Specialised mental health care facilities

Specialised mental health care is delivered in and by a range of facilities in Australia including public and private psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric units or wards in public acute hospitals , Community mental health care services and government-operated and non-government-operated Residential mental health services. The information presented in this section is drawn primarily from the National Mental Health Establishments Database. More detail about these and the other data used in this section can be found in the data source section.

Data downloads

Specialised mental health care facilities 2017–18 tables (512KB XLS)

Specialised mental health care facilities 2017–18 section (856KB)

Data coverage includes the time period 1992–93 to 2017–18. This section was last updated in January 2020.

Key Points

 

  • 161 public hospitals and 66 private hospitals provided specialised mental health services for admitted patients during 2017–18.
  • 6,920 specialised mental health public hospital beds were available in 2017–18; providing 2.2 million patient days to people in hospital.
  • 3,146 mental health beds were available in private hospitals in 2017–18.
  • 2,550 residential mental health beds were available during 2017–18, with almost two-thirds operated by government organisations.
  • 12,870 full-time-equivalent staff were employed by Community mental health care services in 2017–18.

Overview

There were 1,655 specialised mental health care facilities providing care in 2017–18 (Figure FAC.1).

Figure FAC.1: Number of specialised mental health care facilities, available beds and activity in Australia, 2017–18

Figure FAC.1 shows the number of facilities and allocation of bed and patient activity spilt into four groups of specialised mental health care facilities: public hospitals, private hospitals, Residential mental health care services and Community mental health care services.

Figure FAC.1 Alternative text - Source data: Specialised mental health care facilities tables (512KB XLS)

Social and emotional wellbeing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

In addition to the specialised mental health care facilities described above, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may access a range of more culturally appropriate mental health services provided by Australian and state and territory governments.

For example, the Australian Government funds health organisations to provide social and emotional wellbeing/mental health/counselling (SEWB) services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people  (AIHW, 2019). SEWB services provide a range of support services including counselling, casework, family tracing and reunion support and other wellbeing activities for individuals, families and communities.

In 2017–18, 534 social and emotional wellbeing staff were located at 337 sites across Australia, providing approximately 217,000 client contacts  (AIHW, 2019). For more information on the organisation profile, staffing and types of services provided by SEWB services, see the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations: Online Services Report (2017–18).