Mental health impact of COVID-19

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and wellbeing has been substantial. The AIHW has focussed on measuring this impact through the use of mental health-related services during the pandemic, including Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), and crisis, support and information organisations (Lifeline, Beyond Blue, Kids Helpline, ReachOut, and Head to Health). A summary of emerging research in this area supplements these primary sources.

Visit Mental health impact of COVID-19 for more information.


Performance indicators

A number of different mental health indicator sets have been developed over time to measure the performance and progress in the delivery of services across the mental health sector. Performance indicators are generally developed for a specific purpose, for example, measuring changes after commitment to a national strategy.

Visit Performance indicators for more information.


The AIHW’s Suicide and self-harm monitoring system provides further analysis of the impact of the pandemic on psychological distress and deaths by suicide. While there has been a rise in the use of mental health services and an increase in psychological distress during the pandemic, there is no evidence that suspected deaths by suicide increased in 2020 and 2021 compared to previous years. More information can be found in Suspected deaths by suicide on the AIHW suicide and self-harm monitoring website.