PURPOSE: This study was done to investigate community attitudes towards people with mental illness and to mental health services. METHODS: From August to October of 2006, 474 citizens of Siheung city were asked to give demographic data and their personal attitude toward mental illness and mental health services. RESULTS: The residents of Siheung community showed slightly negative attitudes, with a mean opinion about mental illness score of 93.38+/-17.29. According to the study, health professionals and citizens showed a positive attitude to the establishment of day care centers and residential facilities (62.2% and 55.4% respectively). Civil servants showed negative attitudes (40.4%). There were significant differences in attitudes according to gender, age, education level, occupation, religion, and income. Positive attitudes were found for health professionals and negative attitudes for civil servants. CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicate a need to provide public information and education for civil servants, and for those who have negative attitudes, in particular, men, people in the younger age group, who have lower education levels, who are Buddhists, monthly renters, who have a monthly income below 1 million won, who have no children and no experience with people who have a mental illness.