A & D
Alcohol and Drug

Auckland Healthcare Services Ltd

Auckland District Health Board

Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation


Child and Family

Community Alcohol and Drug Service

People who support users of mental health services when they are unwell.

Case management
This is a team approach to psychiatric care in the community. The team may include a Social Worker, Mental Health Nurse, Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologists; Community Agencies (e.g. voluntary organizing dealing with mental illness such as SF) Family members may also be included.

Community Assessment and Treatment Team

Continuing Care Team

Counties Manukau District Health Board

Community Mental Health Centre

Those in need of urgent psychiatric assessment, whose GP feels they need a specialist psychiatric assessment. Can offer:

  • Assessment, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Crisis Interventions.
  • Help/advice in relation to the Mental Health Act.
  • Providing and monitoring of medication.
  • Consumer advocacy and representation.
  • Family therapy.
  • Integrated Mental Health Care.
  • Groups with a specific focus.
  • Information/advice about other Mental Health programmes.
  • Specialist Treatment including Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Psychological Therapy.
  • Liaison with other social & medical services.
  • Community Clinics providing access to support groups, provision and review of medications.
  • First-Episode Psychosis Service

Mixed staff: psychiatrists; nurses; psychologists; social workers; occupational therapists; integrated mental health workers; trainees on placement; and Maori and Pacific mental health staff.

Community Mental Health Team
A team of different health professionals and support workers which provides assessment, treatment and support for people with mental illness.

A person who experiences or has experienced mental illness, and who uses or has used mental health services. Also refers to service user, survivor, patient, resident, and client. See also tangata whaiora.

Consumer advisor
Give advice to the management of mental health services from the perspective of service users.

Consumer advocate/adviser
A person who is a consumer, who is employed within an organisation, particularly hospitals or health providers, to provide a consumer ‘voice' within that organisation, and to liaise and advocate on behalf of consumers.

Consumer movement
Consumers organising for self-help purposes to work towards more responsive services and increased acceptance by the wider community.

Counsellors help people deal with their feelings and responses, and assist their clients to decide on action they can take to solve problems. They may specialise in relationship counselling, grief and loss, addictions, family problems or life changes.


District Health Board

Disability Support Advisory Committee

To select choose or act on the basis of preconceived opinions. Unfavourable or less favourable treatment based on preconceived opinion, bias or partiality. Unlawful discrimination relates to discrimination on the grounds and areas specified in the Human Rights Act 1993.

District inspector
They are the watchdogs of patient's rights, ensuring the Mental Health act is correctly applied and the rights of individuals are respected and upheld. They are appointed by the Minister of Health under the 1992 Act. They are always Barristers or Solicitors and this role is conducted in addition to their usual legal practice. Their role does not include being the patients advocate or legal advisors for mental health services. Every individual subject to the act should be visited by a DI who will provide them with information on the process, explain their role, the patient's rights and discuss options for review.

Duly authorised officers 
They are the front line operators of the Mental Health Act. They are appointed by DAMHS (Directors of Area Mental Health Services) and are trained health professionals. They should have identifying cards provided by the Hospital or Health Service. They can assist anyone to apply for an assessment of a person or help an individual make the application themselves. They must first be satisfied that the concern is valid and there are reasonable grounds for believing that the person may be mentally disordered. District Health Boards must keep a list of telephone numbers of DAOs that you or your family or whanau can ring if you need help or advice.


Electroconvulsive therapy


Health and Disability Commissioner

Human Rights Commission


Key worker or Case manager
Coordinate your care and be your main point of contact. They should also support you to develop your goals and strategy for recovery. There is also often a mental health nurse or a social worker.


Mason Inquiry
A 1996 Ministerial inquiry led by Judge Ken Mason. It gave an overview of and made recommendations on the provision and coordination of mental health services, as well as legislation, privacy concerns, the rights of families, funding, public education and research and development.

Mental health
The Mental Health Foundation defines mental health as the capacity to feel, think and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. It is a positive sense of emotional and spiritual wellbeing that respects the importance of culture, equity, social justice and personal dignity.

Some mental health consumers tangata whaiora have defined mental health as "living daily with the reality of mental illness and learning to incorporate my illness into all parts of my life so that I can feel healthy and whole".

The World Health Organisation defines mental health as being a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

Mental Health Commission
The Commission was established by the Government in 1996 in response to the Mason Inquiry. It was given three terms of reference: to report on the implementation of the mental health strategy; to reduce discrimination; and to strengthen the mental health workforce. The Commission has a limited term of five years.

