Word list

Word list

This is a list of some words used in the Easy Read information on IDMH connect


It tells you what the words mean.

Grabbing someone



Abuse is when someone says or does something to hurt you or make you feel bad.

Discussing treatment



Access means you have the right to get the same health care as other people.

Picture of button to change text size

Accessibility features


Accessibility features are features that can help you use the website.


For example you can

  • Change the size of the writing


  • Have the text read out

Acute care teams


Acute care teams see people with a mental illness who need help right away.




An adjournment is when the Mental Health Review Tribunal decides that the hearing must be held later.

A receptionist on a computer sits behind a bench. Another person stands on the other side of the bench handing the receptionist a piece of paper.



Admission is when you come to stay in hospital.


Advance Care Directive


An Advance Care Directive is something written.


It tells people what you want to happen if you are very sick or dying.

Have a plan

Advance care planning


Advance care planning means making decisions about the health care you want in the future.

Man and woman with speech bubble



Advocacy is having your voice heard so your rights and needs are met.


You can have needs in many areas of your life. 

Advocate talking to two people

An advocate


An advocate is someone who speaks up to get you the support you need. 

Person speaking up

To advocate


To advocate is you or someone else doing things so that your rights and needs are met. 

People being aggressive



To be aggressive means you are more violent or angry towards other people.

Worried person



Anxiety is when people feel worried about what is going to happen in the future.

Three people sitting at a desk



An appeal means you ask someone to have another meeting.

Assertive outreach team

Assertive outreach team


Assertive outreach teams provide care and support to people with

  • Serious mental illness


  • Complex issues


Doing an assessment



An assessment is when a mental health or disability worker asks you questions about you and your health.


They use this information to work out the best way to help you.

Communication aid

Assistive technology


Assistive technology is physical support or equipment to support you to do something more easily.

Someone with multiple feelings

Bipolar disorder


Bipolar disorder is when people feel very down sometimes and have lots of energy at other times.  

A man and a woman hugging sitting down.



Bisexual means people who are attracted to both men and women.

Person being bullied by others



Bullying is when someone or a group of people are mean to you on purpose.


This could be more than one time.

People from different cultures

Culturally and linguistically diverse


Culturally and linguistically diverse is used to describe the wide range of cultures, religions, and languages that people in Australia identify with.


Culturally and linguistically diverse is known as CALD for short.


Care plan


A care plan is a list of things you can do to help you get better.


A care plan is sometimes called a treatment plan.

Care co-ordinator

Care or support coordinator


A care or support coordinator is a person who helps plan and organise

  • Your care


  • Other services you get
Crying child

Child welfare


Child welfare protects children from harm by

  • Giving support


  • Making sure they have a safe place to live
Two people writing down notes

Citizen advocate


Citizen advocates are community members who advocate for people.

Health worker talking to a person

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a common talking therapy.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is called CBT for short.

Stealing from someone's bag

Committing a crime


Committing a crime means the person has broken the law.

Older person

Commonwealth Aged Care System


The Commonwealth Aged Care System is support from the government for older people.




To communicate is how you understand and share your feelings or information.

Passenger transport bus

Community transport


Community transport is transport options organised by 

  • Groups in your community 


  • Organisations in your community 


  • Your local government 
A person complaining to someone else



A complaint is when you let someone know you are not happy with something.

No information



Confidentiality means that information about you must not be shared with others unless you say that it is OK to share.

A woman holding a clipboard with a green tick on it in one hand. And her thumb up in other other hand.



Consent is when you give permission or agree that something is OK.

Calm person



To cope means you can deal with difficult things.

Two people sitting at a table. They are facing each other and communicating using sign language.

Counselling therapy


Counselling therapy is when you chat with mental health workers about

  • Issues in your life


  • Ways you can fix these issues
Communicating with a health worker



A counsellor is a health worker.


You can communicate with them about problems in your life.

Wood court hammer. The hammer is leaning on a wooden circle.



The courts are where people decide if someone has broken the law.

Supporting someone with mental illness



A crisis is when you are in danger or are very upset.


You are in danger if you could be hurt or injured.

