The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has released annual statistics on mental health and addictions hospitalizations nationally for the 2018-19 fiscal year. These new data can help clients, families, providers, researchers and policymakers understand how long Canadians with mental illness and/or addiction are staying in hospital, what discharge rates are for mental health and addictions across provinces and territories, and whether length of stay varies by diagnosis, age or sex.
The data show that 95,855 mental health and addictions patients were discharged from hospital in the 2018-19 fiscal year in Ontario. This shows a steady and continuous increase in mental health and addiction discharges from Ontario hospitals since 2008.
Further, Ontario has the highest number of mental health and addictions-related hospital discharges of any province or territory, with almost double the number of discharges compared to the province with the second-highest number of discharges, Quebec. In Ontario, the group with the greatest number of hospital discharges are patients with mood disorders.
The data contain information on hospitalizations for mental health and/or addictions from all provinces and territories. The statistics are available at the health region, provincial/territorial and pan-Canadian levels here. This information represents the latest interprovincial comparative snapshot on the mental health and addictions situation in Canada’s acute care system.
Collectively, these mental health and addictions data show an over-reliance on an already-strained acute care system in Ontario. The data give nuanced insight into pressure on hospitals in Ontario’s mental health and addictions sector, compared to community-based care.
CMHA Ontario is a leader in Ontario’s community-based mental health and addictions sector and can provide significant relief to hospitals by caring for clients experiencing mood disorders and other mental health and addictions challenges in community. This has the benefit of providing more appropriate care to clients at a lower cost to the health care system.
The Hospital Mental Health Database is a pan-Canadian database that includes administrative, diagnosis and demographic data for general hospital discharges with a primary diagnosis of mental illness or addiction, and psychiatric hospital discharges. These data and findings reflect the most recent information available from the 2018–19 data cycle before the COVID-19 pandemic.