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Office of Mental Health

The Patient Characteristics Survey (PCS)

What is the PCS?

The 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.

Why is the PCS so important?

The PCS is the only data source that collects specific client-level information from all public mental health service programs. It is a reliable resource for helping to manage New York State's public mental health system.

The data informs:

  • compliance with federal reporting requirements
  • planning process for local governments with the mental health services
  • distribution of funding

Survey Resources

    Preparing for the Survey

    The Data Entry Web Application

    PCS Reference Materials

Other Resources


Questions about the information on this page or issues with document accessibility can be directed to the PCS Team in the Surveillance and Surveys Unit.