Aim: An attempt was made in the paper to systematise the existing knowledge about the role of various factors, and especially – the family, in the psychiatric patient s return to the community.
Review. A number of factors are presented and discussed in succession – characteristics of the patient and his/her illness, of the psychiatric facility and the social environment with which the family system has contacts, and especially, the ways of coping with stress typically used by the family.
Conclusions. The role of all the above-described factors in the patient s return to the community seems to be very important. However; the systemic perspective points to an exceptional role of the family in this respect, and especially to the meaning the patient ascribes to stressful situations, or in other words - to the significance of the illness-related "family story".