Psychiatric outpatients are surveyed in two separate areas, one (the city of Turku) with clearly above-average provision of mental-health services and the other (predominantly rural Eastern Satakunta) with services corresponding to the average for the country as a whole. The results show that in Turku 3.25% and in Eastern Satakunta 1.98% of the population aged 15 years or more had visited an outpatient treatment unit during the 4-month observation period. Compared with Eastern Satakunta, the patients in turku were relatively more often young persons, men (nearly as often as women), persons in the higher social classes and patients with psychiatric disorders other then psychosis. Treatment received by the patients in Turku was more intensive and included more psychotherapeutic elements. Particularly family-type and group-type therapies were more common in Turku than in Eastern satakunta. The results are considered from the viewpoint for both epidermiologic research and health care policy.