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. For more detail about these and the other data used in this section see the data source section.

Data downloads:

Specialised mental health care facilities tables 2015–16 tables (531KB XLS)

Specialised mental health care facilities tables 2015–16 section (820KB XLS)

Data coverage includes the time period 1992–93 to 2015–16. This section was last updated in February 2018.

Key Points

  • 161 public hospitals and 66 private hospitals provided specialised mental health services for admitted patients during 2015–16.
  • 7,057 specialised mental health public hospital beds were available in 2015–16; providing 2.2 million patient days to people in hospital.
  • 2,754 mental health beds were available in private hospitals in 2015–16.
  • 2,383 residential mental health beds were available during 2015–16, with almost two-thirds operated by government organisations.
  • 12,200 full-time-equivalent staff were employed by community mental health care services in 2015–16.

Overview

There were 1,591 specialised mental health care facilities providing care in 2015–16 (Figure FAC.1).

Figure FAC.1: Number of specialised mental health care facilities, available beds and activity in Australia, 2015–16

Figure FAC.1 shows the 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.

Source: Tables FAC.1, FAC.4, FAC.20 and FAC.24.

Source data: Specialised mental health care facilities tables 2015–16 tables (531KB 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 (SEWB) services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (AIHW, 2017). 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 2015–16, there were 93 organisations that provided SEWB services to approximately 18,900 clients (AIHW, 2017). These organisations employed 216 counsellors and were located at various sites across Australia. For more information on the organisation profile, staffing and types of services provided by SEWB services, see the Social and emotional wellbeing section (chapter 5) of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations: Online Services Report (2015–16).