For crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14, MH Call 1300 642 255 or in an emergency call 000



Common terms used throughout the My Mental Health website


A consumer is a person who has experienced or is experiencing a mental health condition.

It is not necessary to be hospitalised or otherwise engaged with a hospital or community service—or to have a formal diagnosis—for a person to identify as a consumer.

For many consumers, being involved in advocacy, learning about psychiatric treatment and participating in mental health reform is an important part of their recovery journey.

Person with lived experience

In the wellbeing community, the term 'person with a lived experience' is now being used more generally to identify consumers and carers.

It acknowledges the importance of using a recovery-based approach and recovery oriented language in mental health, where a single term can not only apply to people experiencing a mental health condition (consumers) but also the people—family members, friends or significant others—who care for them (carers).

This new terminology has coincided with the development of the peer workforce.


A peer is a person with a lived experience who uses their lived experience in a work setting.

Peer workers are employed in clinical (i.e. hospital) and community settings and many are also involved in advocacy and research, contribute lived experience knowledge and skills on committees, support community art projects and more.


A carer is a person who is identified as the primary carer and supporter of a family member or friend.

A carer may or may not receive a government allowance or carer's pension for the work they do in this role. A carer might also work full or part-time.

Many people who care for a loved one do not call themselves 'carers'. They believe that as a wife, husband, partner, daughter, son, sister, brother or friend, they are just doing the right thing. People in these roles often believe caring for each other is what families and friends do, and this explains their reluctance to call themselves 'carers'.

When a person's health needs mean that they require a lot of support – whether physical or emotional – this goes beyond the normal reciprocal caring relationship of people who are well

If this is you, then you are a carer, and there is support available if you need it.

    My Mental Health

    We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia, their diversity, histories and knowledge and their continuing connections to land, waterways and culture. We pay our respect to all Australian Indigenous Peoples and their cultures, and to Elders of past, present and future generations.

    Brisbane North PHN wishes to acknowledge the experience and expertise of the My Mental Health Steering Committee, delegates of the Peer Participation in Mental Health Services (PPIMS) network and health professionals in developing the My Mental Health Website.

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