The words used in Neurodevelopment can often be confusing!

Below you’ll find an explanation for the many different terms and abbreviations our teams use.

If you ever have any questions about what something means, let your practitioner know. You have the right to be fully involved in your care – understanding your care will make it easier for you to do this.

If you have any other words or definitions you’d like us to cover in the Jargon Buster, let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

Click on a letter on the alphabet to find a particular word, or scroll down.

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Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Addiction is when a person becomes dependant on a certain substance or action. They may need more to get the same effect (tolerance) or suffer when it is not available (withdrawal).

Common examples of things people can be addicted to include drugs, alcohol and gambling.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events, particular those that happen when we are very young, that can affect health and wellbeing.

Examples include exposure to violence, a parent facing challenges with their mental health or childhood abuse.

Find out more at ACE Aware Wales.

Anorexia is an eating disorder where a person tries to control their body weight in a way that is obsessive or unhealthy.

Though it may be seen as a disorder that only affects women, both men and woman can experience it and can receive support and treatment.

Other symptoms can include counting calories, exercising too much, a fixation with body image, trouble sleeping, feeling irritable, not having periods and growing a thin layer of hair all over the body.

If someone is facing challenges related to their emotional wellbeing, our practitioners will meet with them to talk about their symptoms, the impact on their life and what goals they want to achieve. They will then develop a plan to tackle these challenges.

This is called an assessment or a choice appointment. This is the term we use for an initial appointment to find out what’s going on in someone’s life, the challenges they are facing and what they want to achieve.

Family members will often be asked to share their perspective for assessments, unless the child or young person does not want them to be involved. This can help the practitioner to get a better understanding of how your challenges are affecting your life, but is not mandatory.

What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong neurological disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world.

Autism is a spectrum condition and affects people in different ways. Like all people, Autistic people have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Autistic people may have difficulties with the following:

  • find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
  • find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
  • find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
  • get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
  • take longer to understand information
  • do or think the same things over and over

Autism is not an illness

Being Autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. It means your brain works in a different way from other people.

It’s something you’re born with or first appears when you are very young.

If you’re Autistic, you’re Autistic your entire life.

Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a “cure”. But some people need support to help them with certain things.

Click here to find out more about Autism from

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurological condition that many children, young people and adults have.

It is something which lasts a lifetime, although by adulthood many people have learnt how to live happy. successful lives with their ADHD. For lots of people having ADHD has been a real strength that has helped them to succeed in their careers and life.

Some of the main characteristics of ADHD are:

  • Hyperactivity (having lots of energy and needing to fidget/move about a lot)
  • Impulsivity (not being able to self-regulate or control thoughts, feelings or actions)
  • Inattention (difficulty remembering information and concentrating)

Someone with ADHD might also:

  • Forget things
  • Talk too much
  • Take unnecessary risks
  • Daydream a lot
  • Interrupt others
  • Find taking turns difficult
  • Easily lose things
  • Struggle to organise themselves

We say that someone has experienced a bereavement if someone they know has died.

It is normal for someone who has experienced a bereavement to feel a mixture of emotions – there are no rules about how someone should feel or for how long.

Experiencing a bereavement is not itself a mental health problem – but the intense feelings that someone may experience could trigger a problem for them.

Go to our page on bereavement for more information and resources.

Bipolar Disorder is when your mood is extremely high or low for days or weeks on end. Symptoms vary but can include things such as extreme mood swings, manic episodes (long periods of being over active or over excited that have an impact on your life), low mood, low energy and thoughts of self-harm.

Go to Young Minds for more information about Bipolar Disorder.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance, but these flaws are not noticeable to other people.

Even though many of us may have things that we don’t like about our appearance, people with BDD can spend hours thinking about this, to the point where it stops them being able to live a full life and do the things they enjoy.

Bulimia is an eating disorder which can make people feel like they don’t have control over their eating or relationship with food.

They may try to regain this control by eating a lot of food at once (binging) and getting rid of it quickly (purging) by doing a lot of exercise, throwing up or using laxatives.

Bullying is when an individual or group of people inflicts harm on another individual or group.

