. A team of quality assessors carries out the audit of services. Residential care services must be accredited to receive government funding.

Acquired brain injury (ABI): D amage to the brain acquired after birth

ADHD (also known as ADD): Most experts now view Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) as part of a group of behaviour problems where children have difficulty concentrating on what they are doing.

Advocacy: The action of supporting another's needs or rights. ALSO: A combination of individual and social actions designed to gain political commitment, policy support, social acceptance and systems support for a particular health goal or programme. Such action may be taken by and/or on behalf of individuals and groups to create living conditions which are conducive to health and the achievement of healthy lifestyles. Advocacy is one of the three major strategies for health promotion and can take many forms including the use of the mass media and multi-media, direct political lobbying, and community mobilization through, for example, coalitions of interest around defined issues. Health professionals have a major responsibility to act as advocates for health at all levels in society.

Advocacy: Representing the concerns and interests of consumers and carers, speaking on their behalf, and providing training and support to enable them to represent themselves.

Advocacy services: Services specialising in the representation of people with a disability, their views and interests.

Advocate: An advocate is a person who represents and works with a person or group of people who may need support and encouragement to exercise their rights, in order to ensure that their rights are upheld.

Aetiology: All the factors that contribute to the development of an illness or disorder

Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT): Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) help older people and their carers work out what kind of care will best meet their needs when they are no longer able to manage at home without assistance. ACATs provide information on suitable care options and can help arrange access or referral to appropriate residential or community care. An ACAT may include a doctor, nurse, social worker, occupational therapist or physiotherapist.

Agreement: An agreement is a legal document which sets out the rights and obligations of care recipients and providers of aged care facilities. The agreement may cover a variety of issues relating to service provision, including care, fees and charges, the rights and responsibilities of the service provider and care recipient, and any extra services.

Aids and equipment: Any devices used by persons with one or more disabilities to assist them with performing tasks, but not help provided by another person or an organisation.

Alzheimer's Disease: A type of dementia classified as a neurological disability

Anxiety: An unpleasant feeling of fear or apprehension accompanied by increased physiological arousal.

Anxiety disorder: A group of mental disorders marked by excessive feelings of apprehension, worry, nervousness and stress.

Apprenticeship: A form of paid employment where an individual works for another for a specific amount of time in return for instruction in a trade, art, or business.

Assessment: Ongoing process beginning with first client contact and continuing throughout the intervention and maintenance phases to termination of contact. The major goals of assessment are (a) identification of vulnerable or likely cases; (b) diagnosis; (c) choice of optimal treatment; and (d) evaluation of the effectiveness of the treatment.

Asthma: A chronic, inflammatory disease of the lung's air passages that causes widespread narrowing of the passages, obstruction to airflow, episodes of shortness of breath and chest tightness.

Autism: A pervasive developmental disorder involving disturbances in cognition, interpersonal communication, social interactions and behaviours (in particular obsessional, ritualistic, stereotyped and rigid behaviours).

Award wage: The minimum legal rate of pay set in the relevant award for a particular occupation.

Basis of employment: The basis on which a consumer is employed (e.g., full-time, part-time, casual).

Benefits: Monetary payments provided by the Government to a consumer (e.g., Disability Support Pension, Newstart/Youth Allowance).

Brain injury/damage: Injury to the brain which may have been caused by one or more of the following conditions; head trauma, inadequate oxygen supply, or infection.

CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse): Can refer to individual people, communities or populations who are Culturally and Linguistically Diverse.

Carer: A person of any age who provides any informal assistance, in terms of help or supervision, to persons with disabilities or long-term conditions, or older persons (i.e. aged 60 years and over). This assistance has to be ongoing, or likely to be ongoing, for at least six months. Assistance to a person in a different household relates to 'everyday types of activities', without specific information on the activities. Where the care recipient lives in the same household, the assistance is for one or more of the following activities:

  • cognition or emotion
  • communication
  • health care
  • housework
  • meal preparation
  • mobility
  • paperwork
  • property maintenance
  • self care
  • transport.

