Dementia is a significant and growing health and aged care issue in Australia that has a substantial impact on the health and quality of life of people with the condition, as well as for their family and friends. This online report provides a comprehensive picture of dementia in Australia, including the latest statistics on dementia prevalence, burden of disease, deaths, expenditure, as well as the use of health and aged care services among people with dementia and information on carers of people with dementia
Mental health services in Australia (MHSA) provides a picture of the national response of the health and welfare service system to the mental health care needs of Australians. MHSA is updated progressively throughout each year as data becomes available.
Mental health services in Australia describes the activity and characteristics of Australia’s health care and social care services accessed by people with a mental illness. This web report provides the most recent data available on the national response of the health and welfare system to the mental health care needs of Australians. Data are progressively published as it becomes available throughout the year. As well as the information presented on the web pages, readers can find detailed data for current and previous years in the Microsoft ® Excel workbooks downloadable from each section.
Mental illness is often treated in community and hospital-based outpatient care services provided by state and territory governments. Collectively, these services are referred to as community mental health care (CMHC) services. State and territory health authorities collect a core set of information for the Community Mental Health Care National Minimum Data Set (CMHC NMDS), which is compiled annually into the National Community Mental Health Care Database (NCMHCD). Data from the NCMHCD are used to describe the care provided by these services. More information about the NCMHCD is available in the data source section.
The potential for COVID-19 to impact mental health and wellbeing was recognised early in the pandemic (WHO 2020). In addition to concerns around contracting the virus itself, some of the measures necessary to contain its spread were also likely to negatively impact mental health (NMHC 2020). Widespread restrictions of movement, social distancing measures and physical isolation, or ‘lockdowns’, were implemented from March 2020. The sudden loss of employment and social interaction, the added stressors of moving to remote work or schooling and, more recently, impacts of sudden, localised ‘lockdowns’ to prevent further outbreaks have impacted the mental health of many Australians. Stress, confusion and anger are commonplace as a result of the pandemic (Brooks et al. 2020) and, while many people may not experience any long-term concerns, COVID-19 has the potential to contribute to or exacerbate long-term mental illness.
Hospital emergency departments (EDs) play a role in treating mental illness. People seek mental health-related services in EDs for a variety of reasons, often as an initial point of contact or for after-hours care (Morphet et al. 2012). State and territory health authorities collect a core set of nationally comparable information on most public hospital ED presentations in their jurisdiction, which is compiled annually into the National Non-Admitted Patient Emergency Department Care Database (NNAPEDCD). Mental health-related ED presentations in this section are defined as presentations to public hospital EDs that have a principal diagnosis of Mental and behavioural disorders. More details about NNAPEDCD and identifying mental health presentations are available in the data source section.
This section presents information on specialist disability support services, provided under the National Disability Agreement (NDA) to service users with a Psychiatric disability either as their Primary disability or as an Other significant disability. Unless otherwise stated, service users with a psychiatric disability include all service users with a psychiatric disability, regardless of whether it is considered a primary or other significant disability. The progressive transition of service users from the NDA to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has reduced the collection of data under the NDA. For this reason, comparisons of data between years should be undertaken with caution.