Mental health care in Australia is provided through hospital-based and public specialised mental health services managed by states and territories, private sector services delivered by general practitioners, psychiatrists and psychologists and non-government organisations.
Service utilisationThe majority of people with psychotic illness used a wide variety of health services both for their mental and physical health problems (figure 11). Almost all (95.3%) had used services for their mental health problems and 81.0% had used services for their physical health problems.
- Most people (88.2%) had visited a general practitioner in the past year.
- Most (86.3%) had used outpatient or community clinics and ambulatory health care services in the past year.
- Two-fifths (41.0%) presented to an emergency department and one quarter (26.4%) had done so for a psychiatric problem. In addition, 17.2% had telephone contact and 16.3% had face-to-face contact with a psychiatric emergency service.
- One in five people (20.7%) had at least one involuntary inpatient admission and one-fifth (19.2%) were under a community treatment order in the past year.
- Two-fifths (43.0%) spent from four to thirteen weeks in psychiatric inpatient treatment.
Medication useMost (91.6%) people were taking prescribed medications in the previous four weeks, with four-fifths (81.6%) taking antipsychotics.
- The majority of people were on atypical psychotics (74.0%) (figure 13).
- 37.4% were on antidepressants.
- 26.7% were on mood stabilisers.
- People reported that the impact of the side effects on their daily lives was moderate or severe for 29.9%.
Figure 11: Service use in the past year
Text version of figure 11
|Service use||Any health (%)||Mental health (%)||Physical health (%)|
|Outpatient/ community clinic||86.3||82.2||23.2|
Figure 12: Psychiatric inpatient treatment in the past year
Text version of figure 12Psychiatric inpatient treatment in the past year:
- Less than 2 weeks - 25.4%
- 2 to <4 weeks - 22.1%
- 4 to <13 weeks - 43%
- 13 to <26 weeks - 6.7%
- 26 to <52 weeks - 2.7%
- Full year - 0%
Figure 13: Medication use in the past year
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Text version of figure 13Medication use in the past year for mental health problems:
- Atypical antipsychotics: all - 74%
- Clozapine - 16.4%
- Typical antipsychotics - 15.2%
- Antidepressants - 37.4%
- Mood stabilisers - 26.7%
- Anxiolytics, hypnotics, sedatives - 17.8%
- Anticholinergics - 4.2%
- Alcohol, nicotine or opioid dependence related - 3.5%
- Total on medication for mental health - 91.6%
- Supplements for mental health - 21.9%
- Cardiovascular - 18.2%
- Endocrine (any) - 14.7%
- Gastrointestinal - 12.8%
- Respiratory - 6%
- Blood and electrolytes - 4%
- Neurological - 3.8%
- Musculoskeletal - 3.7%
- Genitourinary - 0.8%
- Total on medication for physical health - 41.1%