Carer Allowance: The Carer Allowance is a fortnightly allowance paid to a person caring for a relative or friend at home. This allowance is payable to people who care for someone assessed as requiring a high level of care.

Carer relationship: The relationship of the carer and the care receiver.

Casual employment: Paid employment often characterised by irregular hours and higher hourly rates of pay compared to part- and full-time employment. Casual employment can be either temporary or permanent, and employees are not usually entitled to holiday or sick leave.

Cataract: A cloudiness or opacity of the lens of the eye which may cause vision problems. Cataracts are typically associated with ageing but may occur at birth.

Cerebral palsy: A non-progressive movement disorder, resulting from an injury to the immature brain in a foetus or infant.

Certification: There is a specified standard of building and care that facilities must meet to enable them to charge accommodation bonds and be eligible to receive Commonwealth subsidies for concessional and assisted residents. Facilities that apply for certification are assessed independently of the Department through the application of a nationally consistent assessment instrument.

Certified agreement: A specifically negotiated workplace agreement.

Chronic: Of lengthy duration or recurring frequently, often with progression seriousness.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT): A short-term goal-oriented psychological treatment. The two guiding principles are that: how we behave (including how we feel) is learned through experience, and therefore may often be changed or unlearned; and thought processes directly impact on the person. The person is encouraged to examine their negative perceptions and interpretations of their experiences. They are also taught problem-solving techniques.

Communication: Oneself understood by others, and understanding others. Mainly categorised as verbal or non-verbal communication.

Community Aged Care Package: Community Aged Care Packages provide a range of services to meet more complex care needs in the home, including nursing and help with housework, and personal care.

Community Care Packages: The aim of Community Care Packages (CCPs) is to help older Australians to remain independent and live in their homes for as long as they can. They are intended to provide care that is similar to care available in a hostel.

Community Care Services: Community Care Services provide care and support for people who want to stay independent and living at home. They include Home and Community Care (HACC) Services, Community Aged Care Packages and respite care services.

Community development: Refers to the process of facilitating the community's awareness of the factors and forces that affect its health and quality of life, and ultimately helping to empower the community with the skills needed to take control over and improve those conditions. It involves helping communities to identify issues of concern and facilitating their efforts to bring about change in these areas.

Community education: An organised campaign designed to increase awareness of an issue.

Community support: A form of service provided to people with a disability that includes advocacy, information, and print disability.

Co-morbidity: The co-occurrence of two or more disorders, for example a depressive disorder with anxiety disorder, or depressive disorder with anorexia.

Conduct disorder: A repetitive and persistent pattern of aggressive or otherwise antisocial behaviour, usually recognised in childhood or adolescence.

Consumer: A person utilising, or who has utilised, a service.

Continuity of care: Linkage of components of individualised treatment and care across health service agencies according to individual needs.

Core activities: Core activities are communication, mobility and self care.

CSTDA: Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement

Cultural diversity: Refers to the wide range of cultural groups that make up the Australian population and Australian communities. It includes groups and individuals who differ according to religion, race, or ethnicity.

Culture: Can be defined as a set of guidelines (both explicit and implicit) which individuals inherit as members of a particular society, and which tells them how to view the world, how to experience it emotionally, and how to behave in it in relation to other people, to supernatural forces or gods and to the natural environment.

Day Therapy Centres: Day Therapy Centres are special centres which offer physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, podiatry and other therapy services to older people who can't access these services through their local hospital.

Days of operation: The days of the week that a service usually operates. If days of operation during the collection week (28 June-2 July 2004) are not typical for the service, typical hours should be recorded as well.

Deaf/Blind: Having sensory impairment to both hearing and sight.

Dementia: A general and worsening loss of brain power such as memory, understanding and reasoning. Main types of dementia include Alzheimer's disease, Pick's disease, Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA): Exists to serve members of Australia 's veteran and defence force communities, war widows and widowers, widows and dependants, through programs of care (including health and mental health), compensation, commemoration and defence support services.

