The scope of the Mental health establishments National Minimum Data Set (MHE NMDS) is all specialised mental health services managed by, or in receipt of funds from, state or territory health authorities.
Specialised mental health services are those with a primary function to provide treatment, rehabilitation or community health support targeted towards people with a mental disorder or psychiatric disability. These activities are delivered from a service or facility that is readily identifiable as both specialised and serving a mental health care function.
The concept of a specialised mental health service is not dependent on the inclusion of the service within the state or territory mental health budget.
A service is not defined as a specialised mental health service solely because its clients include people affected by a mental illness or psychiatric disability. The definition excludes specialist drug and alcohol services for people with intellectual disabilities, except where they are established to assist people affected by a mental disorder who also have drug and alcohol related disorders or intellectual disability.
These services can be a sub-unit of a hospital even where the hospital is not a specialised mental health establishment itself (e.g. designated psychiatric units and wards, outpatient clinics etc).
The statistical units are specialised mental health services. These are the specialised mental health components of the state and territory health authorities, and of regions within states and territories; specialised mental health service organisations; service units within those organisations; and private hospital and non-government residential service units funded by specialised mental health services.
Non-government residential mental health services and specialised mental health services provided by private hospitals that receive state or territory government funding are included as service units for this NMDS.
There is a hierarchy of statistical units used within the MHE NMDS. Information is provided at each level: State/Territory; Region; Organisation; Hospital/Service unit cluster; and Service unit (Admitted patient services, Residential services and Ambulatory services). Each level has a unique set of attributes which comprise the NMDS data elements and additional supplementary information.