Mental Health Terms

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There are currently 22 names in this directory beginning with the letter S.
Satellite mental health service

A service that provides intake and assessment, continuing treatment and case management and consultation and liaison from a small number of mental health professionals based in rural or non-provincial centres. These services are supported clinically and professionally by outreach mental health services from provincial and metropolitan mental health services (from within the district or from another district).

Schizoaffective Disorder

A disorder with an uninterrupted period of illness during which there is a Major Depressive, Manic or Mixed Episode concurrent with symptoms that meet criterion for Schizophrenia.


A severe mental illness characterised by a disintegration of the process of thinking, of contact with reality, and of emotional responsiveness. Delusions and hallucinations (especially of voices) are usual features, and the person may feel that thoughts, sensations and actions are controlled by or shared with others. The person may become socially withdrawn and lose energy. No single cause of the disease is known. There are strong genetic factors in the causation and environmental stress can precipitate illness.

Secure treatment service

Provision of services for people with mental disorders or serious mental health problems who, based on clinical assessment, require treatment in a closed setting to ensure the safety of the person, the staff and the community. Three (3) levels of inpatient secure treatment are provided: acute inpatient secure treatment, extended secure treatment and high security treatment.


The sum total of perceptions, feelings and beliefs about oneself.


A person’s control of decisions that influence his or her life.


The belief in one’s own capacity to perform the actions needed to control events affecting one’s well-being and the ability to successfully execute the appropriate required behaviours.


The evaluative internal image of oneself formed by the interaction of one’s experiences with influential variables in the environment.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Excessive anxiety concerning separation from the home or from those to whom the person is attached.

Sexual masochism

Sexual pleasure derived from the experience of pain and/or humiliation.

Sexual sadism

Sexual excitement from inflicting pain or thinking about inflicting pain or humiliation on other people.

Sleepwalking Disorder (Somnambulism)

Repeated episodes walking about and performing other actions during sleep without later memory of doing so.


Person suffering chronic mental disorder characterised by anti-social behaviour and lack of guilt, and little capacity for forming emotional relationships with others.

Somatization Disorder

A disorder characterised by multiple recurrent changing physical symptoms such as back pain, the absence of physical disorders that could explain them.

Special care suite

A small dedicated self-contained facility located within a rural general hospital setting where short-term specialised treatment for a person experiencing an acute episode of mental illness is provided.

Specialised mental health service

Specifically designed health services for individual assessment, continuing treatment and rehabilitation for people with mental disorders and serious mental health problems. They also provide specialised consultation and liaison services to other agencies and include a component offering expert advice to facilitate rehabilitation and promotion programs.


A sign of disgrace or shame associated with an illness.


Any factor that threatens the health of the body or has an adverse effect on its functioning such as injury, disease or worry. The existence of one form of stress tends to diminish resistance to other forms.

Substance withdrawal

Symptoms associated with abrupt stopping of excessive use of alcohol or drugs. Features may include anxiety, tremors, sweating and vivid and terrifying visual and sensory hallucinations.

Support groups

Groups of people who meet regularly to discuss specific problems that are common to all of them.


Characteristics by which diseases are recognised. The complaints which a patient presents.


Set of symptoms occurring together.

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