Depression: A common mental disorder marked by persistent sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, and by decreased energy. Often involves suicidal thoughts or self-blame. It is differentiated from normal mood changes by the extent of its severity, the symptoms and the duration of the disorder.

Depressive disorder: A constellation of emotional, cognitive and somatic signs and symptoms including sustained sad mood or lack of pleasure and defined according to standard diagnostic criteria.

Diagnosis: A decision based on the recognition of clinically relevant symptomatology, the consideration of causes that may exclude a diagnosis of another condition, and the application of clinical judgement.

Direct support staff: Staff that have direct contact with consumers in a support role.

Disability: In the context of health experience, the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) defines disability as an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. It denotes the negative aspects of the interaction between an individual (with a health condition) and that individual's contextual factors (environment and personal factors). In this survey a person has a disability if they report that they have a limitation, restriction or impairment, which has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least six months and restricts everyday activities. This includes:

  • loss of sight (not corrected by glasses or contact lenses)
  • loss of hearing where communication is restricted, or an aid to assist with, or substitute for, hearing is used
  • speech difficulties
  • shortness of breath or breathing difficulties causing restriction
  • chronic or recurrent pain or discomfort causing restriction
  • blackouts, fits, or loss of consciousness
  • difficulty learning or understanding
  • incomplete use of arms or fingers
  • difficulty gripping or holding things
  • incomplete use of feet or legs
  • nervous or emotional condition causing restriction
  • restriction in physical activities or in doing physical work
  • disfigurement or deformity
  • mental illness or condition requiring help or supervision
  • long-term effects of head injury, stroke or other brain damage causing restriction
  • receiving treatment or medication for any other long-term conditions or ailments and still restricted
  • any other long-term conditions resulting in a restriction.

Disability Support Pension (DSP): The Disability Support Pension ensures that people with physical, intellectual or psychiatric disabilities, who as a result of their disability work less than 30 hours per week at award wages, receive an adequate level of income.

Dual diagnosis: A diagnosis that involves both a mental illness and a substance use disorder (see also: 'Co-morbidity').

Duration of employment: T he length of time an employment service consumer has been employed during the financial year. This is recorded as the number of months and weeks.

Early interventions: Timely interventions which target people displaying the early signs and symptoms of a mental health problem or a mental disorder. Early intervention also encompasses the early identification of patients suffering from a first episode of disorder.

Effectiveness: Effectiveness studies test the 'real world' impact of interventions that have been shown to be efficacious under controlled conditions. These studies are imperative to determine the generalisability of controlled studies in the real world, because interventions conducted under highly controlled conditions may not translate well into the uncontrolled environment that is the real world.

Employed: Persons who reported that they had worked in a job, business or farm during the reference week (the full week prior to the date of interview); or that they had a job in the reference week but were not at work.

Employee: A person who works for a public or private employer and receives remuneration in wages, salary, a retainer fee by their employer while working on a commission basis, tips, piece-rates or payment-in-kind, or a person who operates his or her own incorporated enterprise with or without hiring employees.

Employer: A person who operates their own unincorporated economic enterprise or engages independently in a profession or trade, and hires one or more employees.

Epidemiology: The study of the incidence, distribution, and control of disease, and trends in health, as applied to the whole community.

Epilepsy: A tendency to have recurrent seizures (fits) indicating a disorder that arises in the brain or affects it secondarily, through a wide range of causes.

Evaluation: The process used to describe the process of measuring the value or worth of a program or service.

Evidence base: A summary of the research that informs current understanding of possible directions for promotion, prevention and early intervention initiatives.

Exit date: The date on which an outlet stopped proving service/support to a consumer. This is recorded as ddmmyyyy.

FaCS: (Australian Government) Department of Family and Community Services.

FaCS funded respite care: A program funded by FaCS aimed at increasing the provision of immediate and short-term respite to carers of people with severe/profound disabilities.

Financial year: The year dated 1 July to 30 June. The financial year for this report is 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004.