Medical bag with a cross inside. Followed by the words Emergency Help.

For more information about a crisis click the Emergency Help button https://www.idmhconnect.health/emergency-help/ER

000 with a phone on top of the numbers. Under the 000 is the word emergency and beneath this is images of an ambulance, police hat and a fire.

Crisis services


Crisis services are services that protect people who are at risk of harm

Community treatment order

A CTO is a Community Treatment Order.


A CTO is a plan for you to get your mental health treatment in the community without having to stay in hospital.


You must follow the rules in the plan.

Person opening an oven

Daily life skills


Daily life skills are tasks you need to do to care for yourself.

Different activities

Day centre


A day centre is a place where you may go during the day to see friends and take part in activities.




Debt means that you owe money.

Graduation hat and degree



A degree is something you get after you do higher education study.

Person feeling down



Depression is when people  

  • Feel very sad or down for a long time 


  • Might not feel like doing the things you usually do  
Doctor looking at book writing notes



 A diagnosis is when a doctor gives your health condition a name.

A table filled with healthy foods like meats, fish, vegetables and fruits. Behind the table are three people looking and talking about the food.



A dietitian supports you to choose the best foods to eat so you can be healthy.


They can help to treat medical conditions.

Being quiet



Dignity is to

  • Treat you with respect


  • Give you as much privacy



Discharge usually means when you leave hospital.


Discharge plan


A discharge plan lists the treatment and supports you will get when you go home.


 A discharge plan is sometimes called a transfer of care plan.

Group of people all looking at one person



Discrimination is when someone is treated badly because of something about them they cannot control.

People being aggressive

Domestic violence


Domestic violence is when someone you know hurts you or makes you feel unsafe.


Educational supports help people with disability to study.

Housing network

Emergency accommodation


Emergency accommodation is for people who have nowhere to live and need somewhere to stay.

Two people holding hands dancing with text beneath saying be active.

Exercise physiologist


An exercise physiologist supports you with your health and fitness using exercise.


Family advocate


Family advocates are members of your family who speak up for your rights.


Feelings diary


A feelings diary is a place where you can note down your thoughts and feelings.


Financial support


Financial support means support around money issues.

Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander flags blowing in wind on a background of blue sky.

First Nations peoples


First Nations peoples are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Playing cards



Gambling is when you play games for the chance to win money.

Two men holding hands



Gay means men who are attracted to other men.

Male and female gender

Gender identity


Your gender identity is about if you feel like a man or a woman.

Person with goals



A goal is something you want and take steps to reach.

Seeing a health worker



A GP is the doctor that you see when you

  • Are sick


  • Need a health check
Three men sitting at a round table. They all look upset. Two of the men have a hand on their heads. And the other man has his head down on the table.



Grief is when you have lots of different feelings when someone dies.




A guardian is a person who helps you make decisions about parts of your life when you cannot make decisions by yourself.

Frustrated person



Guilt is feeling worried because you have done or think you have done something wrong. 

Help to fill in form

Health Care Complaints Commission


The Health Care Complaints Commission is a government service that looks into complaints people make about their health care.

Health passport

Health passport


A health passport is a list of important information about you and your health.

Two people in a relationship

Heterosexual person


A heterosexual person is

  • A woman who is attracted to men




  • A man who is attracted to women

Higher education


Higher education is when you study after you finish school.

Safe home to live

Home care teams


Home care teams provide care to people in their homes.


Home visit


A home visit is when mental health workers visit people in their homes.

Woman pointing finger in mans face.

Hospital complaints officer


The hospital complaints officer is a person who helps you to make a complaint.

People living together



Housemates are people who live in the same home as you.


Individual housing


Individual housing means you live in a home on your own or with family.

A can of beer and small packet of pink pills. On top of both is a red cross on top.

Illegal drugs      


Illegal drugs are ones that the law does not allow you to have.

Person pointing to themself



Independent means that you can make your own choices and do some things on your own.

Person living alone

Individual Living Options


Individual Living Options provides supports that are right for you in your own home.

Person in a hospital bed



Being an inpatient means you stay in hospital for one or more nights.


