Mental health servicesin Australia
PDF (114 KB)
Tables (221KB XLS)
Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) is an Australian Government initiative administered by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services (DSS). PHaMs services aim to increase recovery opportunities for people whose lives are severely affected by their experience of mental illness. PHaMs services take a strengths-based recovery approach to helping participants better manage their daily activities and reconnect with their community.
PHaMs services provide holistic support including providing links with other services such as housing support, employment and education, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, independent living skills courses, clinical services and other mental health and allied health services, while ensuring services accessed by participants are coordinated, integrated and complementary to other services in the community.
Funding for the PHaMs program is ‘in scope’ to transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and so participants who are eligible for the NDIS are expected to commence transitioning out of the program. This may affect the comparability with previous and future published years of the PHaMs data.
This section presents information for PHaMs service participants for 2014–15.
Data in this section were last updated in July 2016.
There were 20,337 participants in PHaMs services during 2014–15. The number of participants increased by an annual average rate of 13.2% between 2010–11 and 2014–15 (Table PHAMS.10).
During 2014–15, almost half of PHaMs participants were aged 25–44 (46.3%), more than half were female (56.9%), more than 4 in 5 were Australian-born (83.5%) and about 2 in 5 reported a comorbid disability (37.5%). About 3 in 5 PHaMs participants resided in Major cities (58.9%) (Table PHAMS.1). About 9 in 10 lived in a private residence (87.3%) and about half of PHaMs participants were living with their family (52.8%) (Table PHAMS.2). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who represent 3.0% of the Australian population (ABS 2013), were proportionally over‑represented, making up 11.8% of PHaMs participants (Table PHAMS.1).
More than 9 in 10 PHaMs participants reported a mental illness diagnosis at the time of initial assessment on entry to the program (91.4%) (Table PHAMS.1). The most commonly recorded mental illness diagnosis categories were Mood disorders (67.5%), Anxiety disorders (42.9%) and Schizophrenia and psychotic delusional disorders 21.8% (Figure PHAMS.1).
Source: Department of Social Services.
Source data: Personal Helpers and Mentors Table PHAMS.3 (221KB XLS).
In addition to a mental illness, more than a third of PHaMs participants reported experiencing another significant disability (37.5% or 7,618 participants), with 1 in 5 participants (20.2%) reporting a Physical disability. Other reported comorbid disability categories included Specific learning/Attention Deficit Disorder (other than intellectual) (4.6% of participants) and Intellectual (including Down syndrome) (3.7%) (Table PHAMS.4).
A Specialist mental health care service (26.5%) was the most frequently recorded source of referral to the PHaMs program during 2014–15, with Self referral (17.6%) the next most common source (Table PHAMS.5).
PHaMs services identify groups of people who face additional disadvantage in their recovery as special needs groups. The most commonly reported special needs group was Alcohol and/or drug misuse (25.6%), followed by Culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (15.9%) (Figure PHAMS.2). Participants may be in more than one special needs group.
Source: Department of Social Services.
Source data: Personal Helpers and Mentors Table PHAMS.6 (221KB XLS).
Upon entry into a PHaMs service, participants are assessed on their areas of functional limitation resulting from mental illness. In 2014–15, the 4 most common limitations were Learning, applying knowledge and general demands (97.4%), Social and community activities (96.9%), Interpersonal relationships (96.3%) and Working and employment (95.0%) (Figure PHAMS.3). It is important to note that participants commonly report multiple areas of functional limitation.
Source: Department of Social Services
Source data: Personal Helpers and Mentors Table PHAMS.7 (221KB XLS)
Of the 6,730 participants who exited a PHaMs service in 2014-15, 2,524 participants (37.5%) exited because they reached their goals, about 1 in 5 (21.3% or 1,432 participants) chose to leave the service, and about 1 in 9 (11.1% or 746 participants) did not return to the PHaMs service after six months (Table PHAMS.9).
ABS 2013. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian demographic statistics. Aug 2013. Cat. No. 33238.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.
| Data source >