Mental Health Workforce Growing in Australia – AIHW
Thursday, 12th April 2012 at 12:32 pm
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The number of people working in mental health in Australia is growing, according to new figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The latest figures on the AIHW Mental Health Services in Australia website show the number of psychiatrists (including psychiatrists-in-training) per 100,000 people increased at an average yearly rate of 1.4 per cent between 2005 and 2009.
The AIHW says that nationally, there were about 18 full time equivalent psychiatrists (including psychiatrists-in-training) and 69 mental health nurses per 100,000 people in 2009.
It says the figures show that the highest rate of psychiatrists (including psychiatrists-in-training) was in major cities, while the highest rate of mental health nurses was in inner regional areas.
Figures also show the average age for mental health nurses in 2009 was 46 years and about a third were male. Of those working in general nursing, less than 1 in 10 are male.
“The number of nurses who work principally in mental health increased at an average yearly rate of 1.5 per cent over the same period,” AIHW spokesperson Brent Diverty said.
Among nurses who work mainly in mental health, 82 per cent were registered nurses and 18 per cent were enrolled nurses, according to the website.
About 5 per cent of all nurses employed in Australia indicated working principally in mental health.
“Mental health nurses are ageing, with the proportion of mental health nurses aged 55 years and over, increasing from 20 per cent in 2005 to 25 per cent in 2009,” Diverty said.
AIHW says the website provides workforce information on psychiatrists, psychiatrists-in-training and nurses who work principally in mental health care.