There are lots of different types of bullying. It can include physical violence (e.g. hitting), verbal abuse (e.g. name calling, slurs) and isolation (not involving people in social situations). It can happen in person or online (this is called cyber bullying).

Go to our page on bullying for more information and resources.

A carer is a person who looks after someone who is struggling with a disorder, addiction, mental health problem or a disability. A carer could be looking after a parent or guardian, a sibling, partner or friend.

Children and young people can be young carers or young adult carers but not realise it. They could be looking after a friend or family member who is ill, disabled or who needs support.

Caring for a loved one is an extra responsibility in someone’s life. Go to our page on young carers for more information.

If someone is facing challenges related to their emotional wellbeing, our practitioners will meet with them to talk about their symptoms, the impact on their life and what goals they want to achieve. They will then develop a plan to tackle these challenges.

This is called an assessment or a choice appointment. This sounds scary, but it’s just the term we use for an initial appointment to find out what’s going on in someone’s life and what they want to achieve.

Family members will often be asked to share their perspective for assessments, unless the child or young person says they do not want them to be involved. This can help the practitioner to get a better understanding of how your challenges are affecting your life, but is not mandatory.

Children looked after is a term used to refer to children and young people who live in local authority care. This could be with foster carers or in a residential placement.

Practitioner Psychologists can help with a range of emotional, behavioural, developmental and mental health problems in children, young people and in families.

Although some practitioner psychologists are also trained therapists, practitioner psychologists aim to assess and help with children’s psychological functioning, emotional wellbeing and development through a good understanding of the problem (normally called assessment), and really try to think where best to help (so might work with your family, school, groups) so this can look a little different to therapy, but still be therapeutic.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help people to manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave. It is often used to treat anxiety and depression.

It aims to help deal with overwhelming problems in a positive way by breaking them down into small parts, and showing you how to change your behaviours to improve the way you feel.

CBT provides practical ways to cope with your current problems and improve your state of mind rather than focusing on issues from your past.

Click here for more information

These are doctors who have an expertise in working with vulnerable groups of children and their parents/carers. Their aim is to understand and explain any disruption in the normal bonding between parent and child

If you are not happy with the service you are receiving you should ask to see the complaints policy.

The policy for the Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health Care Group can be found here but we would always encourage you to speak to the person you are working with first, or ask to speak to their manager, as sometimes this can be the most helpful step.

Compliments are lovely things to get, and we hope that you get some from important people around you about all of the qualities you have.

We do want to get better when we have done something wrong, but please do also let us know when we have done things well by contacting us.

When you are seeking support with your emotional wellbeing, confidentiality means that the personal information you share with the people supporting you must remain private and not be shared with anyone else without your consent (agreement).

However, this does not apply if the professional with whom you are working has concerns about your safety or the safety of another person.

If you give consent, it means that you are saying that something can happen. In Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health, it means that you or a guardian must say yes before any practitioner who looks after your health can see or treat you.

If you are 16 or 17 you are presumed to be able to give consent. This means your practitioner does not have to ask your parents or carers for consent as well.

If you are under 16, you may still be able to give consent as long as you are able to understand what is involved. Your practitioner will talk to you, explain what will happen and how it may make you feel. If they believe that you understand what is involved then you will be able to give consent and make the decision to have the treatment.

Even if you cannot give consent, your practitioner will talk to you about what is going to happen, and will also speak to your parent or carer about what is in your best interest.

Click here for more information from the Children’s Commissioner for Wales on consent in health care

Counselling is a word that is often used to describe talking therapies in general, so a counsellor is a therapist trained to listen to you and help you find ways to deal with emotional issues.

You can access a counsellor if you are in a school, or via your GP (or other 3rd sector organisations) if you are over 18.

A mental health crisis is when you feel like you need urgent help.

If you or somebody else is currently going through a crisis, visit I need help now to see your options and how to contact someone that can help you.

If your referral is accepted by the Crisis Liaison team, you will be offered an assessment within 48 hours.

Cyber-bullying is bullying that takes place online or on social media. It’s often done anonymously, which means that the person responsible doesn’t tell you who they are, which can feel really scary and isolating.

