Psychiatric disability support services

This section presents information on specialist disability support services, provided under the National Disability Agreement (NDA) to service users with a Psychiatric disability either as their Primary disability or as an Other significant disability. Unless otherwise stated, service users with a psychiatric disability include all service users with a psychiatric disability, regardless of whether it is considered a primary or other significant disability.

The information presented in this section has been extracted from the 2017–18 Disability Services National Minimum Data Set (Disability Services NMDS); comprising national administrative data on disability support services. The data source section provides further information on coverage, data quality, and other aspects of the Disability Services NMDS.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) began operating at trial sites in July 2013. From July 2016, it began transitioning to the full scheme and the roll-out is ongoing. Most, but not all, existing NDA service users are expected to move to the NDIS over time (AIHW 2019). This section also includes data from the Disability Services NMDS on the number of NDA service users who transitioned to the NDIS in the period 2013–14 to 2017–18.

As at 30 June 2018, there were 13,482 people with a psychosocial disability who were active participants with an approved plan (a document outlining a participant’s needs and goals) under the NDIS (NDIA 2018). The data source section provides further information on the NDIS.

Data downloads:

Psychiatric disability support 2017–18 tables (896KB XLS)

Psychiatric disability support 2017–18 section (480KB)

This section data was last updated in July 2019.

Key points

  • 100,866 people with a psychiatric disability received disability support services provided under the NDA during 2017–18.
  • 9,551 service users with a psychiatric disability transitioned to the NDIS during the period 2013–14 to 2017–18.
  • Non-residential support services were accessed by users with a psychiatric disability at a much higher rate than residential services in 2017–18.
  • Employment services were the most common non-residential service accessed by users with a psychiatric disability in 2017–18.
  • Group homes were the most common residential service type accessed by service users with a psychiatric disability in 2017–18.
  • The rate of service users with a psychiatric disability was more than 1.5 times as high for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than other Australians.

Service users with a psychiatric disability

Across Australia, 280,274 people made use of specialist disability support services provided under the NDA during 2017–18.  There were 100,866 service users with a psychiatric disability, and of these, 65,412 had a primary psychiatric disability.

In 2017–18, there were 407.2 users of psychiatric disability support services per 100,000 population nationally (Figure DIS.1). South Australia had the highest rate of service users (614.6), followed by Victoria (487.0) and Queensland (448.3). Note that the Australian Capital Territory Government did not collect Disability Services NMDS data in 2015–16 and 2016–17, and was not required to collect data under the NDA during 2017–18 as the transition of clients to the NDIS was completed in 2016–17. Consequently, ACT data only includes users of Australian Government administered services.

 

Figure DIS.1 Alternative text - Source data: Psychiatric disability support services tables (896KB XLS).

Over the 5 years to 2017–18, the rate of service users per 100,000 population with a psychiatric disability increased an average of 1.6% annually, from 382.3 in 2013–14 to 407.2 in 2017–18 (Figure DIS.2). Note that data from 2013–14 onwards are affected by the progressive introduction of the NDIS—as a result, analysing trends in Disability Services NMDS data over time is complex, but a decrease in the number of NDA clients is expected as the roll-out of the NDIS progresses. More information can be found in the data source section.

 

Figure DIS.2 Alternative text - Source data: Psychiatric disability support services tables (896KB XLS).

Nationally, there were 264.1 service users per 100,000 population with a primary psychiatric disability (Figure DIS.3). Victoria had the highest rate (349.9), followed by South Australia (340.4) and Queensland (282.7).

 

Figure DIS.3 Alternative text - Source data: Psychiatric disability support services tables (896KB XLS).

NDA service users who transitioned to the NDIS

During the period 2013–14 to 2017–18, 9,551 NDA service users with a psychiatric disability transitioned to the NDIS, and of these, 5,009 (52.4%) transitioned during 2017–18. There was a large increase in the number of service users with a psychiatric disability who transitioned to the NDIS in 2016–17 and 2017–18 compared with previous years. A similar pattern was observed for all NDA service users, with almost half (40,018) of the 82,359 NDA service users who transitioned to the NDIS during the period 2013–14 to 2017–18 having done so in 2017–18 (AIHW 2019). This increase reflects the commencement of the full NDIS roll-out from 1 July 2016.

Most service users with a psychiatric disability who transitioned to the NDIS in 2017–18 were aged 35–64 years (3,565 or 71.2%). There were 3,125 (62.4%) service users who lived in a private residence, 3,783 (75.5%) reported the Disability Support Pension as their main source of income, and 1,943 (38.8%) were not in the labour force.