Key concepts

Consumer perspectives of mental health services

Key concept Description
Admitted care A specialised mental health service that provides overnight care in a psychiatric hospital or a specialised mental health unit in an acute hospital. Psychiatric hospitals and specialised mental health units in acute hospitals are establishments devoted primarily to the treatment and care of admitted patients with psychiatric, mental or behavioural disorders. These services are staffed by health professionals with specialist mental health qualifications or training and have as their principal function the treatment and care of patients affected by mental disorder/illness.
Ambulatory care

A specialised mental health service that provides services to people who are not currently admitted to a mental health admitted or residential service. Services are delivered by health professionals with specialist mental health qualifications or training. Ambulatory mental health services include:

  • community-based crisis assessment and treatment teams;
  • day programs;
  • mental health outpatient clinics provided by either hospital or community-based services;
  • child and adolescent outpatient and community teams;
  • social and living skills programs;
  • psychogeriatric assessment services;
  • hospital-based consultation-liaison and in-reach services to admitted patients in non-psychiatric and hospital emergency settings;
  • ambulatory-equivalent same day separations;
  • home based treatment services; and 
  • hospital based outreach services.

Whether a person received treatment under relevant state or territory mental health legislation compulsory treatment provisions.

A person with involuntary status received treatment under compulsory treatment provisions.

A person with voluntary status also received treatment but this was not was under compulsory treatment provisions.

Residential care

A service that is considered by the state, territory or Australian Government funding authorities as a service that:

  • has the workforce capacity to provide specialised mental health services; and
  • employs suitably trained mental health staff to provide rehabilitation, treatment or extended care on-site:
    • to consumers residing on an overnight basis;
    • in a domestic-like environment; and
  • encourages the consumer to take responsibility for their daily living activities.

These services include those that employ mental health trained staff on-site 24 hours per day and other services with less intensive staffing (but the trained staff must be on site for a minimum of 6 hours a day and at least 50 hours per week).

Suitably trained residential mental health care staff may include:

  • individuals with Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications in community services, mental health or disability sectors;
  • individuals with tertiary qualifications in medicine, social work, psychology, occupational therapy, counselling, nursing or social sciences; and
  • individuals with experience in mental health or disability relevant to providing mental health consumers with appropriate services.
Specialised mental health services

Specialised mental health services are those with a primary function to provide treatment, rehabilitation or community support targeted towards people with a mental disorder or psychiatric disability. These activities are delivered from a service or facility that is readily identifiable as both ‘specialised’ and ‘serving a mental health care function’.

A service is not defined as a specialised mental health service solely because its clients include people affected by a mental disorder or psychiatric disability.

The definition excludes specialist drug and alcohol services and services for people with intellectual disabilities, except where they are specifically established to assist people affected by a mental disorder who also have drug and alcohol related disorders or intellectual disability.

The services can be sub-units of hospitals that are not, themselves, specialised mental health establishments (for example designated psychiatric units and wards, outpatient clinics etc).

Your Experience of Service National Best Endeavours Data Set (YES NBEDS)

The YES NBEDS is Data Set Specification that describes the YES survey questions and defines coding for responses. The scope of YES NBEDS is state and territory public sector specialised mental health services. Specific information for each data element can be found in the YES NBEDS entry on the Meteor website.


Alternative text for Consumers perspective of mental health services section

Figure CP.1

Vertical bar graph showing the number of surveys completed by mental health consumers in 2017–18 for each state, by service setting. Numbers for admitted care: NSW 15,096; Vic 629; Qld 660; Total 16,385. Residential care: NSW 0; Vic 424; Qld 147; Total 571. Ambulatory care: NSW 7,799; Vic 1,459; Qld 2,437; Total 11,695. Source: Table CP.1. Back to figure CP.1

