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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 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.

AIHW estimates that over $7 billion per annum is spent on mental health-related services in Australia. Services include residential and community services, hospital based services (both in-patient and outpatient), consultation with specialists and general practitioners.

Mental health topics


Background (updated Oct 2013)

National policies (updated May 2014)

Acknowledgments (updated Dec 2013)

Latest release (updated July 2014)

Print publications (updated Oct 2013)

Mental health services

General practice (updated Aug 2013)

Emergency departments (updated Oct 2013)

Community care (updated Mar 2014)

Ambulatory-equivalent admitted patient care (updated Dec 2012)

Medicare (updated Aug 2013)

Admitted patient care (updated May 2014)

Residential care (updated Dec 2013)

Specialist homelessness services
(updated July 2014)

Psychiatric disability support (updated May 2014)

Personal Helpers and Mentors service
(updated July 2014)

Mental health resources

Prescriptions (updated Aug 2013)

Facilities (updated May 2014)

Workforce (updated July 2014)

Expenditure (updated May 2014)

Additional information

Summary data tables (updated July 2014)

Archived data tables (updated July 2014)

Useful links (updated July 2014)

Technical information

Technical notes (updated May 2014)

Classifications (updated Oct 2013)

Classification codes (updated Oct 2013)

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 interactive Flash graphical portals.

Data portal


Data tables


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

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 RTF, or you can order a printed copy.

 2013 MHSA in brief cover 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.