Formal assistance: Help provided to persons with one or more disabilities by organisations or individuals representing organisations (whether for profit or not for profit, government or private). Other persons (excluding family, friends or neighbours as described in informal assistance) who provide assistance on a regular, paid basis and who are not associated with any organisation.

Full award wage: T he income set in the relevant award for a particular occupation.

Glaucoma: An eye condition in which vision is impaired by raised pressure within the eye, resulting in damage to the optic nerve.

Good practice guidelines: Good practice is the benchmark against which programs can be evaluated. Good practice guidelines are statements based on the careful identification and synthesis of the best available evidence in a particular field. They are intended to help people in that field, including both practitioners and consumers, make the best use of available evidence.

Guardian: A person who has been given the legal power to make important personal decisions on behalf of another adult. This might include decisions about where the person should live or what kind of health care and services the person should have.

HACC: See Home and Community Care.

HACC Minimum Data Set (MDS): The HACC MDS is a national community services information collection that holds community services data for use at a national level for analysis, planning and policy development.

Health: A state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Health Concession Cards: Health concession cards entitle the holder to concessions such as cheaper pharmaceuticals. Most also give access to Commonwealth funded free services or products such as hearing aids.

High level care: High level care provides ongoing 24 hour nursing care, as well as meals, laundry, cleaning and personal care.

Holistic approach: A holistic approach to health incorporates a comprehensive approach to service delivery and treatment where coordination of client's needs and total care takes priority.

Home and Community Care (HACC): Home and Community Care provides a program of basic maintenance and support services for frail older people, younger people with disabilities and the carers of these people to prevent premature admission to residential care. Services include home nursing, home help, respite care and assistance with meals and transport.

Hypertension: Long-term high blood pressure, which may damage the heart, brain or kidneys.

Impairment: In the context of health experience, an impairment is defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a loss or abnormality in body structure or physiological function (including mental functions). Abnormality is used to refer to a significant variation from established statistical norms.

Incidence: In community studies of a particular disorder, the rate at which new cases occur in a given place at a given time.

Income: Any monies given to a consumer by an agency, department, or business, in exchange for labour or services (i.e., work).

Indirect support staff: Staff that have no, or only a minimal, direct supporting role.

Individual workplace agreement: A written agreement between an employer and employee about the terms and conditions of employment.

Individualised funding: Money paid to a disability employment service on the basis of the needs of an individual consumer. Examples of such funding are case based funding and futures for young adults.

Informal assistance: Informal assistance is unpaid help or supervision that is provided to persons with one or more disabilities or persons aged 60 years and over living in households. It includes only assistance that is provided for one or more of the specified tasks comprising an activity because of a person's disability or age. Informal assistance may be provided by family, friends or neighbours.

Information/referral services: Services that provide accessible information to people with disabilities, their carers, families and relevant professionals.

Integration: The process whereby inpatient and community components of a mental health service become coordinated as a single, specialist network and include mechanisms which link intake, assessment crisis intervention, and acute, extended and on-going treatment using a case management approach to ensure continuity of care.

Intellectual disability: A type of disability that involves a deficit in cognitive ability (i.e., the brain is not working to its full age-appropriate capacity). The severity of an intellectual disability can range from minor to profound, and may be caused by genetic or environmental factors.

Interpersonal interactions and relationships: Forming and maintaining friendships, coping with feelings and behaving within socially accepted boundaries.

Interpreter service: A service that interprets the communication between a consumer and an employment service. Spoken languages other than English and non-spoken communication (e.g., sign language) are interpreted via these services.

Jurisdiction: The area for which a particular government (Commonwealth, State or Territory, local) is responsible.

Language spoken at home: The language spoken by a consumer in their current home.

Learning disability: A disability grouping used to define persons with significant difficulty in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and/or mathematical skills.

Living arrangements: Whom the consumer resides with (i.e., alone or with related or unrelated persons).

Low level care: In low level care residents can live independently, but get help with meals and laundry, and personal care like dressing and bathing.