Go to our page on bullying for more information and resources.

CYP is a short form for Children and Young People.

CYPF is short for Children, Young People and Families.

A delusion is a belief that is held with strong conviction even when there is evidence showing it is not true.

Developmental trauma describes how negative events from a person’s childhood, such as neglect or abuse, have or could affect their development, potentially causing emotional and physical difficulties.

Trauma is sometimes also referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

A diagnosis is a way of describing a combination of symptoms shown by a person when they are asking for help. It is a short hand way to describe experiences, and helps practitioners to research what works for whom, explain why something is occurring and to offer advice or assistance to help.

Not everyone who is facing mental health challenges receives a diagnosis. Their experience is just as valid as those people who have a medical diagnosis.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a type of talking therapy. It is based on CBT but is specifically for people who feel emotions very intensely.

Discharge is when a person’s treatment or care has been completed. This is positive as it shows you have made progress towards your goals.

When you are discharged by our teams, they will make sure that you have resources to help you continue to support your emotional wellbeing and contact details of where to go or who to contact if you need help again.

Early help is when problems or challenges are identified and supported at an early stage.

Getting support early can reduce the impact the problem will have a person’s life.

There are specific Early Help services for children, young people and families run by the councils in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

An eating disorder is when you have an unhealthy attitude to food, to the point that it is taking over your life and making you unwell.

Eating disorders can include eating too much or too little, or becoming obsessed with your weight or body shape.

A person can still have an eating disorder at a healthy weight because it is determined by the relationship they have with food in their mind, which often goes on to cause physical side effects such as weight gain or loss.

Emotional abuse involves putting someone down, shouting at them, ignoring them, humiliating them or making them feel bad about yourself.

Emotional abuse is often part of other types of abuse (such as physical abuse), which can make it hard to spot the signs, but it can also happen without any other types of abuse.

It’s important to remember that no one has the right to make you feel bad, and if they are, it is not your fault. Go to Childline for more information about emotional abuse.

Emotions include both good and bad feelings. It is normal to experience both good and bad feelings during your day to day life.

Emotions can be confusing. We sometimes feel multiple emotions at the same time.

Click here for a short video on Youtube for more information about everyday feelings.

Young people have rights just as adults do – in fact, they have more rights to help them grow and develop well!

When a young person is receiving support for the emotional wellbeing, it is really important that they feel able to speak about what is wrong and what they want to do about it. They should also be empowered to help make a decision on what to do next.

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales is responsible for promoting the rights, views and interests of children and young people in Wales. There are lots of resources available on their website

Our Youth Board also helped to develop this video about children’s rights:

Flashbacks generally give someone the sensation that they are re-living a past experience. This could be sights, sounds or feelings that remind them of what happened.

This can be really scary because it’s hard to control when they might occur and how they affect you, and the past experience may linked to some painful memories.

A food diary can help a person track how the food they eat affects their mood and behaviour.

If you note down what you eat and drink, as well as your mental and physical health each day, you may be able to see patterns that could be affecting your wellbeing.

Gender dysphoria is when a person feels a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity (for example, a person born with female genitalia identifying as a man).

Our Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health Services will help discuss these issues with you and let you know what services can support you.

Goals are the things you want to achieve by working with a professional or service.

The professional or service you are working with will help you to set achievable goals and will constantly check if their involvement is helping you make progress towards the things you really want help with.

Being able to set and work towards goals is a really important life skill.

Grief generally means a deep sadness, normally experienced at the loss of something, or more specifically someone.

Although often associated with sadness, grief can be lots of emotions; but grief is most often felt by us, after someone we love has died.

Group work is a type of support where people facing emotional wellbeing challenges meet together.

This is usually the same group of people, which means they can make friends and talk about things that are important to them or affect their lives.  A mental health professional will typically lead these sessions.

Group work is just as important and helpful as individual sessions. We may invite you to participate in some group sessions as part of your support from us.

A hallucination is when a person can see, hear, smell, taste or feel something that other people cannot. An example of this is if someone says they can hear voices that no one else can.

