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  • Mental health services in Australia provides a picture of the national response of the health and welfare service system to the mental health care needs of Australians.

    Mental illness comprises a wide range of disorders and varies in its severity. The effect of mental illness can be severe on the individuals and families concerned and its influence is far-reaching for society as a whole. Social problems commonly associated with mental illness include poverty, unemployment or reduced productivity and homelessness. Those with mental illness often experience problems such as isolation, discrimination and stigma.

    Around 7.3 million or 45% of Australians aged 16–85 will experience a common mental health-related condition such as depression, anxiety or a substance use disorder in their lifetime according to the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Estimates from the second National Survey of Psychosis conducted in March 2010 suggest almost 64,000 people have a psychotic illness and are in contact with public specialised mental health services each year. The second national household survey of the mental health and wellbeing of Australian children and adolescents (Young Minds Matter) released in August 2015 estimates that 560,000 child and adolescents aged 4–17 (about 14%) experienced mental health disorders in 2012–13.

    AIHW estimates that around $8.5 billion per annum is spent on mental health-related services in Australia. Services include residential and community services, hospital based services (both inpatient and outpatient), consultation with specialists and general practitioners.

    Mental health topics

    Overview of mental health

    Overview of mental health (updated Oct 2017)

    Prevalence, impact and burden (updated Oct 2017)

    National policies (updated Oct 2017)

    Classifications (updated Oct 2017)

    Classification codes (updated Oct 2017)

    Technical notes (updated Oct 2017)

    Specialised mental health care

    General practice (updated Oct 2017)

    Emergency departments (updated Oct 2017)

    Community care (updated Oct 2017)

    Same day admitted patient care (updated Oct 2017)

    Overnight admitted patient care (updated Oct 2017)

    Medicare (updated May 2017)

    Residential care (updated Oct 2017)

    Restrictive practices (updated Oct 2017)

  • Mental health services data

    Each topic contains an analysis of the most recent available data. The data are available as downloadable Microsoft® Excel spreadsheets or Flash graphical portals.

    data portals


    Data tables


    Data spreadsheets from previous years are available in the archived data page.

    Print publications

    A summary of the mental health services data for each year is collected into a publication: Mental health services—in brief.
    It is downloadable as a PDF, or you can order a printed copy.

     MHSA 2017 In brief image

    Data updates

    Data across topics are progressively published each year as they become available. A table showing updates by date and coverage can be found on the latest release page.