Main language spoken: The language used most often by the consumer to communicate with other residents or visitors in their current home.

Main recipient of care: Where a primary carer is caring for more than one person, the main recipient of care is the one receiving the most help or supervision. A sole recipient is also classed as a main recipient. The assistance has to be ongoing, or likely to be ongoing, for at least six months and be provided for one or more of the core activities of communication, mobility and self care.

Main source of income: Of all sources of income, this is the source of the greatest amount received from an individual agency, department, or business.

Mainstream health services: Services provided by health professionals in a wide range of agencies including general hospitals, general practice and community health centres. Mental health services will be delivered and managed as an integral part of mainstream health services so they can be accessed in the same way as other services.

Media: Channel for mass communication of information to general and/or specific audiences (electronic media-radio, television, film; print media-newspapers, magazines).

Mental health: A state of emotional and social wellbeing in which the individual can cope with the normal stresses of life and achieve his or her potential.18 It includes being able to work productively and contribute to community life. Mental health describes the capacity of individuals and groups to interact, inclusively and equitably, with one another and with their environment in ways that promote subjective wellbeing, and optimise opportunities for development and the use of mental abilities.5 Mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness. Its measurement is complex and there is no widely accepted measurement approach to date. The strong historical association between the terms 'mental health' and 'mental illness' has led some to prefer the term emotional and social wellbeing, which also accords with holistic concepts of mental health held by Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders and some other cultural groups,6 or alternatively, the term mental health and wellbeing.

Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA ): An independent, non-government sector peak body established under the National Mental Health Strategy to represent and promote the interests of the mental health sector and advise on mental health in Australia .

Mental health service provider: A person who manages and delivers mental health services in a paid or voluntary capacity. Some providers may work with NGOs but usually they have professional qualifications and receive payment for providing services. They include nurses (mental health & general), general practitioners, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, social workers and psychologists.

Method of communication: The most effective and common way by which the consumer communicates.

Migraine: A recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and other symptoms. It is a condition resulting from spasm and subsequent over dilatation of certain arteries in the brain.

Mobility: Mobility comprises the following tasks:

  • getting into or out of a bed or chair
  • moving about the usual place of residence
  • going to or getting around a place away from the usual residence
  • walking 200 metres
  • walking up and down stairs without a handrail
  • bending and picking up an object from the floor
  • using public transport.

The first three tasks contribute to the definitions of profound and severe core-activity limitation.

Mobility: The ability to move around the home or other environment, including the use of public transport and/or driving a vehicle.

Mobility allowance: A form of financial assistance paid by the Australian Government to persons with a significant degree of difficulty with mobility.

Monitoring: The ongoing evaluation of a control or management process. The continuous measurement and observation of the performance of a service or program to see that it is proceeding according to the proposed plans and objectives.

Morbidity: The incidence rate of illness or disorder in a community or population.

Multiculturalism: The term multiculturalism summarises the way Australia address the challenges and opportunities of our cultural diversity. It is a term which recognises and celebrates Australia 's cultural diversity. It accepts and respects the right of all people in Australia to express and share their individual cultural heritage within an overriding commitment to Australia and the basic structures and values of Australian democracy. It also refers specifically to the strategies, policies and programs that are designed to make our administrative, social and economic infrastructure more responsive to the rights, obligations and needs of our culturally diverse population; promote social harmony among the different cultural groups in our society; and optimise the benefits of our cultural diversity for all people in Australia .

Multidisciplinary clinical team: The identifiable group of health personnel comprising a mix of professionals responsible for the treatment and care of people with an illness.

Multi-purpose facilities: Multipurpose services are designed specifically for rural and regional areas, bringing together a range of health and aged care services (for example - hospitals, community services, family support, and aged care services).

Neurological disability: A disability grouping used to define persons with and impairment of the nervous system occurring after birth. Conditions included under this category are epilepsy, dementia, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's Disease.

Newstart/Youth allowance: A form of financial assistance paid by the Australian Government to young Australians who are studying, undertaking training, looking for work or temporarily incapacitated.