Hallucinations may be a sign of mental illness (such as psychosis), but they can also happen in people who are well, often when they are drowsy. Hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD can also cause hallucinations.

Hypochondria is when you spend so much time worrying that you’re ill, or about getting ill, that it starts to take over your life.

Symptoms include constant worrying about your health, frequently checking your body for signs of illness and worrying that your doctor or medical professional may have missed something.

Hypochondria is often associated with other worries and anxieties.

When a person is admitted to hospital for treatment.

Being unusually active, to the point where it is hard to stay still or concentrate, is known as hyperactivity. Hyperactive behaviour can also be aggressive and impulsive, which can make things difficult at school, home or work and put a strain on a person’s relationships.

Hyperactivity is often associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

An inpatient is someone who comes to a hospital or centre for diagnosis, support or treatment that requires an overnight stay.

An intervention is anything a professional does with the intention of making a positive change to help a person who is facing some challenges.

In emotional wellbeing, this could involve working directly with a young people or with their parents / carers or working with staff in their school to ensure the young person’s needs are being met there.

LGBTQ+ stands for ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer’. The ‘+’ includes any other sexuality or gender that people may identify with.

Being part of the LGBTQ+ community is not a mental health condition. However, feeling different or being bullied for being LGBTQ+ can have an impact on your mental health.

Find out more at Young Stonewall.

Mania is a feeling of being extremely ‘high’ with lots of energy and enthusiasm. This is different from being in a normal good mood as the feelings are more intense and last continuously for a long time.

Mania can appear by itself or as a symptom of bipolar disorder.

Some types of mental health difficulties may respond to treatment including the use of drugs or medication. Medication can help with conditions such as depression, psychosis, bipolar disorder and anxiety.

However, it is not right for everyone, and this is something your practitioner may speak to you about. Medication alone is rarely a ‘quick fix’ for mental health problems, so it is usually combined with other types of support such as talking therapy or group work.

Young Minds have a section on medications, including a medication glossy and advice for how to decide if a medication is right for you.

Generally, medicine means identifying, treating and preventing illness. This applies to both physical and mental health.

It can also be used to describe medication.

Ups and downs are part of life, and we all have good days and bad days. When negative thoughts and feelings start to affect your daily life and stop you doing the things you usually enjoy, this is a sign you might need some support with your mental health.

There are lots of reason why we might start struggling with our mental health, including difficult things going on in your life, traumatic past experiences or relationship problems. Sometimes there is no cause, and that’s ok.

Whatever the reason, remember that this isn’t your fault and that things can get better. There are people who want to listen to you and help you.

Sometimes we compare ourselves to others and wonder why they aren’t finding things as challenging. We all experience different things, and react to things differently – so the right support will look different for everyone. What works for your friend might not work for you, and that’s ok!

It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much.

Paying attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. Being aware of the present, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you, is called mindfulness. It can help us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better.

You can find out more about how mindfulness helps emotional wellbeing here

Neurodisability is an umbrella term for conditions associated with impairment involving the nervous system and includes conditions such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy; it is not uncommon for such conditions to co-occur.

This describes a group of people with differently organised brains. For example the pupils in a school might be neurodiverse. No one can be neurodiverse on their own.

Neurodivergent is a term used to describe a person who has atypical neurological development. Some people have brains which are organised in a very different way, sometimes people may have a diagnosis like Autism, Learning Disability, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Tourette syndrome but sometimes the differences don’t fit neatly into a diagnosis.

The idea that everyone’s brains are organised in different ways.

In the same way that our fingerprints are unique, our brains are unique too. Some people have brains which are organised in a very different way, sometimes people may have a diagnosis like Autism, Learning Disability, ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, but sometimes the differences don’t fit neatly into a diagnosis.

In neurodiversity people with differently organised brains are called neurodivergent and everyone else is call neurotypical. On average one in seven people are neurodivergent.

Most people are neurotypical, meaning that the brain functions and processes information in the way society expects. Neurotypical people are approximately 6 in 7 of the population. People who are not neurotypical are neurodivergent.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder. People with OCD have repeating thoughts, images or feelings that are distressing – these are known as ‘obsessive thoughts’.

