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Our national team of advocates is available Monday to Friday 8am–8pm and Saturday 10am-4pm 

Home Diversity resources Diversity characteristics Characteristics p5

Characteristics p5

People with mental health problems and mental illness

We acknowledge the importance of using respectful, inclusive language.  Some language can sensationalise mental illness, reinforce stigma and perpetuate unhelpful stereotypes.  Inclusive language is respectful, non-judgemental and strengths based.  It focusses on the person (not the mental health condition or difficulties the person experiences).  It’s important to ask people about their preferred terminology and use the appropriate language throughout your work together.  Please refer to the resource lists for further information about inclusive language and appropriate terminology.

Mental health and wellbeing

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (2022) Mental health: prevalence and impact.  Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/622ae08e-1c2f-45df-9682-10a3e0c41fe1/prevalence-and-impact-of-mental-illness-2022.pdf.aspx

Department of Health and Aged Care. About mental health.  Available from: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/mental-health-and-suicide-prevention/about-mental-health

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2022) National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/mental-health/national-study-mental-health-and-wellbeing/latest-release

SANE Australia (2013). Growing older, staying well: mental health care for older Australians: A SANE Report. Available from: https://www.sane.org/images/PDFs/GrowingOlderStayingWell.pdf

Life in mind. About suicide: Older adults.  Available from: https://lifeinmind.org.au/about-suicide/priority-populations/older-adults

World Health Organization (WHO) (2017) Mental health of older adults.  Available from: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-of-older-adults

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (2022) Physical health of people with mental illness.  Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health/physical-health-of-people-with-mental-illness

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (2020) Suicide & self-harm monitoring.  Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/suicide-self-harm-monitoring/summary

Beyond Blue. Who does it affect? Older people.  Available from: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/who-does-it-affect/older-people

Black Dog Institute:


Aged care services and support available for people experiencing mental ill-health

Department of Health and Aged Care. What we’re doing about mental health.  Available from: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/mental-health-and-suicide-prevention/what-were-doing-about-mental-health

My Aged Care. Caring for someone with a mental health condition.  Available from: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/caring-someone-mental-health-condition

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (2022) Mental health services in Australia: Stress and trauma.  Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/stress-and-trauma

Department of Health and Aged Care. Better Access Initiative. Available from: https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/better-access-initiative#who-can-access-better-access-rebates

Department of Health and Aged Care. What we’re doing about suicide prevention.  Available from: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/mental-health-and-suicide-prevention/what-were-doing-about-suicide-prevention

Australian Government-Carer Gateway: Looking after a person with mental illness, carer support services tips.  Available from: https://www.carergateway.gov.au/tips/looking-after-person-mental

Beyond Blue.Our work with older adults.  Available from: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/about-us/about-our-work/older-adults-program

HealthDirect. Older People and Mental Health.  Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/older-people-and-mental-health

Lifeline provides access to crisis support and suicide prevention services.  Further information is available from: https://www.lifeline.org.au/

Everymind is a leading Institute dedicated to the prevention of mental ill-health and suicide.  Further information is available from: https://everymind.org.au/

Head to Health brings together apps, online programs, online forums, and phone services, as well as a range of digital information resources.  Further information is available from: https://www.headtohealth.gov.au/

Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467 is a nationwide service providing 24/7 telephone and online counselling to people affected by suicide.  Further information is available from: https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/

StandBy – 1300 727 247 is Australia’s leading suicide postvention program dedicated to assisting people and communities bereaved or impacted by suicide.  StandBy is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing free face-to face and/or telephone support at a time and place that is best for each individual.  Further information is available from: https://standbysupport.com.au/

Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC) COVID-19 aged care grief and trauma support services. Available from: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/aged-care/advice-on-aged-care-during-covid-19/grief-and-trauma-support-services


Delivering safe and inclusive services for people experiencing mental ill-health

Relationships Australia SA (2021) Mental Health in RACF Toolkit: Improving Emotional Wellness.  Available from: https://www.rasa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Mental-Health-in-RACF-Toolkit.pdf

Relationships Australia SA (2021) Supporting Emotional Wellness in Aged Care: Building connection and strength by reminiscing.  Available here.

Victorian Department of Health (2011) Well for Life: Improving emotional wellbeing for older people in residential aged care.  Available here.

Anglicare. Suicide prevention for seniors (free online training program for aged care staff).  Further information is available from: https://www.anglicare.org.au/what-we-offer/mental-health/suicide-prevention-for-seniors/

Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (2010) Workers with Mental Illness: a Practical Guide for Managers.  (See Appendix C: How to talk about mental illness).  Available from: https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/disability-rights/publications/2010-workers-mental-illness-practical-guide-managers

Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) (2022) Recovery Oriented Language Guide: Third Edition. Sydney, Australia.  Available from: https://mhcc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Recovery-Oriented-Language-Guide-Mental-Health-Coordinating-Council-2022.pdf

Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) (2011) Consumer and carer experiences of stigma from mental health and other health professionals.  Available here.

SANE Australia (2021) Reducing stigma.  Available from: https://www.sane.org/information-and-resources/facts-and-guides/reducing-stigma

Everymind. Mental Health: Language and stigma.  Available from: https://everymind.org.au/understanding-mental-health/mental-health/language-and-stigma

Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (2010) Workers with Mental Illness: a Practical Guide for Managers.  (See Appendix C: How to talk about mental illness).  Available from: https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/disability-rights/publications/2010-workers-mental-illness-practical-guide-managers

Beyond Blue (2019) Have the conversation with older people.  Available from: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/who-does-it-affect/older-people/have-the-conversation-with-older-people