What is the PCS? The Patient Characteristics Survey (PCS) is conducted every two years, and collects demographic,
clinical, and service-related information for each person who receives a public mental health service during a
specified one-week period. The PCS receives data from approximately 5,000 mental health programs serving
175,000 people during the survey week. All programs licensed or funded by the NYS Office of Mental Health
(OMH) are required to complete the survey. The PCS is the only OMH data source that describes all the public
mental health programs in New York State.
What PCS Data are available on this Web Site?
Results from the PCS are summarized into reports at the state, region, county, and facility levels.
Facility level reports are sent to each respective facility director, while the other reports are posted
publicly on the OMH Web site.
The reports posted on this Web page include the dynamic Portal
Summary Reports, Planning Reports and
The dynamic Summary Reports allow users to sort data by geographic region of provider and
other demographic variables. The Summary Reports describe clients served by demographic variables, while the
PCS Planning Reports present penetration rates and national outcome measures. For the Annualized Reports,
OMH employs an annualizing algorithm developed by the Nathan Kline Institute to estimate the number served
annually from the number served during the survey week.
How are PCS Data Used?
PCS information is used for planning and program evaluation by OMH and local governmental units. Survey
results are also used to describe the state public mental health system to state and federal funding agencies
and legislative bodies.
Who is Reported on the PCS?
Persons "in residence" during the survey
Persons receiving client or collateral services during the survey week. Where collateral
services are involved, information reported will pertain to the client, not the collateral. For example,
when a clinician meets with a parent ("collateral") of a child client during the survey week rather than
directly with the child, the clinician completes a survey that reports information about the child.
What is not Reported on the PCS?
Clients screened during the survey week, but not subsequently admitted to a program