In Argentina, deinstitutionalization and community-based mental health care are almost nonexistent, and public psychiatric hospitals with inpatients interned for decades are still the norm. A few professionals within these institutions are working to make a gradual change in this situation, helping longterm patients return to life in the community. But how, in the Argentinean context, can they leave the asylum and integrate into society? This book narrates the stories of women and men who spent most of their lives interned and who have recently moved out of a neuropsychiatric hospital. It also describes the externacion programs that made this transition possible and the informal role of the hospital itself in the process. Through an ethnographic perspective, the book shows how ex-patients' lives in the community are not lonely, isolated, empty, and lacking in socially valued roles and productive activities as the literature on deinstitutionalization in the United States and other countries usually describe. There is a trend towards higher subjective quality of life for those ex-patients living in lower-income neighborhoods. For coping with poverty and scarcity of community-based resources they engage in survival strategies, social networks, and participate in the "outside world" integrating aspects of the "psychiatric world" of the hospital that they have constructed as a multiple resource. This book is directed towards mental health professionals and those interested in the field of mental health."