Inpatient unit


An inpatient unit is part of a hospital.




An interpreter is a person who changes words from your language to a language someone else understands.

Two women. Woman 1 is trying to walk towards the door. Woman 2  is standing in front of woman 1. Woman 2 has her hands out in front of her body with her palms facing the other woman so stop her leaving.

Involuntary patient


If you are an involuntary patient you must stay in hospital for mental health treatment until you are well enough to go home.


It is not your choice when you can leave.  

Languages other than English



Language is a way of communicating that is used by a country or community.


Some examples of other languages are 

  • Vietnamese 


  • Arabic


  • Cantonese



A lawyer is someone who knows about the laws and government rules in Australia.




Laws are a set of rules that everyone must follow.

Legal advocate

Legal advocates


Legal advocates are people who make sure

  • Your legal rights are looked after


  • You can get access to mental health services you need

Legal help


Legal help is when you need help with the law.


Legal services


Legal services support you with things to do with the law.

Two women holding hands



Lesbian means women who are attracted to women.

LGBTQ+ rainbow



LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning.

Two people writing down notes

LGBTQ+ ally


An LGBTQ+ ally is someone who supports LGBTQ+ people and speaks up for them.

Two people arguing



Mediation is when a person comes to support people when they have big arguments or fights.




Medicine is sometimes called medication or drugs.


Medicine can be in

  • A tablet


  • A pill


  • A drink


  • An injection
Person pointing to themself

Mental health


Mental health is about 

  • How you think


  • How you feel
Nurse asking questions

Mental health nurse


A mental health nurse is a nurse who focuses on helping people with mental health problems.

Supporting person with mental illness

Mental health problem


A mental health problem is when your feelings start to worry you.

Three people sitting at a desk

Mental Health Review Tribunal


The Mental Health Review Tribunal is a group of people who know a lot about mental health treatment and the law.

A group of six people. All are smiling.  In the front on the left is a man in suit with his left hand raised in a wave. Behind him is two women. The older woman is hugging the younger woman from behind. Next to them on the right is a man and young man, with their arms around each others shoulders. IN front of them is a woman in suit holding a black folder in her hands in front of her body.

Mental health team


A mental health team is a group of people who support your mental health care.

Two people sitting on different sides of a desk. One is a doctor and the other is a patient. Both look happy.

Mental health worker


Mental health workers are people who work to help you with your mental health.

Upset person

Mental illness


Mental illness is when your feelings and thoughts make it hard to do things.

Supporting someone



A mentor is person who guides and assists you.

First Nations family standing around the base of and on a wood staircase. Their ages range from elderly to young children.



Mob is used to mean a group of First Nations people. 


It might be your family and the communty from your land.

ndis logo



NDIS is short for National Disability Insurance Scheme.


NDIS plan


Your NDIS plan says what supports you need.

Person being bullied by others

Negative view


 A negative view is when you think something is bad.  

Carer not facing the person



Neglect is when someone who is meant to be supporting you does not give you the care you need.

Scared person



To be nervous is when people feel worried about something that is happening or might happen.

A table filled with healthy foods like meats, fish, vegetables and fruits. Behind the table are three people looking and talking about the food. With on person pointing to the label on a milk bottle.



A Nutritionist supports people to choose the best foods for them so that they are healthy.


Nutritionists do not treat medical conditions like dietitians.

Two people sitting at at a table with plates of food in front of each of them. The person on the left is passing the knife to the other person.

Occupational therapist


Occupational therapists support people to take part in daily activities and support them to learn new skills.

Official visitor

Official Visitor


Official Visitors make sure people who are getting mental health care are treated well.




You are an outpatient if you visit a clinic or hospital for treatment but do not stay overnight.


Outpatient clinic


An outpatient clinic is usually in or near a hospital.

A man and a woman hugging sitting down.



Your partner could be your boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife.

A person standing with their arms next to their body. They  are smiling.  They are wearing a blue short sleeve shirt with a white name badge near the collar.

Patient Liaison Officer


A Patient Liaison officer works in a hospital.


