• Print
  • Downloads

    Residential mental health care services section (241KB)
    PDF (241KB)

    Residential mental health care tables (164KXLS)
    Tables (164KB XLS)


    Residential mental health care services provide specialised mental health care on an overnight basis in a domestic–like environment. Residential mental health services may include rehabilitation, treatment or extended care. They are described in this section using data from the National Residential Mental Health Care Database (NRMHCD). The scope for this collection is all episodes of care in all government-funded residential mental health services in Australia, except those residential care services that are in receipt of funding under the Aged Care Act 1997 and subject to other Commonwealth reporting requirements. The inclusion of non‑government-operated services in receipt of government funding is optional.

    For information related to staffing, beds and the number of residential care facilities that provide specialised mental health care, see the facilities section. For details about the calculation of national rates see the footnotes in each of the tables. For more information about the coverage and data quality of this collection, see the data source section.

    Key points

    • There were 7,727 episodes of residential care recorded for 5,840 residents in 2015–16. This equates to an average of 1.3 episodes of care per resident and 40 residential care days per episode.
    • The number of episodes per 10,000 population increased from 2.5 in 2011–12 to 3.2 in 2015–16. The estimated number of residents per 10,000 population increased from 1.9 to 2.4 respectively over the same period.
    • Residents with an involuntary mental health legal status accounted for 19.4% of episodes with a valid legal status recorded in 2015–16.
    • Schizophrenia (27.1%) was the most commonly recorded principal diagnosis for residents undergoing residential episodes of care, followed by Specific personality disorder (10.4%) and Depressive episode (9.6%) in 2015–16.
    • The most common length of stay for a completed residential episode was 2 weeks or less (54.7% of episodes completed on or before 30 June 2016) in 2015–16, with 2.3% of episodes lasting longer than 1 year. 

    Data in this section were last updated in October 2017.

    Service provision

    States and territories

    Nationally there were continuing and completed episodes of residential care in 2015–16, with 307,447 residential care days provided to an estimated 5,840 residents. This equates to an average of 1.3 episodes of care per resident and 40 residential care days per episode.

    Tasmania reported the highest rate of episodes of care (20.3 per 10,000 population) and the highest rate of residents (11.5 per 10,000 population) in 2015–16. Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory reported higher rates than the national averages of 3.2 episodes and 2.4 residents per 10,000 population (Figure RMHC.1). New South Wales had the lowest rate for both episodes and residents (0.4 and 0.3 per 10,000 population). Queensland does not report any in-scope residential mental health services to the collection. These data reflect the varying residential care components of the mental health service profile mix of each jurisdiction (see the Profile of specialised mental health care facilities section for additional information).

    Nationally, the rate of residential care days was 128.4 per 10,000 population in 2015–16, with Tasmania reporting the highest rate (1,101.1) and Western Australia reporting the lowest (11.3).

    Figure RMHC.1: Residential mental health care episodes and estimated number of residents, states and territories, 2015–16

    Vertical bar chart showing residential mental health care episodes and estimated number of residents (rate per 10,000 population), by state or territory, 2015–16. Episodes per 10,000 population: Tas: 20.3, SA: 9.9, Vic: 7.0, NT: 6.1, WA: 1.4, ACT: 0.7, NSW: 0.4 and nationally: 3.2. Estimated number of residents per 10,000: Tas: 11.5, SA: 8.0, Vic: 5.7, NT: 4.8, ACT: 0.7, NSW: 0. Refer to Table RMHC.1


    1. Queensland does not report any in scope residential mental health services.

    2 For jurisdictions that can uniquely identify residents across the jurisdiction, residents who made use of services from multiple providers were only counted once. Therefore comparisons between jurisdictions should be made with caution. See the online data source of the Residential mental health care section for more information.

    Source: National Residential Mental Health Care Database.

    Source data: Residential Mental Health Care Table RMHC.1 (164KB XLS).

    | Characteristics>