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The Mental Health Care National Minimum Data Sets (NMDS) are a set of mental health care-related data elements that state and territory governments collect each year. All data element definitions have been agreed by the National Health Information Standards and Statistics Committee (NHISSC) to ensure consistency with national health data standards.

The NMDS for Mental Health Care consist of four component data sets.

Admitted Patient Mental Health Care Data Set 

This data set includes demographic, clinical and administrative data on patients who have received mental health care as an admitted patient. Data is included on patients who received care in a public psychiatric hospital or in a psychiatric unit of an acute care hospital, or who had received care following a mental health-related principal diagnosis. For more information, see the Admitted patient mental health-related care section of the Mental health services in Australia website.

Mental Health Establishments Data Set

This data set contains workforce, expenditure and activity data, including the number of separations and service contacts from specialised mental health services managed or funded by state or territory health authorities. The primary function of specialised mental health services is to provide treatment, rehabilitation or community health support for people with a mental health disorder or psychiatric disability. For more information, see the Expenditure and Facilities section on the Mental health services in Australia.

Community Mental Health Care Data Set 

This data set includes information about individual service contacts, demographic and characteristic data as well as clinical information such as principal diagnosis of the people accessing community mental health care services. Community mental health care includes all ambulatory-equivalent mental health service contacts provided by government-operated community mental health care services and specialised public psychiatric services with the exception of services for admitted patients. For more information, see the State and territory community mental health services section on the Mental health services in Australia website.

Residential Mental Health Care Data Set

The information in this data set relates to episodes of residential care provided by government-funded and operated residential mental health services. Data collected include information on demographic characteristics of residents, clinical information such as mental health legal status, principal diagnosis and administrative data. For more information, see the Residential mental health section of the Mental health services in Australia website.

Specific details on individual data elements in the NMDS and associated data quality statements can be found in AIHW's Metadata Online Registry (METeOR). 

Data supplied to the AIHW does not include identifying information such as names and addresses. The NMDS data collated by AIHW is protected under section 29 of The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987 and the Privacy Act 1988. More detailed information on the prevalence of mental disorders, services usage and resources provided in Australia can be found on the Mental health services in Australia website.