Why we collect certain information

Why do we Ask for some Demographic Information?  

There is increasing recognition by health and community services in Australia that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those who are culturally and linguistically diverse, and those who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ communities, have unique mental health and wellbeing needs.
 A large body of Australian research has established inequalities in mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, culturally and linguistically diverse, and LGBTQIA+ communities, compared to the general population. 

While each of these groups is distinct, people who identify as part of these communities are more likely to experience oppression, stigma, discrimination, and violence. 
Individuals who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, culturally and linguistically diverse, or LGBTQIA+ continue to regularly experience inequality and devaluing of their cultures, identities, and relationships, which can negatively impact mental health. There is also an association between poor mental health and experiences of discrimination and harassment which people from each of these groups are more likely to experience. In turn, these experiences can lead to barriers in accessing mental health and community services, due to actual or anticipated experiences of stigma and discrimination.  

The routine collection of structured data on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, languages spoken at home, sexual orientation, and gender identity in clinical settings can help 
services to:

  • Improve care and promote positive outcomes for often underserviced populations 
  • Provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services  
  • Provide appropriate referrals and client support (to social workers, interpreters, disability support workers, religious workers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison and health workers)  

Additionally, the collection of this information provides insight into the impact of services on certain groups and can allow for monitoring trends and changes in the health and wellbeing of Australians over time.  

In order to
 improve our services and ensure our programs appropriately service the community, Mental Health Online asks people who create a user account about their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status. Clients completing the ePASS or wishing to access the Therapist Assist Program will further be asked their gender identity, cultural background and disability status. There is the option to opt out of answering these questions if you are uncomfortable providing this information. Mental Health Online will only 
collect personal information we reasonably need to,
 to provide services to you. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information. 

For more information about the importance of collecting sensitive information, please see: 

Last Updated : 10-Dec-2021