National mental health report 2013

Trends in service delivery

Page last updated: 2013

Reliable national data on the number of people seen by state and territory community mental health care are available from 2006‑07 to 2010‑11. These raw numbers are provided in Figure 31 and show that the number of people seen increased from 324,160 in 2006‑07 to 351,690 in 2010‑11. In the latter year, about 40% of persons seen were new clients (i.e., clients who had not been seen by the service in the preceding five years). 28

Figure 31 also provides data on the number of service contacts provided and the number of people seen in community mental health care from 2001‑02 to 2010‑11. The number of service contacts rose from 4.2 million in 2001‑02 to 7.2 million in 2010‑11.

The frequency of services provided to people seen by state and territory community mental health services has remained fairly stable when measured by the number of days on which a service is provided (referred to as a 'treatment day'). Figure 32 shows that on average, consumers of state and territory mental health services are seen on 6.0 to 6.5 days each three month period while under care, equating roughly to once per fortnight. On average, registered consumers are seen on 14 days over a 12 month period, although there is substantial variation and many consumers receive community mental health care over substantially briefer periods than a full year. Ten per cent of consumers are seen by state and territory mental health services on more than 30 days over the year.

In the inpatient setting, the total number of patient days decreased on an annual basis from 2.5 million in the year before the National Mental Health Strategy began (1992‑93) to a low of just over 1.8 million in 1999‑00. Since then, the number has risen again and in 2010‑11 it was 2.1 million. Figure 33 provides a detailed picture of the change in patient days over time.

Taken together, it can be seen that these trends in service delivery are consistent with the changes in investment in service mix, particularly in terms of the expansion of community‑based services described above. The increased numbers of people seen and services provided in community mental health care settings reflect the significant growth in resources directed to these services during the life of the National Mental Health Strategy.

Figure 31: Number of service contactsa provided, 2001-02 to 2010-11, and number of people seen by state and territory community mental health services, 2006-07 to 2010-11

Refer to the following text for a text equivalent of Figure 31: Number of service contacts provided, 2001-02 to 2010-11, and number of people seen by state and territory community mental health services, 2006-07 to 2010-11

a Includes unregistered contacts. Not all jurisdictions report unregistered contacts and reporting practices may have changed over time.

Text version of figure 31

Number of people seen:
  • 2006-07 - 324,160
  • 2007-08 (end 3rd plan) - 323,189
  • 2008-09 - 330,594
  • 2009-10 - 339,698
  • 2010-11 (mid 4th plan) - 351,690
Number of service contacts:
  • 2001-02 - 4,203,731
  • 2002-03 (end 2nd plan) - 4,672,423
  • 2003-04 - 4,911,735
  • 2004-05 - 5,108,524
  • 2005-06 - 5,665,408
  • 2006-07 - 5,966,277
  • 2007-08 (end 3rd plan) - 6,374,267
  • 2008-09 - 6,270,765
  • 2009-10 - 6,594,064
  • 2010-11 (mid 4th plan) - 7,174,193 Top of page

Figure 32: Average number of treatment days per three month period of community mental health care, 2005-06 to 2010-11

Refer to the following text for a text equivalent of Figure 32: Average number of treatment days per three month period of community mental health care, 2005-06 to 2010-11

Text version of figure 32

Average treatment days:
  • 2005-06 - 6.0
  • 2006-07 - 6.1
  • 2007-08 (end 3rd plan) - 6.5
  • 2008-09 - 6.1
  • 2009-10 - 6.3
  • 2010-11 (mid 4th plan) - 6.4 Top of page

Figure 33: Total number of patient days in psychiatric inpatient settings, 1992-93 to 2010-11

Refer to the following text for a text equivalent of Figure 33: Total number of patient days in psychiatric inpatient settings, 1992-93 to 2010-11

Text version of figure 33

Number of patient days:
  • 1992-93 (baseline year) - 2,475,628
  • 1993-94 - 2,310,015
  • 1994-95 - 2,194,300
  • 1995-96 - 1,969,778
  • 1996-97 - 1,941,907
  • 1997-98 (end 1st plan) - 1,912,544
  • 1998-99 - 1,845,841
  • 1999-2000 - 1,805,066
  • 2000-01 - 1,830,785
  • 2001-02 - 1,816,009
  • 2002-03 (end 2nd plan) - 1,858,087
  • 2003-04 - 1,921,431
  • 2004-05 - 1,990,443
  • 2005-06 - 2,034,457
  • 2006-07 - 2,067,336
  • 2007-08 (end 3rd plan) - 2,093,088
  • 2008-09 - 2,093,341
  • 2009-10 - 2,111,203
  • 2010-11 (mid 4th plan) - 2,143,770