To describe the content of the Community Mental Health Care reform in Sweden, in effect from 1995 and directed to severely mentally ill people (SMI).
Evaluating changes, at local and national level, in living conditions among SMI and resources of services directed to them, by using registers, questionnaires, interviews and case studies.
A survey, covering 93% of the population, identified 43,000 SMI (prevalence of 0.63%); 4,000 long-stay patients and 400 rehabilitation programmes were transferred from psychiatric services to social services (15% of the budget of psychiatric services). Employment and rehabilitation projects, family support and user programmes and educational projects for social services staff, were launched (funded by state subsidies).
SMI still have difficulties in obtaining adequate support on the basis of disability laws and there continue to be barriers between social services and psychiatric services.