Non-government organisations (NGO): Private, not-for-profit, community-managed organisations that provide community support services for people affected by mental illness. Non-government organisations may promote self-help and provide support and advocacy services for consumers and carers or have a psychosocial rehabilitation role.

Non-vocational program: A program that is not designed for vocational training (e.g., study, work experience, work), but rather for recreational purposes (e.g., social outings, sporting activities).

Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination (OIPC): Coordinates a whole of government approach to programs and services of Indigenous Australians.

Osteoporosis: Reduction in bone tissue caused by the loss of calcium from the bones, making them thinner and weaker, and thus more prone to fractures.

Other income: Money received by a consumer by an agency, department, or business in exchange for labour or services (i.e., work) which is in addition to the consumer's main source of income. Examples include superannuation and dividends/interest from investments.

Other pension/benefit: Financial assistance paid by the Australian Government other than the DSP, Newstart/Youth Allowance or Mobility Allowance. Such payments might include monies paid to Veterans and their families through the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Superannuation is not included in this category.

Outcome: A measurable change in the health of an individual, or group of people or population, which is attributable to interventions or services.

Paid employment: Employment for which a consumer receives an income.

Parkinson's disease: A brain disease characterised by hand tremors, rigid limbs, difficulty in starting and stopping movements, and often mental effects.

Partner: A registered married or de facto partner.

Partnership: An association intended to achieve a common aim.

Part-time employment: Employment of less than 35 hours per week.

Peak Body: A peak body is an organisation that is run by the community, not by Government. A peak body speaks for people in the community who share an interest in something because of some factor in their life. One very important job that a peak body has is to pass information between the group of people that the peak body represents and the Government.

Pension/benefit: Financial assistance paid by the Australian Government to persons in certain circumstances. An individual's circumstances will determine which pension/benefit they receive. Examples include DSP, Newstart/Youth Allowance and Mobility Allowance.

Pensioner: A person will be classed as a pensioner if: They receive a means-tested pension or benefit from Centrelink or the Department of Veteran's Affairs; or They hold a current Pensioner Concession Card (PCC). Disability pensions and war widows/widowers pensions paid by the Department of Veteran's Affairs are not means-tested pensions. A person will need to hold a current Pensioner Concession Card to be regarded as a pensioner for aged care fees.

Performance indicators: Measures of change in the health status of populations and in service delivery and clinical practice, collected in order to monitor and improve clinical, social, vocational, and economic outcomes.

Period of employment: The number of months and/or weeks a consumer worked in the financial year.

Permanent employment: Employment on a continuing basis with leave entitlements.

Personal activities: These include self care, mobility, communication, health care and cognition or emotion tasks.

Physical disability: A type of disability that involves conditions attributable to a physical cause, that impact on one's ability to perform physical activities. It includes the effects of paraplegia, quadraplegia, cerebral palsy, and spina bifida.

Postnatal depression: An episode of major depressive disorder occurring in the first 12 months after childbirth.

Power of Attorney: A power of attorney is a document by which a person appoints someone else, usually a trusted family member or friend, to act as their agent with authority to deal with and manage their property and other financial affairs.

Prevalence: The percentage of the population suffering from a disorder at a given point in time (point prevalence) or during a given period (period prevalence).

Prevention: Refers to 'interventions that occur before the initial onset of a disorder' to prevent the development of disorder. The goal of prevention interventions is to reduce the incidence and prevalence of mental health problems and mental disorders. Prevention interventions may be classified according to their target group, as: universal , provided to whole populations; selective , targeting those population groups at increased risk of developing a disorder; and indicated , targeting people showing minimal signs and symptoms of a disorder.

Primary care: In the health sector generally, 'primary care' services are provided in the community by generalist providers who are not specialists in a particular area of health intervention.

