Services accessed by users with a psychiatric disability

The disability support services accessed by people with a psychiatric disability may be either Residential support services or Non-residential support services or both, depending on availability and their individual needs. Non-residential services are provided either by State or territory administered services or Australian Government-funded services. Residential services are provided by state or territory administered services.

Non-residential support services include Accommodation support, Community support, Community access, Respite services, and Employment services.

Residential Service types include Large residential facilities/institutions, Small residential facilities/institutions, Hostels and Group homes.

Non-residential services are provided at a much higher rate than residential services. In 2018–19, there were 421.4 users per 100,000 population with a psychiatric disability who accessed non-residential services whilst 3.3 users per 100,000 accessed residential services (Figure DIS.4). South Australia had the highest population-rate for non-residential service usage (606.4 users per 100,000) while Queensland had the highest population-rate for residential service usage (7.7 users per 100,000) of those jurisdictions who collected data in 2018–19.

 
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Description of figure DIS.4 - Source data: Psychiatric disability support services tables (260KB XLS).

Non-residential disability support services

Over the 5 years to 2018–19, the rate of non-residential service users with a psychiatric disability increased on average by 0.8% annually, from 405.0 users per 100,000 population in 2014–15 to 421.4 in 2018–19 (Figure DIS.5).

 
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Description of figure DIS.5 - Source data: Psychiatric disability support services (260KB XLS).

Non-residential service users with a psychiatric disability in 2018–19 accessed Employment services at a higher rate than other non-residential service types. Nationally, Employment services were accessed at a rate of 388.7 users per 100,000 population, and South Australia had the highest rate at 606.4. Other non-residential services accessed were Community support (25.0 users per 100,000 nationally), Respite services (8.2 nationally), Accommodation support (7.8 nationally) and Community access (5.4 nationally). Victoria had the highest population rate for Accommodation support, Respite and Community support service usage (17.4, 27.0 and 79.4 users per 100,000, respectively).

Residential disability support services

Residential service users represented just 0.8% of NDA service users with a psychiatric disability in 2018–19. Over the 5 years to 2018–19, the rate of residential service users with a psychiatric disability has decreased by an average of 26.5% annually, from 15.6 users per 100,000 population in 2014–15 to 3.3 in 2018–19 (Figure DIS.5). Disability Services NMDS data from 2013–14 onwards are affected by the progressive introduction of the NDIS. Service users leave the data collection from the date at which they get an approved NDIS plan, even if their plan doesn’t cover all support. As such, a decrease in the number of NDA clients is expected as the roll-out of the NDIS progresses. In addition to the transition of NDA residential support service users to the NDIS, jurisdictions are moving away from the provision of institutional style accommodations, which are included in the residential service type. These factors are likely to have contributed to the decrease in the rate of residential service users over the period.

Nationally, Group homes were the most common residential service type for users with a psychiatric disability (2.8 service users per 100,000 population).

Client characteristics

For clients with a psychiatric disability using non-residential services (106,107), 66.6% (70,715) had a primary psychiatric disability. The most frequently reported primary disability for residential service users with a psychiatric disability (842) was intellectual disability (529 or 62.8%).

Non-residential service users

There were more male (51.4%) than female (48.6%) users with a psychiatric disability accessing non-residential disability support services in 2018–19. Almost two-thirds (63.2%) of service users were aged 35–64, and 4 in 5 (79.7%) were born in Australia.

In 2018–19, 6.2% of non-residential service users with a psychiatric disability were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, the rate of service use for Indigenous Australians was almost 2 times that for other Australians (796.3 and 409.3 service users per 100,000 population, respectively).

People living in Major cities accounted for 67.3% of non-residential service users with a psychiatric disability. The rate of service use for people living in Inner regional and Outer regional areas (538.4 and 482.2 users per 100,000 population, respectively) was higher than that for Major cities (396.6).

The majority of non-residential service users in 2018–19 lived in a private residence (82.4%), and reported either living alone (46.1%), living with others (32.8%) or living with family (14.1%). The most common source of income was the Disability support pension (20.1%), or other pension or benefit (55.1%), and 7.1% of users reported paid employment as their main income source.

Residential service users

There were more male (62.1%) residential service users with a psychiatric disability than female (37.9%) in 2018–19. The majority of service users were born in Australia (91.0%), lived in Major cities (78.3%) and were aged 45 years and over (65.1%).

In 2018–19, 5.1% of residential service users with a psychiatric disability were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The rate of service use for Indigenous Australians was more than 1.5 times that for other Australians (5.2 and 3.3 service users per 100,000 population, respectively).

Residential service users with a psychiatric disability most commonly reported living with others (82.1%), residing in a domestic-scale supported living facility (45.0%), and receiving the disability support pension as their main source of income (88.2%).


References

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2018. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2016. Cat. No. 3238.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2020. Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2018–19. Bulletin no. 149. Cat. no. DIS 75. Canberra: AIHW.

NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) 2019. COAG Disability Reform Council Quarterly Report. 30 June 2018. NDIA. Viewed 29 April 2020.