4329.0.00.006 - Mortality of People Using Mental Health Services and Prescription Medications, Analysis of 2011 data  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/10/2017  First Issue
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Image: A profile of people accessing mental health-related treatments

The Australian Government subsidises a range of mental health-related treatments through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

  • There were 3.2 million Australians who accessed mental health-related treatments in 2011.
  • 1.5m people accessed mental health-related services3, with 5 consultations on average in 2011.
  • 2.3m people accessed mental health-related prescription medications4, with 9 prescriptions filled on average in 2011.
  • Around 1 in 6 females and 1 in 9 males accessed mental health-related treatments.
  • Almost 1 in 10 25-54 year olds accessed mental health-related services.
  • Almost 1 in 3 people aged 75 years or over accessed mental health-related medications.
  • People accessing mental health-related treatments had a standardised death rate of 11 deaths per 1,000 people, almost twice that of Australia overall (6 deaths per 1,000 people).
  • 1 in 6 female lone parents accessed mental health-related services, while 1 in 4 accessed mental health-related medications.
  • 12% of people who speak English at home accessed mental health-related medications, compared with 8% who speak a language other than English at home.

1 Based on data from 2011 Census and administrative information on people accessing subsidised mental health-related items listed on the MBS or PBS in 2011.
2 Use of mental health-related treatments does not imply a diagnosis of a mental health condition.
3 'Mental health-related services' includes mental health-related consultations with general practitioners and other allied health professionals, and consultations with psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and other psychologists.
4 'Mental health-related prescription medications' includes antipsychotics, anxiolytics, hypnotics and sedatives, antidepressants, and psychostimulants, agents used for ADHD and nootropics prescription medications.

Further information is available from the 4329.0 series of reports available from the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au) - for example, Mortality of People Using Mental Health Services and Prescription Medications, Analysis of 2011 data (cat. no. 4329.0.00.006). A pdf version of this information sheet is available from the Downloads tab of this publication.

Mental health issues may be a sensitive topic for some people. For support or advice, please contact Lifeline (on 13 11 14) or beyondblue (on 1300 22 4636).

Funding for this analysis was provided by the National Mental Health Commission.