Primary carer: A primary carer is a person who provides the most informal assistance, in terms of help or supervision, to a person with one or more disabilities. The assistance has to be ongoing, or likely to be ongoing, for at least six months and be provided for one or more of the core activities (communication, mobility and self care). In this survey, primary carers only include persons aged 15 years and over for whom a personal interview was conducted. Persons aged 15 to 17 years were only interviewed personally if parental permission was granted.

Primary disability group: The category of disability that causes the most difficulty to the consumer.

Private residence: A home that the consumer lives in. It may be a house, flat, unit, caravan, or mobile home.

Pro rata: A reduced wage based on the proportion of hours worked out of an equivalent full-time working week.

Psychiatric disability: A type of disability involving mental health conditions which have recognisable symptoms and behaviour patterns that impair personal and/or occupational/educational functioning. Examples include schizophrenia, depression and anxiety-related disorders.

Psychosocial rehabilitation: Services with a primary focus on interventions to reduce functional impairments that limit the independence of people whose independence and physical/psychological functioning has been negatively impacted upon as a result of a mental illness. Psychosocial rehabilitation focuses on disability and the promotion of personal recovery giving people the opportunity to work, live and enjoy a social life in the community. They are also characterised by an expectation of substantial improvement over the short to mid-term. This term is sometimes used interchangeably with the term rehabilitation.

Quality of life: This term embraces a spectrum of uses and meanings. Within this document 'quality of life' is a multidimensional concept that includes subjectively and objectively ascertained levels of physical, social and emotional functioning.

Receipt of assistance: R eceipt of assistance is applicable to persons with one or more disabilities, or aged 60 years and over, who reported that they needed help or supervision with at least one of the specified tasks comprising an activity. The source of assistance may be informal or formal, but does not include assistance from the use of aids or equipment.

Recovery: A personal process of changing one's attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and/or roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose as the person grows beyond the effects of psychiatric disability.

Referrals: Consumers referred to a service by Centrelink or another source.

Rehabilitation: Intervention to reduce functional impairments that limit the independence of consumers. Rehabilitation services are focused on disability and the promotion of personal recovery. Consumers who access rehabilitation services usually have a relatively stable pattern of clinical symptoms and there is an emphasis on relapse prevention. This term is sometimes used interchangeably with the term psychosocial rehabilitation.

Relapse: Relapse is a subsequent episode of mental illness. It is a recurrence of symptoms of mental illness similar to those that have previously been experienced. The threshold of symptoms required to identify a relapse varies according to the differing perspectives of the person experiencing the symptoms, their family and carers, and service providers. Relapse is generally agreed to have occurred when the person experiencing the symptoms is not able to cope using their usual supports and requires a greater intensity of intervention. The word 'relapse' is viewed by many as a negative and medicalised term, and the words 'episode' or 'being unwell' may be preferred.

Reliability: The extent to which a test, measurement or classification system produces the same scientific observation each time it is applied.

Residential Care: Residential care is provided to frail older people and people with a disability who cannot live independently at home and who has been assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) as needing this care.

Residential setting: The type of physical accommodation the consumer usually resides in (usually being 4 or more days per week).

Resilience: 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. Factors that contribute to resilience include personal coping skills and strategies for dealing with adversity, such as problem-solving, good communication and social skills, optimistic thinking, and help-seeking.

Respite: Respite care services help carers take breaks from their caring role. A range of respite care services are available, including respite in the person's home, in a day care centre in the community or in a residential aged care facility. Respite can be provided by family members, friends, neighbours or trained workers.

Risk factors: Factors that increase the likelihood that a disorder will develop, and exacerbate the burden of existing disorder. Risk factors indicate a person's vulnerability, and may include genetic, biological, behavioural, socio-cultural and demographic conditions and characteristics. Most risk (and protective factors) for mental health lie outside the domain of mental health and health services-they derive from conditions in the everyday lives of individuals and communities. Risk and protective factors occur through income and social status, physical environments, education and educational settings, working conditions, social environments, families, biology and genetics, personal health practices and coping skills, sport and recreation, the availability of opportunities, as well as through access to health services.

