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Healthy Communities: Hospitalisations for mental health conditions and intentional self-harm 2013–14

Publishing organisation: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Year of publication: 2016

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Healthy Communities: Hospitalisations for mental health conditions and intentional self-harm in 2013–14 analyses geographical trends in hospitalisations and bed days related to mental health diagnoses and intentional self-harm. The report highlights the amount of variation in hospitalisation across the country.

Some key findings from the report include:

  • Private hospitals tended to account for 20–25% of mental health related hospitalisations and bed stays though this varied widely across geographical areas from 5% in NT to 35% in Eastern Melbourne.
  • Hospitalisation rates increase with remoteness, though this trend was not observed with regard to bed days (in some cases it was significantly reversed).
  • Within metropolitan areas, hospitalisation rates did not vary significantly across socioeconomic areas.
  • The most common reasons for hospitalisation was drug and alcohol use followed by schizophrenia and delusional disorders with intentional self-harm coming third.
  • The ACT had the lowest rate of overnight hospitalisations for mental health conditions overall while the NSW north coast had the highest.
  • Eastern Melbourne had the lowest rate of hospitalisations for intentional self-harm overall while Central Queensland had the highest.
  • There is significant variation between areas which the report notes could be due to a number of reasons including variations in the availability of services including community-based programs and hospital beds, variations in hospital admission policies and/or variations in the prevalence of mental health conditions.