• effects of mental health reform;
  • data-based evaluation;
  • patterns of consumers

ABSTRACT— It is 9 years since the mental health reform was passed by the Italian Parliment. The author presents a data-based evaluation of the effects of the Italian mental health reform. There are still many problems to be resolved: More than 30,000 inpatints are still in psychiatric hospitals and little is known of the fate of those discharged in recent years. District mental health services are still lacking, especially in the south of the country; Psychiatric units in the general hospital function much the same way as the “old” psychiatric hospitals. The pattern of mental health services consumers have changed: They are younger with less severe psychiatric diagnosis and come from a higher social background.