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The consumer and carer perspective

Priority Area 7: Making safety and quality central to mental health service delivery

Under Priority Area 7: Making safety and quality central to mental health service delivery

  • • the treatment, care and support that consumers and carers receive will be safe
  • • information about the safety of services will be available so that consumers and carers can make informed choices about treatment, care and support.

While mental health services are a safe place for the majority of people, a significant proportion of respondents do not consistently feel safe using these services.


The majority (64% in 2020 and 60% in 2019) of respondents reported that they, or the person they care for ‘usually’ or ‘always’ felt safe when using mental health services in the past 12 months (Figure PA7). Around one in five (21% in 2020 and 23% in 2019) respondents reported they, or the person they care for, ‘sometimes’ felt safe using mental health services.

In 2020, around one-third (34%) of respondents reported that information about the safety of mental health services was ‘usually’ or ‘always’ available, compared to around one-quarter (26%) of respondents in 2019. Around half of respondents reported that safety information was ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ available (48% in 2020 and 53% in 2019). Of respondents who had received safety information in 2020, almost half reported that this ‘usually’ or ‘always’ helped them or the person they care for make informed decisions, compared to around one-third in 2019 (31%).

While these apparent changes appear promising, due to the limitations of the survey it is not possible to know if the apparent changes are caused by real improvements in the experience of consumers and carers or whether they are the result of different people responding to the 2019 and 2020 surveys.

Figure PA7: Frequency of feeling safe when using mental health services in the last 12 months, 2019 and 2020

Bar chart showing 2019 and 2020 data for the proportion of consumers and carers who reported ‘never’, ‘rarely’, ‘sometimes’, ‘usually’ or ‘always’ feeling safe when using mental health services in the last 12 months.  In 2019 6% of consumers and carers responded ‘never’, 11% ‘rarely’, 23% ‘sometimes’, 38% ‘usually’, 23% ‘always’. In 2020 6% of consumers and carers responded ‘never’, 9% ‘rarely’, 21% ‘sometimes’, 36% ‘usually’, 28% ‘always’