the Author, in the light of the recent developments in French psychiatry, reveals a variety of problems that health workers have to face nowadays. He questions the future of mental health policy - bearing in mind the development of requests, pathologies, socio economic conditions, patients’ status, the psychiatrists’ feeling of loss, health expenditure, etc. - when health professionals will represent only a part of the actors involved. This development is not necessarily bad, but does raise the question of the maintenance or improvement of patients’ lives, responsibilities, rights and treatment. Key Words: health devices, mental health policy, patient-care relationship, social representation.