Sometimes when our mind is filled with upsetting thoughts, we try to take actions that will make those thoughts go away. We might start to believe that the actions make the bad thoughts go away.

These rituals (some people call them habits) calm us down and can seem helpful, but they sometimes become ‘compulsions’, which means we think we have to do them, and that something bad will happen to us or the people around us if we don’t do them.

Some OCD rituals can be seen by other people (like switching off the light) or they can happen inside your head (like counting things).

Compulsive rituals can make us feel worse, as once the ritual is finished, the anxious thoughts come rushing back. This can leave people stuck in a cycle of repeating their ritual again and again, and feel unable to stop.

OCD is not just about being tidy or ordered. OCD thoughts can include lots of different rituals, and often focus on things like danger, dirt or worries about religion or sexuality. Some people feel guilty or ashamed of their thoughts and rituals.

Find out more here.

The word outcome is used to describe whether an intervention is working for a child or young person.

A good outcome would be when an intervention is helpful. For example, if a talking therapy made you feel more confident in going to school.

A poor outcome is when an intervention is not helpful in reaching your goals.

Outcome measures are a way to see whether an intervention is making an impact. The impact could be any effect on symptoms, how a person functions in their life or the goals they aim to achieve.

Outcome measures can be used to record the change for an individual, a group (such as an age range) or population (such as a particular school or area).

Questionnaires are often used to record outcome measures – they can be filled in by children, young people, family members, practitioners, teachers or other people involved in supporting a child or young person.

We may ask you to complete a questionnaire during your journey with us. Sharing your thoughts with us is really helpful – it tells us if your support is making a difference to you and can help us to improve the experience you and other young people have with our service.

An outpatient is a person who receives treatment in a hospital or centre without staying there overnight.

For example, if you came to St David’s Hospital to have a session with your practitioner, you would be an outpatient.

A panic attack can involve shortness of breath, chest pains, dizziness and rapid heart rate. They are a sign that someone is very scared or anxious about something. The person might be scared of a particular situation or their panic attack may not be triggered by anything at all.

Panic attacks are really common – about 1 in 3 people will experience one at some stage of their life.

Panic attacks can be really scary but they are not dangerous. Try some of the breathing and grounding exercises on our page about panic – the symptoms will pass eventually.

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder where a person continues to experience panic attacks regularly and often.

Physical symptoms may include chest pains, dizziness, rapid heart rate and shortness of breath.

Peer mentoring is when a person with lived experience acts as a listener and someone to support another person facing a similar situation. They understand what the person is going through and can help them to make positive changes in their life.

Person centred care focuses on the needs of the child or young person receiving support. This means that your preferences, needs and opinions are taken into account and you are involved in any decisions about your care.

You and your practitioner are a team. You know yourself best, so your perspective and knowledge is really important. Working together with your practitioner, you should be able to figure out what is going on and make some goals for your treatment and future beyond that.

Personal information is information about a person, including their name, age, address, medical history among others.

This information should be kept private under a UK regulation called General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Personal information can only be accessed by those authorised to do so.

A phobia is an extreme fear of an object, person, place or situation. Usually people will try to avoid whatever it is they are afraid of, and seeing it or being near it can make them feel sick, shaky or dizzy.

Phobias are often linked to anxiety and can be treated with a variety of interventions.

Physical abuse is when a person causes intentional injury or trauma to someone else through bodily contact. This is not an accident. It may happen just once or happen frequently.

Remember, if someone physically abuses you, it is not your fault and you do not deserve it. No one has the right to make you feel bad in any way. Nothing you do makes you deserving of harm and it is never your fault.

If you think you are being or have been physically abused, we recommend that you speak to a trusted adult such as a teacher or GP. Children and young people can also speak to Childline. Adults can contact NSPCC if they are worried about a child or young person.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is caused by very stressful, scary or even dangerous events.

A person with PTSD may relive the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, experience feelings of isolation and guilt, insomnia and find it hard to concentrate. These can really impact a person’s day to day life.

