improving the quality of life of persons with chronic mental illness is becoming an important treatment goal. in this study, 101 former acute care psychiatric inpatients with serious mental illness who were living in Mississippi communities were interviewed using portions of Lehman's Quality of Life interview. A particular focus was whether clinical characteristics, such as medication compliance and social skills, that could be changed by interventions were associated with patients' ratings of their quality of life. Self-reports of better quality of life were associated with fewer depressive symptoms, fewer medication side effects, and better family interactions. Results indicate that clinical interventions to improve quality of life in this population should include family psychoeducational programs and better detection, evaluation, and treatment of both depressive symptoms and side effects of medication.