Objectives: Comparison of the medical and non-medical group for the knowledge of mental illness and its treatment. Design: Cross sectional study. Place and duration of study: The study was conducted between March to september 2004 in two medical colleges and their attached hospital (King Edward Medical college, Allama Iqbal Medical College and Mayo Hospital) and in Punjab University, Lahore Pakistan. Subjects and Methods: We compared the knowledge of the medical students and doctors with those of the university students and teachers using a standardised questionnaire. Of the medical group, 294 (59%) of the 500 survey forms sent out were returned, while in non medical group 194 out of 300 (64.66%) survey forms were returned. Results: A total of 488 participants (medical students and doctors =294, university students and teachers= 194), returned their completed survey forms. The non medical group (University Teachers and Students) were less familiar with the mental disorders such as Schizophrenia, compared to medical group (73 vs. 176). Conclusion: Strikingly similar patterns of knowledge were found between the two groups apart from medical matters, e.g.; knowledge about illnesses, treatments and type of therapies.There is a need for wider community education and information geared towards improving the knowledge of the people about mental illness. It also appears that the medical curriculum needs changes, so that the future doctors have better understanding of mental illness.