Although community psychiatry hasa rich tradition in the Netherlands and one of the mostfamous Dutch psychiatrists was a community psychiatrist,community psychiatry still functioned ratherpoorly in the seventies. There was no lack of money,but cultural and social factors and a fragmentedstructure of the mental health system hampered goodperformance. Governmental legislation created newopportunities. The government forced institutionsto co-operate with each other and allocated money tofinance new programs of care. It is now the turn to themental health workers to create new ways (or rediscoverold ways) to help mentally disturbed persons tosurvive in the community and lead a dignified life.