The characteristics of the area utilizying the service, the tipology and the organization of the psychiatric services in the Liguria region of Italy are described with the same methodology employed for four other locations in Italy where a psychiatric case register is operative. This information gathering system officially began in March 1987, when the Regional Council decided to entrust the organization of this project to the Institute of Applied Medical Services of the University of Pavia. The source of the data collected is represented by the psychiatric services facilities operating in the Liguria Region. These include 20 territorial Mental Health Services (SSM), 9 Psychiatric Units in General Hospitals (SPDC) and 2 ex-psychiatric hospitals (PSS). The psychiatric case register is compiled in all Psychiatric Services of the Region by collecting data on charts; futhermore, in 12 of the Mental Health Services, in 2 of the Psychiatric Units in General Hospitals and in the ex-psychiatric hospitals this information has also been computerized. Data collection began in 1988, and in the first regional verification of the functionality of this system took place the following year. Results regarding the utilization of territorial services reveal annual prevalence rates that range from 200-500 per 100.000 inhabitants. As far as interventions involving hospitalization are concerned, SPDC and PSS data were analyzed separately. This analysis confirmed the situation described in the literature, namely that there is an excess of diagnoses of psychosis, most of all among males admitted to Psychiatric Units in General Hospitals and females admitted to ex-psychiatric hospital. Age-specific grouping of these results further revealed that most of these patients are elderly, especially the women.