Franco Rotelli (23 July 1942 – 16 March 2023)

(23 July 1942 – 16 March 2023)

It is with the greatest sadness that we are announcing the death or our dear friend and President, Franco Rotelli.

He was one of the architects of the Psychiatric Reform in Italy and one of the main collaborators of Franco Basaglia . From 1979 until 1995 Rotelli was the director of the Psychiatric Hospital of Trieste. He led the transformation of mental health services which has become famous all over the world.

In 1998 he became General Manager of the Trieste Health Authority, a role he held for ten years. For a shorter period, from 2001 to 2004, he was director of the Caserta health company .

In 2013 he was elected Regional Councilor and President of the Health and Social Policies Commission of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region with the Democratic Party.

He was a pioneer of community mental health development all over the world bringing about significant change in Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Leros and many other countries.

He was a prolific writer with many papers on deinstitutionalisation.

In the texts of conferences in Italy, Japan, Brazil, Spain, France and many other countries collected in the book "For normality" he gradually describes the path of radical restructuring of the mental health services of Trieste, illustrating its inspiring principles.It analyses the paths of deinstitutionalisation and "institutional invention" that have revolutionised the organisation of psychiatry in Trieste and in many other places in Italy and in other European and non-European countries.

He wanted a health system that is able to deal with the real problems of people's lives, and therefore also with the non-health determinants of health and with community ties.

Franco Rotelli's action and thought have always been guided by the conviction that "the fundamental contradiction of our time is that between closed institutions and open institutions, and that working on this dialectic must be a priority commitment at a political, ethical, science, in social organisations and in interpersonal relationships”.

His work is as relevant today but even more so. We should continue his valuable work as a legacy to this great pioneer and leader.

16th March 2023

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