Find out more at Young Minds

Protective factors shield children and young people from risks to their emotional wellbeing and decrease their chances of becoming mentally unwell.

Protective factors can come from the person (for example, their temperament), their family, their community and their school.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has done specific training on working with children, young people and mental health in families.

A psychiatrist will often consider whether medication would be helpful to you, or work with you if you need more complex care.

See clinical psychologist.

In a psychotic episode, a person loses touch with reality as others see it. They might hear voices, see or feel things that aren’t there or believe things that don’t make sense. This can go on for several weeks.

It is quite common that people will see or hear things when they have other difficulties such as anxiety. It is important if you are experiencing these symptoms to get help immediately. This will often be from CAMHS who work with Headroom to support people with psychosis.

Psychosis can be scary but it is treatable. Go to Young Minds to find out more

We use questionnaires to help children and young people understand their current emotional wellbeing, the impact this has on their life and their experience of the support they are receiving.

The aim is to understand how the support they are receiving is helping the young person, and to make sure it is of a high quality.

Recovery is the journey back to wellness, and can be used to describe physical and mental health. Sometimes people call this rehabilitation.

Recovery will look different for everyone so it is important that the person is able to share their view on their goals, what they want to achieve and what recovery looks like for them.

Resilience is a really big topic, with lots of different definitions. In short it is about how you cope with things – if you are resilient, you are more able to cope with things that come your way.

Resilience includes resources inside of you (e.g. coping skills, how you respond to things) and around you (e.g. family, friends, school, relationships) to help you cope, recover and bounce back from challenges in your life.

Your resilience may change over your life – it all depends on the resources you have access to at the time.

Risk can mean many things, but in mental health it means being exposed to danger.

Some types of risks (for example, experiencing emotional abuse or a traumatic event) may make a person more likely to develop a mental health difficulty.

We also try to think about whether people are a danger or risk to themselves or others, and put plans in place to help protect them and others.

Safeguarding is the responsibility of professionals who work with young people to make sure that young people and adults are safe.

If a professional working with you has concerns that someone is harming you or that you are harming yourself or another person, they have a responsibility to share that information to keep you safe.

Shared decision making is when a young person works with their practitioner to make decisions about their care that feel most right for them.

While a professional has expertise in working with children and young people, as a young person you are the expert in yourself and are best placed to say what challenges you are facing and what you want to achieve.

Self-harm is when a person hurts their self on purpose.

Self-care are the different ways a person can maintain their emotional and physical wellbeing or to help themselves recover. This includes things like exercising often and eating healthy foods.

We have a whole section on looking after your wellbeing here.

A service user is a person who uses the advice or services of a service or organisation. Sometimes the word ‘patient’ is used instead.

If you are on this website or currently access support through Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Services, you are one of our service users.

Sexuality refers to a person’s sexual orientation or preference (also see LGBTQ+ for more information). This is not the same as a person’s gender.

Sexual abuse is when someone is forced, pressured or tricked into taking part in any sort of sexual activity. It can also include sexual exploitation.

Nobody under 16 years old can consent to sexual activity – this means that any sexual acts with people of this age are illegal.

Go to Childline for more information

Signposting is when you are given information about or shown to a service that may be able to help you.

There are many services across Cardiff and the Vale that support children and young people with their emotional wellbeing. None of these are better than any others – it is all about the challenges you are facing and what you need.

When you meet with one of our practitioners, if we are not the right people to help you, they will signpost you to a service better suited to meet your needs.

Go to our Local Resources page to find out about other organisations that are able to support you in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Stress can refer to situations that put pressure on us or our reaction to being placed under pressure.

Being under pressure is a normal part of life – it can help you take action and feel more energised. But if these feelings are overwhelming you, they could start to be a problem.

Stress isn’t a mental health problem, but it’s linked closely to your mental health. Stress can cause problems with your mental health, and mental health problems can also cause stress.

Over time, low levels of stress can build up and leave the body exhausted – both mentally and physically. Physical symptoms include headaches, increased heart rate and an upset stomach.

