The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released their latest data on Mental Health Services in Australia (MHSA), which provides a picture of the national response of the health and welfare service system to the mental health care needs of Australians. MHSA is updated progressively throughout each year as data becomes available.
As part of this, the AIHW has also updated the data around Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) who support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. These agencies provide specialised services to target groups as well as general homelessness support services.
The key points of the data release were:
- 6,027 (24 per cent) of the 24,900 SHS clients in Western Australia aged 10 years and over in 2018-19 had a current mental health issue.
- The rate of SHS clients in Western Australia with a current mental health issue has increased each year from 2011-12 to 2018-19.
- The rate of clients with a mental health issue was almost seven times as high for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People than non-Indigenous Australians.
- The main reasons, clients with a mental health issue sought SHS support were housing crises, domestic/family violence and financial difficulties.
- Around 62 per cent of clients with a current mental health issue received support for longer than 45 days.
Shelter WA will continue to work with our members, the broader sector and government to ensure that housing and homelessness services are adequately resourced so that people with mental health issues remain at the center of a housing response, and have the housing and support services required that enable them to thrive.
The updated data can be found here.