Mental Health A-Z

Partners in recovery (PIR)

An Australian Government program which aims to better support people with severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs and their carers and families, by improving collaboration and co‑ordination.

Person with lived experience of a mental health difficulty

The Commission prefers to use the term ‘people with a lived experience’ to describe people experiencing mental health difficulties, their families and support people, to ensure that our language in the Report Card is clear, both to people who recognise the term ‘consumer’ and those who do not identify with an established mental health consumer movement.

Personal Helpers and Mentors program (PHaMs)

An Australian Government‑funded program which aims to provide increased opportunities for recovery for people whose lives are severely affected by mental illness. The program takes a strengths‑based recovery approach and assists people 16 years and over whose ability to manage their daily activities is impacted because of a severe mental illness.


The proportion of people in a population found to have a condition at a certain point in time. It is arrived at by comparing the number of people found with a condition to the number of people studied. Prevalence is usually expressed as a fraction or percentage.

Psychiatric Disability

Psychiatric Disability is the consequence and impact of a mental illness on the affected person’s ability to function and is a term used in the Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Psychiatric disability may be intermittent and associated with symptoms of schizophrenia, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, addictive behaviours, personality disorders, stress, psychosis, depression and adjustment disorders. The Commission, however, prefers the term psychosocial disability to describe the type of disability as it affects the daily functioning of a person and to recognise the broader social disadvantage and effects of mental illness on people.


A mental state where a person experiences seriously distorted thinking, actions and feelings. It involves delusions and hallucinations, and can alienate a person from reality. Psychotic disorders are less common than other forms of mental illness.