Consumer perspectives of mental health care

Monitoring mental health consumer and carer experiences of service has been a long-term goal of the National Mental Health Strategy. This section presents information about consumer-rated experiences of care in public specialised mental health services using the nationally developed Your Experience of Service (YES) survey. The YES survey aims to help Australian mental health services and consumers work together to build better services. The project was a national initiative funded by the Australian government Department of Health and managed by the Victorian Department of Health and Human services in conjunction with the Mental Health Information Strategy Standing Committee (MHISSC). Implementation of the YES survey and national reporting of the data is a key action under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (CHC 2017).

Currently 3 jurisdictions—New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland—have implemented the YES survey and are contributing to the Your Experience of Service National Best Endeavours Data Set (NBEDS).  In New South Wales, consumers are offered the YES survey during every hospital stay or community health centre visit. In Victoria and Queensland, consumers are offered the YES in a particular week or month of the year. Comparisons between jurisdictions with different methods should be made with caution. The data source section provides more detailed information on the development of the YES survey, participating states and territories, and other aspects of the YES data.

It is anticipated that this section will expand as data becomes available from additional jurisdictions.

Data downloads:

Consumer perspectives of mental health care tables 2016–17 (189KB XLS)

 Consumer perspectives of mental health care section 2016–17 (642KB)

This section was last updated in May 2019.

Key points

  • To date New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have implemented the YES survey to monitor their mental health consumers’ experiences of care.
  • 26,380 consumer-rated experience of service surveys were collected from 81 mental health service organisations in 2016–17.
  • In admitted care in 2016–17, 85.8% of respondents in NSW, 77.1% in Vic and 73.2% in Qld, rated their care as Good/Very good/Excellent.
  • In ambulatory (non–admitted) care in 2016–17, 91.4% of respondents in NSW, 86.4% in Vic and 92.3% in Qld, rated their care as Good/Very good/Excellent.
  • In admitted care in 2016–17, 67.6% of respondents in NSW, 53.9% in Vic and 51.4% in Qld, reported a positive experience of service.
  • In ambulatory (non–admitted) care in 2016–17, 79.1% of respondents in NSW, 68.9% in Vic and 81.2% in Qld, reported a positive experience of service.
  • In admitted care, 73.6% of respondents with Voluntary legal status in NSW, 66.5% in Vic and 61.6% in Qld, reported a positive experience of service in 2016–17.
  • In admitted care, 63.2% of respondents with Involuntary legal status in NSW, 44.4% in Vic and 44.1% in Qld, reported a positive experience of service in 2016–17.
  • In ambulatory (non–admitted) care, 83.1% of respondents with Voluntary legal status in NSW, 74.7% in Vic and 84.8% in Qld, reported a positive experience of service in 2016–17.
  • In ambulatory (non–admitted) care, 71.7% of respondents with Involuntary legal status in NSW, 57.9% in Vic and 75.2% in Qld, reported a positive experience of service in 2016–17.

Returned surveys

A total of 26,380 YES surveys were returned in 2016–17 (Figure CP.1). New South Wales had the largest number of returned surveys (20,864) followed by Queensland (3,458) and Victoria (2,058). Note that in New South Wales consumers are offered the survey at each service contact, while in Victoria and Queensland consumers are encouraged to complete the survey at a particular time in the year (the data source section provides more detailed information on each state’s methodology).

The majority of surveys were received from consumers in admitted and ambulatory (non-admitted) care setting (15,807 and 10,251 surveys, respectively) with a smaller number received from consumers in residential care  (322). This is consistent with the lower number of consumers accessing residential care services observed in relevant data collections (reported in the section'Specialised mental health care facilities’ of Mental Health Services in Australia). New South Wales did not report any surveys being received from consumers in residential care and Queensland does not report residential mental health services. Note that an individual consumer may have completed the survey more than once in the reporting period.

 

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Figure CP.1 Alternative text - Source data Consumer perspectives of mental health care tables (189 KB XLS)

In admitted care settings, 50.3% of the returned YES surveys were from consumers who received care for a period of 1 day to 2 weeks and 10.2% from consumers who received care for more than 6 months. This is in contrast to other settings where consumers typically received care for longer periods—in residential care, 23.8% of surveys were from consumers who received care for 1 day to 2 weeks and 33.1% for more than 6 months; in ambulatory care, 5.4% were for 1 day to 2 weeks and 58.5% for more than 6 months.