Addressing Mental Health in Italy

April 30, 2020

This comprehensive guide outlines how companies can be aware of how access, cost, coverage, stigma and other challenges vary in different markets, and highlights company strategies, country snapshots and resources that may be useful as they implement their programs around the world.

This section covers information about mental health stigma, access and treatment, and provides recommendations for employers and resources on NGOs/National Campaigns in Italy.

The National Health Service provides all health care free of charge to Italian citizens.14

  • Italy was among the first countries to deinstitutionalize mental health care and hasa relatively low number of psychiatric beds for its population compared to similar nations.35
  • Care is provided by the National Health Service in the community. There are nospecific psychiatric hospitals in the country.36,37
  • Multidisciplinary teams of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers,educators and occupational therapists within local health units coordinate prevention,care and rehabilitation efforts.
    • Generally mental health care is not part of primary care except in a few regions of the country, where primary care doctors have treated uncomplicated cases of milder mental health conditions.37
  • Because the provision of mental health care takes place at the regional and local levels, there are marked differences in access and quality across the country.38

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Snapshot of the Health System Landscape

hospital bed

Mental hospital beds: 8.96 per 100,000 population.


government mental health spend as % of total health spend

Government mental health spend as % of total health spend

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National health insurance or reimbursement scheme includes the care and treatment of persons with major mental disorders (defined as psychosis, bipolar disorder, depression).*

health care workers

Total mental health workers: 55.72 per 100,000 population


The majority of persons pay nothing (fully insured) for mental health services at the point of service.

yes check

Government-adopted or national policy for suicide prevention strategy

*According to data submitted to the World Health Organization (2017)

Addressing Mental Health in Italy

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