Ways of coping with stress include taking care of yourself and talking to someone you trust about how you’ve been feeling.

Stigma is the negative way in which society perceives something.

Mental health has carried a stigma for years as many people did not realise that it is as important as physical health to a person’s wellbeing. As time goes on and more people speak up, the stigma around mental health and seeking support for it is decreasing.

As the future generation, young people have the power to change attitudes around mental health. Find out more here

Substance use is the use of drugs for recreational purposes.

It’s always best to be informed about drugs and how they may affect your body and your mind. Text or call DAN 247 for more information

I need help now!

Suicidal thoughts are when a person is thinking about suicide. These thoughts can affect anyone at any time. Thoughts of suicide are common – 1 in 4 young people experience suicidal thoughts at some point.

Young people who have been bereaved, experienced abuse, are in care or have mental health challenges may be more vulnerable to experiencing suicidal thoughts.

It can be upsetting to hear that someone you love is feeling suicidal. It’s really brave for someone to open up and talk about their feelings, especially if they are having thoughts of suicide. Listening to that person will help you to understand why they feel that way and help them move forward.

PAPYRUS UK run the HOPELINEUK for anyone having suicidal thoughts or anyone who is worried about them. They also have lots of resources that you may find useful, including safety plans, coping techniques and a guide for parents.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, there is always someone you can talk to. Go to I need help now! to find out more.

You can also go to our page on suicidal thoughts for more information and resources.

I need help now! 

Suicide is when a person takes their own life. There are many reasons why people may choose to do this. Everyone has different life experiences and will respond to things differently.

We no longer use the phrase ‘commit suicide’ because this suggests that suicide is a crime, which it is not. We instead say that someone has died by suicide.

PAPYRUS UK run the HOPELINEUK for anyone affected by suicide. They also have lots of resources that you may find useful.

Go to I need help now! If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal and needs to speak to someone. There is always someone to listen.

Therapy is a type of intervention to help people. There are lots of different types of therapy. Therapy is offered by lots of different services.

In Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health we offer therapies to help with mental health disorders. School based counsellors offer therapies about self-esteem, stress and life events.

Your therapist will talk to you about what you’re going to do, how often you’re going to meet and what to do if it’s not helping.

The third sector is a term for local charities and organisations that can provide help or information on a particular topic.

Go to our Local Resources page to find out about local third sector organisations in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Tourette’s syndrome is a condition that causes person to make involuntary sounds and movements called tics. Stress, anxiety and tiredness can make the tics more intense or frequent.

Find out more information on the NHS website.

Trauma is a state caused by an event that overwhelms the person and leaves them unable to process or cope with what has happened. Trauma can be caused by a one off event or multiple events experienced over weeks, months or years.

Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to the young person’s safety and a sense of being unable to do anything in the face of danger or in the time afterwards.

PTSD is a result of trauma that can be worked on through talking therapies.

The way we react to and experience what happens to us depends on many factors. While one person may find something traumatic, another may not. Trauma may not show up for many months or years after an experience.

The word ‘trauma’ is also used in physical health – however, this does not mean that every hospital trauma service will be able to respond or help with psychological trauma.

Triage is when practitioners from Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health make a decision about what will happen to your referral. They may need to ask you, your family or your referrer for more information to fully understand what’s going on with you and how it is affecting your life.

It may be that there are other teams or organisations that are better placed to meet your needs. If this is the case, we will explain why and either provide you with their contact information or ask you if we can share your information with them directly.

Trigger warnings are used to warn people that some content might cause a strong emotional reaction and to proceed carefully.

They are usually issued at the start of an article or video to give people a chance to decide whether they want to continue reading or viewing the content.

Someone aged between 18 and 25 years old who looks after a family member who is ill, disabled, has mental health challenges or is addicted to drugs or alcohol

Someone aged under 18 years who looks after a family member who is ill, disabled, has mental health challenges or is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Go to our page on young carers for more information.

We hope that this jargon buster has helped to increase your understanding and take part fully in your neurodevelopmental journey.

If there are any other terms you’d like to see on here, please let us know. If you’re confused, it’s likely someone else is too!