Deinstitutionalization is often described as an organizational shift of moving care from the psychiatric hospital towards the community. This paper analyses deinstitutionalization as a daily care practice by adopting an empirical ethics approach instead. Deinstitutionalization of mental healthcare is seen as an important way of improving the quality of lives of people suffering from severe mental illness. But how is this done in practice and which different goods are strived for by those involved? We examine these questions by giving an ethnographic description of community mental health care in Trieste, a city that underwent a radical process of deinstitutionalization in the 1970s. We show that paying attention to the spatial metaphors used in daily care direct us to different notions of good care in which relationships are central. Addressing the question of how daily care practices of mental healthcare outside the hospital may be constituted and the importance of spatial metaphors used may inform other practices that want to shape community mental health care.

Care collectives, Community mental healthcare, Deinstitutionalization, Empirical ethics, Spatial metaphors,
Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Muusse, C. (Christien), Kroon, H. (Hans), Mulder, C.L, & Pols, J. (Jeannette). (2020). Working on and with Relationships: Relational Work and Spatial Understandings of Good Care in Community Mental Healthcare in Trieste. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. doi:10.1007/s11013-020-09672-8