Brazil is a Federal Union which comprises 27 member states, one Federal District, and about 5000 municipalities. According to the Federal Constitution (Constituição da República Federativa do Brasil; Diário Oficial da União, 05/out/1988), the competence to rule over health issues is shared by all of them. So, in each part of the country three levels of legislation apply: federal, state and local law. However, as an inferior level of law must not conflict with a superior one, there is a relative uniformity throughout the country, at least in theory. Regarding actual mental healthcare delivery, there are many differences across the Brazilian regions, mostly due to socioeconomic variation.