The mental health of Australians 2

3.4 Perception of need for services

Page last updated: May 2009

The survey examined whether people who had received services or particular types of help over the previous 12 months felt their needs had been met. For people who did not receive services the survey examined whether there were services or types of help that they felt they needed but had not received.

The types of help people were asked about were:

  • information about mental illness, its treatment and available services
  • medication
  • talking therapy, such as cognitive behaviour therapy, psychotherapy and counselling
  • social intervention, such as help to meet people and sort out accommodation or finances and
  • skills training to improve the ability to work, self-care or manage time effectively.
People with mental disorders who used services generally felt that their needs had been met, especially in the areas of medication (86.7%) and, to a lesser extent, talking therapy (68.2%) (Table 3-5). However, two thirds of people with mental disorders who used services felt that their needs had not been met for skills training (66.0%) and social intervention 68.7%).

There also appeared to be little unmet need in people with mental disorders who did not use services with 85.7% of people reporting that they had no need for any of the types of help asked about in the survey (Table 3-6).

Table 3-5: Perception of met need in people with 12-month mental disorders who used services

Type of help

Needs met (%)

Information
56.6
Medication
86.7
Talking therapy
68.2
Social intervention
31.3
Skills training
44.0

Table 3-6: Perception of need for services in people with 12-month mental disorders who did not use services

Type of help

No need (%)

Information
94.0
Medication
97.4
Talking therapy
89.3
Social intervention
94.1
Skills training
96.2
Any type of help
85.7