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Trieste’s mental health ‘revolution’

Italy’s decision to close its mental asylums in 1978 changed the way many think about mental health. We visit Trieste to find out what that legacy means today.

Each year, mental health practitioners from around the world visit Trieste in Italy to see what they can learn from the city’s approach to mental illness.

In 1978, Trieste led a ‘revolution’ in Italian mental health care by closing its asylums and ending the restraint of patients. Today the city is designated as a ‘collaboration centre’ by the World Health Organization in recognition of its pioneering work.

Reporter Ammar Ebrahim visits Trieste to see how the system works - from the informal community centres where people can drop in and stay as long as they need, to the businesses that offer career opportunities for those who have been through the system.

We hear about the city’s policy of ‘no locked doors’, and ask how Trieste deals with patients other societies may deem ‘dangerous’.

Presenter: Tom Colls
Producer: Sam Judah

(Photo Caption: “Freedom is therapeutic” written on a wall in Trieste / Photo Credit: BBC)

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