Understanding how many people in each community need hospital treatment for mental health conditions, helps to identify local areas that may require more services and support.
This report focuses on the mental health of populations in small areas across Australia. It aims to assist Primary Health Networks and others in making informed decisions about resources required in providing effective primary mental health care.
The report finds:
- In 2013–14 across the 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas that cover Australia, the age-standardised rate of mental health overnight hospitalisations was twice as high in some PHN areas compared to others. Across more than 300 smaller local areas called SA3s, the rates were almost six times higher in some local areas compared to others. Rates of hospitalisation include admissions to both public and private hospitals
- The most common group of mental health conditions requiring hospitalisation was from drug and alcohol use (38,636 hospitalisations). These overnight admissions accounted for 299,829 bed days nationally. In 2013–14 the age-standardised rate of hospitalisations varied more than three-fold, from 87 admissions per 100,000 people (in North Western Melbourne PHN area) to 275 per 100,000 people (in Western Queensland PHN area)
- The second most common group of mental health conditions requiring hospitalisation was schizophrenia and delusional disorders (36,562 hospitalisations). These overnight admissions accounted for 813,514 bed days nationally – the most bed days for any of the groups of conditions in the report. The age-standardised rate of hospitalisations varied more than two-fold, from 102 admissions per 100,000 people (in Australian Capital Territory PHN area) to 234 per 100,000 people (in North Coast NSW PHN area)
- In 2013–14, there were 33,956 hospital admissions (including overnight and same-day) for intentional self-harm, which accounted for 184,332 bed days nationally. The age-standardised rate of hospitalisations for intentional self-harm varied from 83 per 100,000 people (in Eastern Melbourne PHN area) to 240 per 100,000 people (in Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast PHN area).
Note: Since publication in September 2016, figures have been revised following changes in coding and admission practices and/or geographic concordance methods. Please see Web update: Hospitalisations for mental health conditions and intentional self-harm in 2015–16 for the revised results.
In 2013–14 regional PHN areas had a higher mental health overnight hospitalisation rate than metropolitan PHN areas:
- Regional PHN areas: 971 hospitalisations per 100,000 people
- National rate: 911 hospitalisations per 100,000 people
- Metropolitan PHN areas: 857 hospitalisations per 100,000 people