Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) Mental health services in Australia, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 03 July 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). Mental health services in Australia. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia
Mental health services in Australia. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 17 May 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Mental health services in Australia [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022 [cited 2022 Jul. 3]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, Mental health services in Australia, viewed 3 July 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia
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State and territory health authorities collect a core set of information for the Community Mental Health Care National Minimum Data Set (CMHC NMDS), which is compiled annually into the National Community Mental Health Care Database (NCMHCD). The statistical counting unit used in the NCMHCD is a service contact between either a patient or a third party and a specialised community mental health care service provider.
Differences in jurisdictional data reporting systems, reduced data coverage or under-reporting of service contacts may contribute to variation in service contact rates. Staff industrial action has resulted in a substantial reduction in data coverage for 2 jurisdictions in some years: Victoria (2011–12, 2012–13, 2015–16 and 2016–17) and Tasmania (2011–12, 2012–13 and 2018–19). New South Wales and the Northern Territory also reported reduced data coverage for 2016–17, 2017–18 and 2018–19. The observed reductions in both service contact and patient numbers are considered to be primarily due to these missing data. Consequently, long term trends in the total number of service contacts are not available. Further information on data coverage can be found in the CMHC NMDS Data Quality Statement.
Data Quality Statements for National Minimum Data Sets (NMDSs) are published annually in AIHW’s Metadata Online Registry (METeOR). These statements provide information on the environment, timelines, accessibility, interpretability, relevance, accuracy and coherence of the Institution. Visit the Community mental health care NMDS 2019–20: National Community Care Database, 2021 Quality Statement. Data quality statements for previous years are also accessible in METeOR.
The footnotes in each of the accompanying MS Excel tables contain details about the calculation of national rates over time.
The number of unique patients provided with service contacts can be derived from the NCMHCD. However, the patient count is limited to people registered with state and territory community mental health care systems that have a unique person identifier; a person has one identifier across all individual service providers within a state or territory. The ability of jurisdictions to generate unique person identifiers varies as described in the data quality statement for the CMHC NMDS. In 2019–20, 97.0% of all service contacts reported were provided to unique patients.
Some specialised mental health services data are categorised using 5 target population groups (see METeOR identifier 682403):
Note that in some states specialised mental health care beds for aged persons are jointly funded by the Australian federal and state and territory governments. However, not all states or territories report such jointly funded beds through the National Mental Health Establishments Database.
Treatment day refers to any day on which one or more service contacts (direct or indirect) are recorded for a registered patient (identified by a patient identifier number assigned to a uniquely identified person) during an ambulatory care episode.
The number of treatment days are grouped as follows in Table CMHC.25; 1–14 days, 15–91 days and 92+ days.
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