Mental Health Data

Page last updated: 30 March 2016


Downloadable files available on this page provide service utilisation data for four Commonwealth-funded programmes: Details about each programme are provided in links below. The datasets provided for each programme share the following standard features:
  • Data are aggregated at the level of SA3 areas and PHN regions
  • Unless otherwise stated, assignment of patient and service data to SA3/PHN is based on the patient’s postcode applicable at the last of service in each reference period
  • The content of data provided covers the following categories
    • patient counts
    • service counts (or prescriptions in the case of PBS)
    • government benefits paid (for MBS and PBS)
  • Except for the MBS, data presented covers the previous four financial years (2011-12 to 2014-15). MBS data covers the previous three financial years.
  • Data extracted for each financial year is based on date of service (or equivalent) rather than date of processing.
  • Data are disaggregated by patient age and sex. Age groups are based on standard 5-year groupings except for the 0-24 year range. For this range, a different approach to age grouping is used that aligns with how mental health services are configured, both at State and Territory level and for Commonwealth programmes (e.g., headspace covers the age band 12-24). The groupings used are:
Pre-school0-4 years
Primary school5-11 years
Secondary school12-17 years
Youth/young adult18-24 years

Access to Allied Psychological Services

About the ATAPS programme

The Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) programme was introduced by the Australian Government in July 2001 in response to low treatment rates for common mental disorders. The programme allows general practitioners (GPs) to refer patients to mental health professionals for evidence-based mental health care (most commonly cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT). ATAPS-specific guidelines require that all services provided are targeted to give priority to population groups that have particular difficulty in accessing mental health treatment in the primary care sector. In general, ATAPS allows greater flexibility to target priority groups in the provision of access to free or low cost services to individuals who have limited access to Medicare-subsidised mental health services and/or may not be able to afford mental health services in the private sector.

Managed initially by the former Divisions of General Practice (DGPs), responsibility for regional implementation was transferred to Medicare Locals (MLs) following their establishment in 2011-12. With the replacement of MLs by Primary Health Networks (PHNs), full responsibility for funding and commissioning of services was transferred to PHNs commencing July 2015.

Further information about the ATAPS programme can be found at: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/mental-boimhc-ataps

Note that funding and administrative arrangements beyond 2015-2016 are currently being redesigned following the Government’s response of the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Programme and Services (http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-review-response)

About ATAPS data

Data being made available on the ATAPS programme are sourced from the ATAPS Minimum Data Set. Since its inception, DGPs/MLs/PHNs have been required to collect and report on minimum dataset items as part of their ATAPS contracts with the Department of Health. The ATAPS MDS gathers de-identified consumer-level information on all services delivered.

Socio-demographic and clinical information are collected by the GP or referrer, and service-level information is collected by the mental health professional at each session. Primary Health Networks are responsible for regional data collection arrangements and can download their own data to analyse and can compare themselves nationally. The database is a web-based system allowing multiple users and regular reporting at a national level. The database is password-protected, so that only authorised personnel are given access.

The ATAPS MDS is currently managed on behalf of the Department of Health by the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Health Policy, Programmes and Economics as part of an ongoing national evaluation contract held with the Department.

Further details on the ATAPS MDS are available at:
https://ataps-mds.com/
https://ataps-mds.com/mds/#specific-items-in-the-minimum-dataset

ATAPS data released by the Department of Health and Ageing

Data on the ATAPS programme being released by the Department provides basic counts, for each of the past four financial years (2011-12 to 2014-15), of:
  • The number of patients using services
  • The number of services delivered
The patient and service counts are disaggregated at two levels of geography:
  • PHN region – available for public use
  • SA3 (for PHN authorised users only, accessed via secure login)
Data being made available on a secure basis to PHN authorised personnel also include disaggregations based on the patient’s age and sex.

Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) Data

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Mental Health Nurse Incentive Programme (MHNIP)

The Mental Health Nurse Incentive Programme (MHNIP) provides a non-MBS incentive payment to community based general practices, private psychiatrist services and other appropriate organisations to engage mental health nurses to assist in the provision of coordinated clinical care for people with severe mental illness. Mental health nurses work in collaboration with general practitioners and psychiatrists to provide services such as monitoring a patient’s mental state, medication management and improving links to other health professionals and clinical providers. Services are delivered in a range of settings, such as clinics or patients’ homes and are provided at little or no cost to the patient. The programme commenced operation in 2007-08.

MHNIP payments to participating organisations are managed by the Department of Human Services (DHS). Payments are made for each ‘session’ delivered by a mental health nurse, where a session refers to a 3 hour period of work. A minimum of 2 patients is required to be serviced for each session reimbursed.

Further information about the MHNIP programme can be found at:
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/work-pr-mhnip
http://www.humanservices.gov.au/health-professionals/services/mental-health-nurse-incentive-programme/

Note that funding and administrative arrangements beyond 2015-2016 are currently being considered following the Government’s response of the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Programme and Services (http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-review-response)

About MHNIP data

The MHNIP data are supplied to the Department annually by DHS and compiled from claims processing data. Information about the claims data submitted by MHNIP organisations to DHS is available in the programme guidelines found at: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/health-professionals/services/mental-health-nurse-incentive-programme/mhnip-guidelines

MHNIP data released by the Department of Health and Ageing

Data on the MHNIP programme being released by the Department provides basic counts, for each of the past four financial years (2011-12 to 2014-15), of:
  • The number of patients using MHNIP services
  • The number of services delivered (where each service refers to an individual patient)
  • The number of nurse sessions delivered (where each session represents a 3 hour period in which a minimum of two patient services must be recorded)
The patient, service and session counts are disaggregated at two levels of geography:
  • PHN region – available for public use; and
  • SA3 (for PHN authorised users only, accessed via secure login)

Mental Health Nurse Incentive Programme (MHNIP) Data

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MBS Mental Health Data by ABS SA3

MBS Mental Health Data by PHN

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This list of ‘Participating Hospitals’ lists all private hospitals with psychiatric beds currently enrolled in the PMHA and its Centralised Data Management Service (CDMS). Top of page

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