Resident characteristics

Resident demographics

The highest rate of residential mental health care service use was among people age 18–24 and 35–44 years (4.2 people per 10,000 age specific population) in 2017–18 (Figure RMHC.2).

A nearly equal number of males and females received residential mental health care in 2017–18 (2,983 males and 2,982 females). The rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (5.2 people per 10,000 population) receiving residential mental health care was more than double the rate for non-Indigenous people (2.3).

 

Figure RMHC.2 Alternative text- Source data: Residential mental health care tables (210KB XLS)

Principal diagnosis

The principal diagnosis recorded for people who have an episode of residential mental health care is based on the broad categories listed in the Mental and behavioural disorders chapter (Chapter 5) of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM edition). Further information can be found in the Health-related classifications.

The 3 most common principal diagnoses were Schizophrenia (2,072 episodes or 26.9%), Specific personality disorders (921 episodes or 11.9%) and Schizoaffective disorders (707 episodes or 9.2%) (Figure RMHC.3). A large proportion of episodes (7.4%) had a principal diagnosis of Mental disorder, not otherwise specified (F99). Further information on principal diagnosis data quality issues can be found in the data source section.

 

Figure RMHC.3 Alternative text - Source data: Residential mental health care tables (210KB XLS)

Characteristics of residential care episodes

Length of completed residential stay

In 2017–18, 6,634 residential episodes of care formally ended before the end of the reference period (known as completed residential stay). Completed episodes of care were most commonly 2 weeks or less (3,322 or 50.1%) (Figure RMHC.4). A small number of episodes of care (135 episodes or 2.0%) lasted longer than 1 year.

 

Figure RMHC.4 Alternative text - Source data: Residential mental health care tables (210KB XLS)

The proportion of completed residential stays with a length of 0 to 2 weeks increased from 44.4% in 2005–06 to a peak of 59.5% in 2012–13, declining to 50.1% in 2017–18 (Figure RMHC.5). The proportion of completed residential stays with a length of 2 weeks to 1 month increased from 12.4% in 2005–06 to 30.8% in 2017–18, while all other lengths of stay as a proportion decreased over the same time period.

 

Figure RMHC.5 Alternative text - Source data: Residential mental health care tables (210KB XLS)

Mental health legal status

One-fifth (20.0% or 1,518 episodes) of residential care episodes were for residents with an involuntary mental health legal status in 2017–18; a decrease from 28.8% in 2005–06. Interpretation of time series results should be made with caution though due to data quality improvements and a variable proportion of ‘not reported’ mental health legal status during this period. Further information can be found in the data source section.

Residents with a principal diagnosis of Schizophrenia accounted for 49.4% (750 episodes) of all involuntary episodes of care. The proportion of episodes for residents with an involuntary mental health legal status was highest for those with a principal diagnosis of Schizoaffective disorders (38.3% or 269 episodes) and Schizophrenia (37.4% or 750 episodes) (Figure RMHC.6).