This report traces the first year's experience in community psychiatry in a developing country. Malaysia, where a group of psychiatrists decided to offer their services as consultants to community caregivers, including doctors, teachers, police, the clergy, and native healers. The psychiatrists had mixed success, depending largely on whether or not the consultees shared their attitudes and values. The authors conclude that the entire sociocultural setting of a developing country must be examined closely as to its underlying concepts and value systems before one can assess how open the culture is to mental health consultation. The consultants must be aware of the implicit and explicit value systems underlying the psychiatric consultation, as these may be different from those of the consultees and clients.