Substance Abuse & Mental Health Data Archive

This study is maintained and distributed by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA). SAMHDA is supported by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ), formerly the Office of Applied Studies.

National Mental Health Services Survey (N-MHSS), 2010 (ICPSR 34945)

Alternate Title:  N-MHSS, 2010

Principal Investigator(s):


The National Mental Health Services Survey (N-MHSS) is designed to collect information from all specialty mental health facilities in the United States, both public and private. N-MHSS provides the mechanism for quantifying the dynamic character and composition of the United States mental health treatment delivery system.

The objective of the N-MHSS is to collect data that can be used for multiple purposes:

  • To assist SAMHSA and state and local governments in assessing the nature and extent of services provided in state-funded, state-operated, and other mental health treatment facilities, and in forecasting mental health treatment resource requirements.
  • To update SAMHSA's Inventory of Behavioral Health Services (I-BHS), an inventory of all known mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities in the United States, which can be used as a frame for future surveys of these facilities.
  • To describe the nature and scope of mental health treatment services and conduct comparative analyses for the nation and states.
  • To update the information in the mental health component of SAMHSA's online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator, a searchable database of licensed and accredited public and private facilities for the provision of mental health treatment.

Data are collected on topics including:

  • Facility type, operation, and primary treatment focus.
  • Facility treatment characteristics (e.g., settings of care; mental health treatment approaches, supportive services/practices, and special programs offered; crisis intervention team availability; and seclusion and restraint practices).
  • Facility operating characteristics (e.g., age groups accepted; services provided in non-English languages; and smoking policy).
  • Facility management characteristics (e.g., computerized functionality; licensure, certification, and accreditation; standard operating procedures; and sources of payment and funding).
  • Client demographic characteristics.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


National Mental Health Services Survey (N-MHSS), 2010 - Download All Files (39.5 MB)

Study Description


United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. National Mental Health Services Survey (N-MHSS), 2010. ICPSR34945-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research[distributor], 2014-04-03.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   mental health, mental health services, treatment facilities, treatment programs

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 2010

Date of Collection:  

  • 2010-04--2010-12

Universe:   The initial N-MHSS universe of 15,562 facilities included all known specialty mental health facilities in the United States and its territories at the beginning of the data collection period. Most facilities in the 2010 N-MHSS frame were identified from the 2008 NSMHTF. To enhance the existing NSMHTF database of eligible facilities, a list of currently-operating mental health treatment facilities was requested from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and national professional organizations. These entities provided information for additional mental health facilities that were added to the initial survey frame. A small number of newly identified facilities was added to the survey frame over the course of the 2010 N-MHSS. The final total N-MHSS facility universe was 16,197 mental health treatment facilities.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Data were collected by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Princeton, NJ, and prepared for release by Synectics for Management Decisions, Inc., Arlington, VA.

N-MHSS is a point-prevalence survey. It provides information on the mental health treatment system and its clients as of a pre-selected reference date (April 30, 2010). Client counts do not represent annual totals. Rather, the N-MHSS provides a "snapshot" of mental health treatment facilities and clients on an average day or month.

N-MHSS collects data about facilities, not individual clients. Data on clients represent an aggregate of clients in treatment for each reporting facility.

N-MHSS attempts to obtain responses from all known facilities, but it is a voluntary survey. There is no adjustment for the 8.8 percent facility non-response.



The following types of mental health treatment facilities were included in the 2010 N-MHSS; psychiatric hospitals, non-federal general hospitals with a separate psychiatric unit, VA medical centers, outpatient or day treatment or partial hospitalization mental health facilities, residential treatment centers (RTCs) for children, residential treatment centers (RTCs) for adults, and multi-setting (multi-service, non-hospital) mental health facilities.

The following types of facilities were excluded from the sample; Department of Defense military treatment facilities, Indian Health Services-administered or tribally-operated facilities, private practitioners or small group practices not licensed as a mental health clinic or center, and jails or prisons.

Mode of Data Collection:   mail questionnaire, telephone interview, web-based survey

Response Rates:   Of the 16,197 mental health treatment facilities in the survey, 24.8 percent were found to be ineligible for the survey because they did not provide mental health treatment services, had a primary treatment focus of substance abuse services or general health care, provided treatment for incarcerated persons only (i.e., in jails or prisons), or were an individual or small group mental health practice not licensed or certified as a mental health center or clinic. Ninety-one percent of the 12,186 eligible facilities completed the survey, including 692 facilities that provided administrative services only. Half of the respondents (53.4 percent) completed the survey on the web, 24.4 percent through the mail, and 22.2 percent on the telephone.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2014-07-17 Changed the Stata system data file from version 13 to version 12 for compatibility on a wider range of systems.
  • 2014-04-03 Data were updated to remove errant value labels in the state (STFIPS) variable.

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