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

Alternate Title:   N-MHSS, 2010

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality


The National Mental Health Services Survey (N-MHSS) is an annual survey designed to collect statistical information on the numbers and characteristics of all known mental health treatment facilities within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. In every other year, beginning in 2014, the survey also collects statistical information on the numbers and demographic characteristics of persons served in these treatment facilities as of a specified survey reference date.

The N-MHSS is the only source of national and State-level data on the mental health service delivery system reported by both publicly-operated and privately-operated specialty mental health treatment facilities, including: public psychiatric hospitals; private psychiatric hospitals, non-federal general hospitals with separate psychiatric units; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; residential treatment centers for children; residential treatment centers for adults; outpatient or day treatment or partial hospitalization mental health facilities; and multi-setting (non-hospital) mental health facilities.

The N-MHSS complements the information collected through SAMHSA's survey of substance abuse treatment facilities, the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS). Treatment facility Information from the N-MHSS is used to populate the mental health component of SAMHSA's online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


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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-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-11-23.

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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 Type(s):    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:   2014-04-03

Version History:

  • 2015-11-23 Covers for the PDF documentation were revised.
  • 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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QA1_4 Facility offers substance abuse treatment services
A1. Does this facility at this location (the location listed on the front cover) offer ... (4) ... Substance abuse treatment services


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