A Zonal Symposium titled "Community Mental Health and Primary Care in Southern Europe" was held in the WPA Congress in Bucharest (26.6.15).
The Italian reform, resulted in closure of all state hospitals and establishing a comprehensive network of outpatients and residential facilities, was introduced by Dr. Enrico Zanalda, Secretary of the Italian Psychiatric Association. Similar reforms occurred in Israel and Cyprus. In most Southern Europe countries, General Practitioners (GP's) are already expected to diagnose, treat and manage mild to moderate mental illnesses. According to the OECD Report, 71% of patients in Greece, Italy and Spain and 80% in Portugal seek help for psychological and emotional problems from the GP, much more often than from psychiatrists or psychologists. There is a need to improve the coordination and integration of mental health and primary care.