Mental Health Definitions

We are redesigning our website. Share your feedback in this short survey.


Acute Mental Illness
Acute mental illness is characterised by significant and distressing symptoms of a mental illness requiring immediate treatment. This may be the person's first experience of mental illness, a repeat episode or the worsening of symptoms of an often continuing mental illness. The onset is sudden or rapid and the symptoms usually respond to treatment.

Anxiety Disorders
These disorders were formerly called neuroses. They are characterized by an excessive degree of anxiety, developing in some patients to episodes of panic.

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Teams
ACT teams are interdisciplinary teams with professional, clinical experience in occupational therapy, psychiatric nursing, psychiatry, social work, therapeutic recreation, and vocational support. ACT teams work in the community assisting clients with severe and persistent mental illness to live independently in the place of their choice and to achieve their personal, educational, and/or vocational goals. There are eleven ACT teams under St. Joseph’s Health Care London in Southwestern Ontario.

Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depressive Illness)
A state characterized by extreme mood swings, depression alternating with manic behaviour.

Delusions
False beliefs not grounded in reality

Depression
Depression is a biological illness affecting brain chemistry, which can lead to a state of morbid and extreme sadness, despair and hopelessness.

Hallucinations
Person senses perceptions that do not exist in the real world.

Homes for Special Care (HSC)
HSC provides supportive care to residents living in 24-hour supervised residential facilities licensed by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

Organic Brain Disorders
They can be psychiatric disorders (a) resulting from brain damage from trauma or disease or (b) a temporary metabolic derangement involving the brain as a whole or part.

Patient Advocate
The Patient Advocate is independent of the hospital and can act on the patient’s behalf when they have concerns about treatment, legal rights, or restrictions of freedom while in hospital.

Personality Disorders
They are deeply ingrained life-long patterns of behaviour, which affect interpersonal relationships and social skills. 

Rights’ Advisor
The Rights’ Advisor will meet with the client regarding decisions that affect their rights under the mental health legislation. If requested, the Rights Adviser will assist them in obtaining legal services and applying to the Consent and Capacity Board. This service is free, confidential and independent of the hospital.

Schizophrenia
A biological brain disease believed to be related to faulty brain chemistry that affects thinking, perception, mood and behaviour.

Steele Street Residential Treatment and Rehabilitation Program
Steele Street offers integrated treatment, rehabilitation and support in a residential setting to individuals with a severe and persistent mental illness. A multidisciplinary team of professionals provide services 24 hours a day.

 Specialized Mental Health Care
Assessment and treatment provided in a community or hospital setting that focus on serving people with serious mental illness who have complex, rare and unstable mental disorders.

Last updated: Wed, 2015-03-18 17:35