Mental Health-Forum Post -

Mental Health-Forum Post

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Nursing Question

Reflect and apply

  • In your jurisdiction (NSW), what is mental illness?
  • What is it not?
  • How do these differ from definitions and exclusions in other jurisdictions (NSW, NT and VIC Mental Health)?
  • Exclusions- definition of Mental illness in NSW and NT and VIC Mental Health.
  • What are some possible reasons for the differences?

Nursing Solution


A condition, which significantly damages the cognitive functioning of an individual either permanently or temporarily, defined to be mental illness. Mentally disordered person or mentally ill person found to have characterized symptoms such as adverse disorder of thought form, mood disturbance, hallucinations, and delusions and repeated or sustained irrational behavior. They found to cause serious physical threat to themselves or others. The person is not considered to be mentally disordered person or mentally ill person when the presence or deficiency of sexual orientation/preference, philosophy and religious beliefs (Butler et al. 2006, pp. 274). 

In the legislation of Northern Territory, the mental illness is defines as condition which severely impairs the cognitive functioning of an individual in orientation or perception of memory, volition, mood and thought. The symptoms include disorder of mood or thought, delusions. In the legislation of Victoria, the mental illness defined as individual characterized by serious disturbance of memory, perception and mood. Serious permanent or temporary psychological, biochemical, physiological impacts of alcohol or drug considered person mentally ill (Butler et al. 2006, pp. 273)

The exclusion criteria of mental illness in NT includes person who possess developmental disability, participate in anti-social behavior and addict to alcohol or other drugs not considered mentally disordered person.  The difference in the exclusion criteria depends upon jurisdiction law set in court located in NSW, NT and VIC. The exclusion criteria of mental illness in NSW includes individual in the current or past involvement in illegal or immoral conduct and sexual promiscuity not considered to be mentally ill person (Ogloff et al. 2007, pp. 4). 

Reference List

Butler, T, Andrews, G, Allnutt, S, Sakashita, C, Smitha, NE, & Basson, J 2006, Mental disorders in Australian prisoners: a comparison with a community sample. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 272-6.

Ogloff, JR, Davis, M, Rivers, G, & Ross, S 2007. The identification of metnal disorders in the criminla justice systems. Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice. Canberra: Australian Government-Australian Institute of Criminology, pp. 1-6.

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