Only months before the next general election the Italian minister for health, Francesco Storace, has said that Italys mental health laws need revising. The controversial law, which was passed in 1978, brought about the closure of mental asylums to replace them with a network of external services to treat people suffering from psychiatric problems. Families in Italy now care for the mentally ill, often with very little or no support from the state. More than 600,000 families look after a family member with severe mental problems and one in ten Italians suffer from some form of mental disturbance, from anxiety and depression to schizophrenia. Storace has been accused of electioneering by his opposition predecessor, Rosy Bindi, who has said that there was no question of the law being discussed in the present parliament.
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