The two fields of interest, psychiatry and social safety, are linked. Historically, their connection evolved under the pressure of surfacing prejudices that modelled the organisational solutions of psychiatric services. Nowadays, community psychiatry is in dire straits with seemingly contradictory demands: the increasing request for social safety on the one hand and on the other the call for a rationalisation of organisational models in response to the dramatic reduction of resources in health care and social assistance. The Authors describe how a community mental health service addresses such an issue, today in Italy, and illustrate also how the complexity of this situation weighs heavily on the daily practice of a mental health worker.
Keywords: Community psychiatry, social safety, care, control, responsibility, organisation