Figure CP.2

Vertical bar graph showing the number of surveys completed by mental health consumers in 2015–16 to 2017–18 for each state. Numbers in 2015–16: NSW 13,242; Vic 2,015; Qld 3,380. Numbers in 2016–17: NSW 20,864; Vic 2,058; Qld 3,458. Numbers in 2017–18: NSW 22,895; Vic 2,512; Qld 3,244.  Back to figure CP.2

Figure CP.3

Vertical bar graph showing the proportion of consumers in admitted care who rated their experience of service as Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, and Excellent in 2017–18 for each state. Percentages for NSW: Poor 4.8; Fair 9.0; Good 21.8; Very good 27.8; Excellent 36.7. Vic: Poor 9.1; Fair 12.7; Good 25.5; Very good 22.0; Excellent 30.7. Qld: Poor 10.0; Fair 15.1; Good 25.6; Very good 21.6; Excellent 27.7. Source: Table CP.4. Back to figure CP.3

Figure CP.4

 Vertical bar graph showing the proportion of consumers in admitted care with an experience of service score of 80 and above, indicating a positive experience, for each state in 2015–16 to 2017–18. Percentages in 2015–16: NSW 67.0; Vic 52.6; Qld 46.4. Percentages in 2016–17: NSW 67.6; Vic 53.9; Qld 51.4. Percentages in 2017–18: NSW 68.7; Vic 50.4; Qld 47.1. Source: Table CP.5. Back to figure CP.4

Figure CP.5

Vertical bar graph showing the proportion of consumers in admitted care with an experience of service score of 80 and above, indicating a positive experience, by state and mental health legal status, 2017–18. Percentages for NSW: Voluntary 75.8, Involuntary 63.1, Not recorded 65.2. Vic: Voluntary 64.3, Involuntary 39.6, Not recorded 45.9. Qld: Voluntary 56.2, Involuntary 43.4; Not recorded 43.1. Source: Table CP.6. Back to figure CP.5

Figure CP.6

Vertical bar graph showing the proportion of consumers in ambulatory care who rated their experience of service as Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, and Excellent in 2017–18 for each state. Percentages for NSW: Poor 4.5; Fair 5.7; Good 17.2; Very good 28.7; Excellent 44.0. Vic: Poor 3.7; Fair 7.1; Good 20.4; Very good 31.3; Excellent 37.5. Qld: Poor 2.3; Fair 5.8; Good 18.0; Very good 25.6; Excellent 48.3. Source: Table CP.4. Back to figure CP.6

Figure CP.7

Vertical bar graph showing the proportion of consumers in ambulatory care with an experience of service score of 80 and above, indicating a positive experience, for each state in 2015–16 to 2017–18. Percentages in 2015–16: NSW 78.9; Vic 69.0; Qld 79.5. Percentages in 2016–17: NSW 79.1; Vic 68.9; Qld 81.2. Percentages in 2017–18: NSW 77.9; Vic 73.8; Qld 79.1. Source: Table CP.5. Back to figure CP.7

Figure CP.8

Vertical bar graph showing the proportion of consumers in ambulatory care with an experience of service score of 80 and above, indicating a positive experience, by state mental health legal status, 2017–18. Percentages for NSW: Voluntary 82.7; Involuntary 70.2; Not recorded 71.3. Vic: Voluntary 78.0; Involuntary 63.8; Not recorded 73.9. Qld: Voluntary 83.5; Involuntary 71.4; Not recorded 77.5. Source: Table CP.7. Back to figure CP.8

Figure CP.9

Vertical bar graph showing the proportion of consumers in residential care who rated their experience of service as Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, and Excellent in 2017–18 for each state. NSW reported 0 surveys in residential care. Percentages for Vic: Poor 1.0; Fair 7.3; Good; 20.8; Very good 29.5; Excellent 41.4. Percentages for Qld: Poor 1.4; Fair 7.1; Good 18.4; Very good 27.7; Excellent 45.4. Source: Table CP.4. Back to figure CP.9