An increasing number of mental patients are being treated outside the stereotypical confines of mental institutions. This trend is often financially motivated, since the cost of institutional care is high. But the psychological advantage to the patients is often contested. Should its demise be encouraged? Need mental institutions necessarily be places of repression and exclusion? What is the position of mental illness in our society--given contemporary therapeutic progress and advances in medication? Jean-Pierre Olié and Pierre Deniker are psychiatrists.