Risk-taking behaviour: Risk taking behaviours are behaviours in which there is some risk of immediate or later self-harm. Risk-taking behaviours might include activities such as dangerous driving, train surfing, and self-harming substance use.

Sanctions: Sanctions are penalties or actions against a residential care facility or proprietor for non-compliance with standards under the Aged Care Act 1997.

Schizophrenia: A severe disorder typically beginning in late adolescence or early adulthood. It is characterised by profound disruptions in thinking, affecting language, perception, mood, behaviour, motivation and sense of self. It often includes psychotic experiences such as hearing voices or delusions.

Self care: This activity comprises the following tasks:

  • showering or bathing
  • dressing
  • eating
  • toileting
  • bladder or
  • bowel control.

Sensory disability: A type of disability related to one of the senses (e.g., hearing, sight, and speech).

Service form: The document used to collect information on a particular service.

Sign language: A form of communication involving hand movements and signals. Examples include Auslan and Makaton.

Social and cultural diversity: Refers to the wide range of social and cultural groups that make up the Australian population and Australian communities. It includes groups and individuals who differ according to gender, age, disability and illness, social status, level of education, religion, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

Social exclusion: A state of exclusion that can result from a combination of social disadvantages such as unemployment, ill health, high crime rates, poor housing, poor education etc.

Social support: Assistance available to individuals and groups from within communities which can provide a buffer against adverse life events and living conditions, and can provide a positive resource for enhancing the quality of life. Social support may include emotional support, information sharing and the provision of material resources and services. Social support is now widely recognized as an important determinant of health, and an essential element of social capital.

Socioeconomic status: A relative position in the community as determined by occupation, income and amount of education.

Speech disability: A disability group encompassing loss of speech, impairment and/or difficulty in being understood.

Stakeholders: Stakeholders include all individuals and groups who are affected by, or can affect, a given operation. Stakeholders can be individuals, interest groups or organizations.

Standards: Clinical practice standards are defined and agreed clinical procedures and practices for the optimal treatment and care of people with mental illness. Service standards define what is required for a quality mental health service.

Stressor: An event that occasions a stress response in a person.

Stroke: When an artery supplying blood to the brain suddenly becomes blocked or bleeds, often causing paralysis of parts of the body or speech problems.

Substance dependence: The misuse of a drug accompanied by a physiological dependence, made evident by tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.

Suicide: Suicide is a conscious act to end one's life. By conscious act, it is meant that the act undertaken was done in order to end the person's life.

Support commencement date: The date a consumer received their first episode of support from a service. This is recorded as ddmmyyyy.

Support needs: The degree of a consumer's requirements for help and/or supervision in various areas.

Supported accommodation facility: Accommodation which provides board or lodging for a number of people and which has support services provided by rostered care workers, usually on a 24 hour basis.

Symptom: An observable physiological or psychological manifestation of a disorder or disease, often occurring in a pattern group to constitute a syndrome.

Transcultural services: Transcultural services promote access to mental health services for people from culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Transcultural services work with consumers, carers, health professionals and the community to promote positive attitudes to mental health and to ensure that the needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse populations (including access, equity and cultural safety and appropriateness) are addressed at policy, planning and service delivery level.

Transport: Transport is a single task activity referring to going to places away from the usual place of residence. Need for assistance and difficulty are defined for this activity as the need to be driven and difficulty going to places without help or supervision.

Unemployed: Unemployed persons are those aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the reference week, and had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week and were available for work in the reference week.

Visual disability: A disability grouping that encompasses blindness and vision impairment which is not corrected by prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Vocational program: A program, which prepares a consumer for employment or helps to place them in employment.

Volunteer work: Employment that is unpaid.

Work experience: A consumer who is undertaking paid or unpaid work experience or a work trial.

Worker: A consumer who is undertaking paid employment.

Workplace agreement: A written agreement between an employer and employee about the employee's terms and conditions of employment.

Youth Allowance: A type of benefit paid by the Australian Government to persons meeting the payment criteria.