Residential mental health care services

Residential mental health care services provide specialised mental health care on an overnight basis in a domestic-like environment. Residential mental health services may include rehabilitation, treatment or extended care.

Data from the National Residential Mental Health Care Database (NRMHCD) are used to describe the care provided by these services. More information about the NRMHCD is available in the data source section.

Key points

  • 8,045 episodes of residential care were recorded for an estimated 6,375 residents in 2018–19.
  • Schizophrenia was the most frequently reported principal diagnosis grouping in 2018–19 (25.1% of episodes), followed by Specific personality disorders (13.2%) and Schizoaffective disorders (8.8%).
  • 19.3% of residents had an involuntary mental health legal status.
  • 51.2% of completed residential mental health care episodes lasted 2 weeks or less, with 3.5% of episodes lasting longer than 1 year.

Data downloads and links:

XLS DownloadResidential mental health care 2018–19 tables (214KB XLSX)

PDF DownloadResidential mental health care 2018–19 section (647KB)

Residential mental health care interactive data

Data source information and key concepts related to this section.

Data in this section were last updated in October 2020.

Service provision

There were 8,045 continuing and completed episodes of residential care in 2018–19, with 370,554 residential care days provided to an estimated 6,375 residents. This equates to an average of 1.3 episodes of care per resident and 46.1 residential care days per episode.

The provision of residential mental health care services differed among states and territories in 2018–19, with Tasmania reporting the highest rates of episodes of care (16.8 per 10,000 population) and estimated number of residents (9.9 residents per 10,000 population) and New South Wales reporting the lowest (0.1 episodes and residents per 10,000 population) (Figure RMHC.1). Additional information can be found in the Specialised mental health care facilities section.

FIgure RMHC.1: Residential mental health care episodes states and territories, 2018-19.

Vertical bar chart showing estimated number of residential mental health care episodes (rate per 10,000 population), by state or territory, 2018–19. In New South Wales, there were an estimated 0.1 residential mental health care episodes per 10,00 population; Victoria, 6.6; Queensland, 1.9; Western Australia, 1.4; South Australia, 7.3; Tasmania, 16.8; the Australian Capital Territory, 0.5; the Northern Territory, 4.9; Total, 3.2 (refer to Table RMHC.1).

Visualisation not available for printing

Source data: XLS DownloadResidential mental health care tables (214KB XLSX).

Changes over time

Between 2014–15 and 2018–19, residential mental health care episodes decreased marginally from 3.3 to 3.2 per 10,000 population (an average annual change of -0.8% over the period). For information on data quality over time see the data source section.