A Patient Liaison Officer can

  • Answer your questions


  • Help you with any concerns you have about your stay in hospital
Two people writing down notes

Peer advocates


Peer advocates are people who also have a disability or mental health problem and advocate for others.

Two people sitting at a table. They are facing each other and communicating using sign language.

Peer worker


A peer worker is someone who has a lived experience of mental health problems, disability or both.


Peer support


Peer support is when you get support from someone who has lived experience of mental health, disability or both.

Person exercising

Physical health


Physical health is about how

  • Your body feels


  • Well your body is doing what it is supposed to
Two people talking about a file

Power of attorney


A Power of attorney is a legal document that says someone can

  • Look after your money


  • Make legal decisions for you



Prevention means to stop something from happening.

Person in prison



Prisons are places where some people stay if they have broken the law.

Being quiet



Privacy means other people cannot see or hear things about you that you do not want them to know.

Two people communicating with each other

Private psychiatrists


Private psychiatrists are psychiatrists who work for themselves.

Talking to an advocate

Professional advocates


Professional advocates are people who are paid to advocate for others.

Two people communicating with each other



A psychiatrist is a doctor who helps you with your mental health using talking and medicine.

Doing an assessment



A psychologist helps you with your mental health by talking with you.


Psychologists help you find things you can do to feel better.

Woman with hand to ear hearing something



Psychosis is when people might find it hard to tell what is real.

ndis logo

Psychosocial disability


The NDIS calls disabilities that happen because of mental illness a psychosocial disability.

Health worker talking to a person



A psychotherapist helps with mental health by using talking therapies to help you learn ways to cope with stressful things in your life.


A psychotherapist is often a

  • Psychologist


  • Psychiatrist


  • Counsellor

Public community mental health services


Public community mental health services are free services and programs that support people with mental health problems.


Public service jobs


Public service jobs are when you work for the government.

Person confused



Questioning is if you feel that you might not be heterosexual but you are not sure.

Group of people all looking at one person



Racism is when people discriminate against you because of your culture or background. 




A rebate means you get some money back after paying for your treatment.

Person with thumbs up



Recovery means getting better so you can do the things you want to do.

Strong person

Recovery approach


A recovery approach builds on your strengths.


This means you can get well to do the things you want to do.

Person with goals

Recovery goals


Your recovery goals are what you would like to be able to do when you feel better.

A doctor is sitting across a table from a person. The doctor is holding a book in his left hand and writing on a note pad with his other hand.



A referral is when someone suggests you see a worker who can support you. 


Rehabilitation services


Rehabilitation services support peoples recovery.

Two people in a relationship



A relationship is a type of connection you have with a person you enjoy spending time with.

Person paying



Rent is money you have to pay regularly to live in a home you do not own.

Strong person



Resilience is your ability to cope when

  • Things change


  • You have had hard times
Two people showing respect



Respect means that health workers must listen to  

  • What you want


  • What is important to you 



Rights are rules about how everybody should be treated fairly.


A right is something everyone has.

Working together

Royal Commission


A Royal Commission means a group of people who

  • Listen to the experiences of people with disability


  • Tell the government how to make things better
A doctor is sitting across a table from a person. The doctor is holding a book in his left hand and writing on a note pad with his other hand.



Safety means you have a right to health care that will not hurt you.

Two women. Woman 1 is trying to walk towards the door. Woman 2  is standing in front of woman 1. Woman 2 has her hands out in front of her body with her palms facing the other woman so stop her leaving.



Being scheduled is when you must stay in hospital for mental health treatment.

Man with mental illness



Schizophrenia is a type of psychosis.

Speaking up



A self-advocate is someone who speaks up for themselves.

A man in pajamas brushing his teeth.



Self-care means doing things to look after yourself and feel well.

Person volunteering

Sense of meaning


A sense of meaning gives us a feeling of

  • Being part of something


  • That life is useful and valuable
Person pointing to themself

Sexual health


Sexual health means taking care of the parts of your body involved in sex.

A man and a woman hugging sitting down.

Sexual identity


Your sexual identity is about who you like and want to have sex with.


Sexual violence


Sexual violence is when someone forces somebody to do a sexual activity when they do not want to.