Mental health nurses / psychiatric nurse
A mental health nurse provides treatment, care and support for people with emotional, mental and behavioural problems. Mental health nurses are increasingly working in a community setting, but the majority work in hospital outpatient or outpatient settings. They are skilled in the specialised use of communication, counselling, psychopharmacology, applying speciality knowledge in the provision of clinical assessment, monitoring, therapeutic interventions, treatment, and referral to other health professionals. Some mental health nurses have special responsibilities under the Mental Health Act 1992 as duly authorised officers.

Mental health sector
Includes mental health service providers, consumer and carer organisations, public health service providers active in mental health and primary care providers.

Mental health services
Organisations whose primary function is the provision of care, treatment, and support and education for recovery to people with mental illness, or mental health problems.

Mental health support worker
Non-clinicians who work with people with mental illness. The mental health support workforce is mainly employed in the non-government community support services sector. They provide support and practical assistance and deliver rehabilitation services or programmes that facilitate the recovery process for people experiencing serious mental illness or emotional distress.

Mental Health Information National Collection

Mental Health Advocacy Coalition

Ministry of Health

Maori Mental Health Service


National Mental Health Strategy
An overall strategy for mental health covering the Government's goals, principles and objectives for mental health services.

Northern DHB Support Agency

Non governmental organisation

National Health Index

New Zealand Health Information Service


Occupational therapist
Occupational therapy is the professional group that uses activities and occupations to enable people to recover from mental illness. Occupational therapists work with people to regain lost abilities, or to develop new skills and interests. Being involved in meaningful occupations helps people on their journey to recovery. They focus on self-care, productivity and leisure time activities. They take a client centred approach and work closely with family/whanau/fono.


Pacific / Maori cultural workers
Help mainstream services provide culturally respectful services for Maori / Pacific Island peoples.

Peer support workers
Work alongside individuals and groups who experience addiction or mental distress to nurture hope and personal power and to inspire them to move forward with their lives. Someone who has experienced their own journey or difficulties in the area they work. Peer support worker is an umbrella term for several other roles and job titles with similar functions, such as peer navigator, peer recovery coach, peer recovery guide, peer mentor, voice worker or peer support specialist.

Primary healthcare organisation

A group or organisation contracted by a DHB to provide treatment or support services to individuals and their families.

Public health
Services intended to prevent illness, and to protect and promote the health of the public.

A medically trained specialist in mental health who, as a doctor, focuses on the definite signs and symptoms of mental illness to formulate a diagnosis and treatment. Psychiatrists are able to prescribe medication.

Psychologist - educational, clinical, private
Assess the current emotional and lifestyle problems of clients, their social and family histories, and examine how feelings, actions, beliefs and culture interact to shape the person's experience and difficulties. Clinical Psychologists give psychometric and neuropsychological tests to identify problems and to measure clients' skills and abilities. They develop and implement individual client plans. They cannot prescribe medication.

1. Educational psychologists help with problems of learning and growing up, from birth until 20 years. They work in local Special Education Services. This service is found among Government Departments in the phone book. Educational Psychologists are paid from our taxes. No fees are charged. There may be a waiting list.

2. Clinical psychologists often deal with adult life issues, though they work with children as well. The majority of psychologists work in the Health Services both general and psychiatric (e.g., Community Mental Health Services). They are found by ringing a nearby health district. They too are paid from taxes. There are no fees. There may be a waiting list.

3. Psychologists in private practice may be either educational or clinical. They see individuals or families. They also work for sportsmen and women, and on contract for businesses, Family Courts, ACC and community organisations. They are found in the Yellow Pages under Psychologists- Registered. Most charge $60-$100 for each hour, but fees can be negotiated if they are too much to pay. People are usually seen within 1-2 weeks.

4. Psychologists also work in Justice, Social Welfare and Police Departments, working in a variety of the areas listed above.

Psychotherapy's concern, in the broadest sense, is assisting individuals, couples and groups to see, think, feel or act differently. It is a collaborative process between client and the psychotherapist, based on the client's active participation.

Where therapist and client work together to explore how events of the past relate to the client's current emotional and psychological problems, with the aim of resolving them.


Regional Alcohol and Drug Services

Responsible clinician 
This is usually a psychiatrist and is the person responsible for a person's treatment while they are under the Mental Health Act.


Social workers
Look after social and practical needs such as family assistance, welfare benefits, housing, jobs etc.

A mark or sign of shame, disgrace or disapproval.


Tangata whaiora
People with experience of mental illness, who are seeking wellness, or recovery of self. Literally translated as people seeking wellness.


Waitemata District Health Board

Extended family, family group, a familiar term of address to a number of people, close.