As a part of international mental health policy, programmes and services project, the 'country profile' instrument was used for assessment of mental health policy and services in the Republic of Lithuania. Analysis of contextual factors revealed high levels of social pathology (including violence, suicide and other self-destructive behaviour) with stigmatizing approaches by the general population to mentally disturbed persons and other vulnerable groups. Analysis of existing data about resources invested in the mental health care system raises questions for policymakers about the effectiveness of this traditional way of investment. The largest proportion of physical and human capital is concentrated in psychiatric institutions, with large numbers of beds, psychiatrists and increasing funding for medications, while other components of care--such as housing, psychosocial and vocational rehabilitation, community-based child mental health services--are not being developed. Statistical accounts keep the tradition of presenting processes as outcomes, while modern assessment of outcomes of services, programmes and policies are lacking. The findings from this country profile may be very useful in the development of modern mental health policies in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, which have been deprived for decades from the opportunity to introduce evidence-based mental health policies and services.