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Basaglia’s legacy and Italian mental healthcare today 

Basaglia’s legacy and Italian mental healthcare today
Basaglia’s legacy and Italian mental healthcare today

Angelo Fioritti

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date: 08 December 2021

After Law 180 of 1978, universally known as ‘Basaglia Law’, Italy started a process of progressive closure of all mental hospitals and the establishment of a community mental healthcare system. Dehospitalization was completed in 1997, whilst the development of community services has continued over the last 40 years. Today, mental healthcare in Italy is within the National Health System, with liberal regulations on coercion and the lowest number of beds in general hospitals and residential facilities. However, the last decade has seen many threats challenging the system, mostly due to rapid social changes and to the financial consequences of the economic crisis. This chapter analyses the accomplishments and pitfalls of the reform process and discusses how Basaglia’s vision may continue to further the development of mental healthcare services in Italy.

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