20 December 2022

Consumers of mental health services across NSW still rated their care highly despite the significant challenges that people and services experienced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021-22, more than 21,000 consumers completed the Your Experience of Service (YES) survey, which measures experience of care in hospital and community mental health services across every local health district in NSW.

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said listening to the voices of people with mental health issues is key to ensuring services continue to deliver high-quality care and support.

"The latest YES survey results show a high level of engagement from mental health consumers who reported strong support for the care they received in hospital or at our community mental health services across NSW,” Mrs Taylor said.

“In 2021-22, 78 per cent of consumers rated their experience in community settings as excellent or very good while 69 per cent of consumers rated their experience of hospital services as excellent or very good.”

NSW Health Chief Psychiatrist Dr Murray Wright said the COVID-19 pandemic changed how services provided care and support to mental health consumers throughout 2021-22.

“Many consumers reported the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their experience of mental health services with necessary public health restrictions limiting access to family and friends, group activities and leave,” Dr Wright said.

“While many consumers missed face-to-face contact, virtual care allowed them to conveniently access the care and support they needed from mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The NSW Government invested a record $2.9 billion investment into mental health services and support as part of the 2022-23 NSW Budget. This includes the $130 million COVID-19 mental health recovery package announced in October 2021.

The YES survey, along with the Mental Health Carer Experience Survey (CES) are essential in helping us understand how these investments support consumers and carers.