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Residential Settings

Residential mental health care services provide specialised mental health care on an overnight basis in a domestic-like environment. Residential services are accessed by a tiny fraction of people with a mental illness - approximateluy 0.01% (AIHW, 2014). Residential mental health services may include rehabilitation, treatment or extended care.


Statistics (AIHW, 2014):


  • There were over 7,000 residential episodes of care recorded for over 5,200 residents in 2013–14. The number of residential episodes per 10,000 population increased by an average of 13% per year between 2009–10 and 2013–14. The estimated number of residents per 10,000 population increased by an annual average of 15% over the same period. 

  • Residents with an involuntary mental health legal status accounted for 18% of all episodes in 2013–14, compared with 29% in 2009–10. 

  • When principal diagnosis was specified, schizophrenia was the most common principal diagnosis for residents undergoing residential episodes of care (32%), followed by depressive episode (12%) and schizoaffective disorder (10%). 

  • The most common length of stay for a completed residential episode was 2 weeks or less (58%) in 2013–14, with 3% of episodes lasting longer than 1 year.


Placement opportunities:

  • You may have the opportunity to undertake placement in a mental health rehabilitation unit.

  • Some existing hospitals have residential facilities on site, such as Macquarie Hospital.

  • Placement opportunities in residential drug and alochol rehabilitation facilities also exist.





  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2004, Health: Mental Health, accessed 22 November 2015, Available from: <>

  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. Mental health services—in brief 2014. Cat. no. HSE 154. Canberra: AIHW. Available from: <>

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