Safe home to live

Shared housing


Shared housing is where you live in a house provided by a disability provider with other people.

Person feeling sick

Side effect


A side effect is an unpleasant effect of medicine on your body or thinking.


 A side effect can make you feel unwell.


Social services


Social services are government services such as the

  • Child welfare system


  • Housing support
Providing support

Social worker


A social worker is a mental health worker who helps you find the support you need to stay well.

Support bubble

Social skills


Social skills are the skills you use to communicate with other people.

Getting care in your home

Specialist Disability Accommodation


Specialist Disability Accommodation is for people with very high support needs.

Health worker



Specialists are people who know a lot about intellectual disability.

Care co-ordinator

Specialist support coordinator


A specialist support coordinator is someone who helps people with complex needs get the right supports.

Two people communicating using sign language. They are both wearing face masks.

Speech pathologist


Speech pathologists support people who have problems with communication.

Aboriginal woman holding a mental stick straight down on a piece of wood. She is sitting on a blue mat. Next to her right elbow is a tin bucket with wood and a small fire.



Spirituality is a way of understanding life and connecting with others. 

People who support each other

Social network


A social network is all the people around you who can support you.

Talking on the phone and looking upset



Suicide is when you kill yourself on purpose.


If you want to kill yourself call 000 now to talk to someone who can help you.

Person washing clothes

Supported Independent Living


Supported Independent Living provides supports for daily life skills and transport for you if you live in your own home.

Support group

Support group


A support group is a small group of people you meet with to communicate about mental health.

A woman in a wheelchair with a speech bubble saying I need. Behind her is a wheel chair ramp, Easy Read document and a timer.

Support needs


Support needs means you need support with different things in your life.


Support needs are sometimes called complex needs.

Supporting someone to fill in a form

Support person


A support person supports people with intellectual disability to

  • Have all their rights met


  • Fully participate in processes of the criminal justice system



TAFE is somewhere you can study and learn skills.

Two people communicating with each other

Talking therapy


Talking therapy is when you communicate with a mental health worker to learn ways to cope with how you think or feel.

Taking a taxi

Taxi Subsidy Scheme in NSW


The Taxi Subsidy Scheme in NSW means you pay less for taxi travel.

Video call



Teleconferencing allows you to see and communicate with people online.


You can use programs like Zoom to teleconference.


You may also hear people call this telehealth.

Talking to someone you trust



Therapies are activities your mental health workers use to support your mental health.




Transgender means people who are now a different gender to the one that they were given when they were born.

Person who is very upset



Trauma is when something has happened to you that made you very frightened or very upset.

Discussing treatment



Treatments are things that can help you feel better.


Treatments can be therapies and medicine. 

Care plan

Treatment plan


A treatment plan is a list of things you can do to help you get better.


A treatment plan is sometimes called a care plan.

Booklet with rules and tick on the cover

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a set of rules.


Australia and many other countries have agreed to these rules.

A person holding a walker with another person supporting them. This supporting person has one hand on the person with the walker's back and the other hand is on the walker.

Very high support needs


Very high support needs means that you need someone to support you every day.

Stressed person

Very mentally unwell


You are very mentally unwell when you cannot cope with your feelings and thoughts.

Policeman comforting a crying person



A victim is someone who has had something bad happen to them because of a crime.

Woman with a thought bubble above her head. In the thought bubble is a tick and a cross. One of her hands  is on her chin.

Voluntary patient


You are a voluntary patient if you decide to go to hospital for mental health treatment.

Person volunteering



When you volunteer you give your time to help someone.


You do not get paid for your help.

First Nations man sitting on brick steps. His face is turned towards the ground.

Weakened spirit


A weakened spirit is the feeling of weakness that might happen when your needs are not met.


Needs might be

  • Spiritual


  • Physical


  • Social
Telling the police



A witness is someone who saw or knew someone was breaking the law.

Group of  five people sitting close together in a half circle. The group attention is on one man on the right. The man is speaking.

Yarning circle


A yarning circle is when you meet with others to communicate openly about things important to you.


Others will not judge what you communicate in a yarning circle.