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SMAD. Revista eletrônica saúde mental álcool e drogas

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SMAD, Rev. Eletrônica Saúde Mental Álcool Drog. (Ed. port.) vol.17 no.4 Ribeirão Preto Oct./Dec. 2021 



Mental health in different populations and contexts



Kelly Graziani Giacchero Vedana

Universidade de São Paulo, Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Research Development, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

Corresponding author




Production and dissemination of good quality scientific knowledge about mental health are important means for promoting strengthening of discussions, research studies and policies, in addition to subsidizing care actions and professional education. Maintaining its commitment to collaborate with the dissemination of scientific knowledge, SMAD presents this issue with results of research studies with different populations, containing current and relevant issues for the national and international scenarios. The articles present timely discussions on different facets of mental health promotion, disease prevention and mental health care, in addition to provoking reflections that need to be fostered and expanded in society.

The editorial of this issue, authored by Professor Carlos Sequeira (from the Nursing School of Porto, Portugal), addresses Mental Health First Aid. The author indicates that the "first aid" provided to someone who is in a crisis or emotional distress is important for that person to obtain professional help or achieve an improvement in their own well-being. Especially in the current context, it is fundamental that the population has access to resources that can promote skills for Mental Health First Aid, as a strategy to reduce stigmas, consolidate support networks and strengthen protective factors for mental health.

An interesting study investigated the "Regulation of Cannabis use in Uruguay and its influences on the Brazilian border". The study was developed with individuals who used Cannabis and lived in a city in the Brazil/Uruguay border. The results indicate that regulation of consumption was linked to the attribution of a new meaning to Cannabis. The study discusses issues related to greater social acceptance, reduction of the pathologization of consumption, and less devaluation of the Cannabis user. The study also presents reflections about the implications of this resignification process and defends the importance of promoting expanded, mature and contextualized discussions about social and political aspects involving the use of Cannabis.

In the research entitled "Nursing perceptions and experiences regarding smoking bans in a psychiatric hospital", the readers have access to a Grounded Theory that reveals several dimensions and nuances of the smoking ban. The study reveals that this situation involved insecurity, pessimism and resistance to boycott, but also appreciation of abstinence and the perception of benefits for hospitalized people. Contexts, meanings and actions linked to this experience are discussed. The authors present this process as complex, conflicting and non-linear, although feasible.

The nurses' perception was also the target of the research entitled "Mental health in Primary Care: (dis)encounters between nurses and patients diagnosed with schizophrenia", published in this issue. The research addressed the collective imaginary about patients diagnosed with schizophrenia by nurses who worked in Primary Care. The authors explored concerns linked to the belief that the care of people with schizophrenia is the exclusive responsibility of "specialized" professionals or services. They also questioned how such a belief can favor (mis)encounters between nurses and people with schizophrenia, in addition to limiting the potential of these professionals in mental health care in Primary Care.

This edition contains various studies on mental health and substance consumption in different populations. The article entitled "Use of hypnotics, sleep quality and Burnout syndrome in medical students" contributed to the knowledge of factors associated with the Burnout Syndrome and sleep quality of medical students in northeastern Brazil. The results of the study indicated the need to evaluate interventions related to the Burnout Syndrome and its impact on sleep quality among undergraduate students.

The paper entitled "Incidence of Burnout syndrome in Brazilian army military in the Amazon region" investigated military personnel who were on duty in the Brazilian Amazon region and found high Burnout levels, which was associated with shorter length of service, sedentary lifestyle, overtime, lower hierarchical position, and living far from family members. The study points to the need for investments in actions that promote well-being and work satisfaction among military men and women.

In the metropolitan region of Cuiabá-MT, Brazil, the research entitled "Predictive models for the problematic use of alcohol among healthcare university students" was developed, which identified a greater chance of problematic alcohol use among male university students, single, who lived alone, considered themselves aggressive, used alcohol predominantly in festive occasions, with the purpose of relaxation, pleasure and facilitating social interaction. On the other hand, problematic alcohol consumption was lower among the students who lived with spouses and/or children, were in the second year of their undergraduate studies, reported not having changed their consumption pattern during undergraduation, did not participate in any sports entity and who considered to be calm and introverted. The study indicates factors that can assist in the development of prevention strategies and care measures related to problematic alcohol use in this group.

Substance consumption was also addressed in the article entitled "The consumption of psychoactive substances among older adults: a complex perspective", which described the pattern of consumption of psychoactive substances among older adults from the perspective of complexity. The study explored experiences and representations related to experimentation with psychoactive substances, forms of consumption, perceived consequences and reasons for continuing or abandoning the drug. The authors argue that knowledge about the consumption of PAS in older adults is fundamental for successful interventions aimed at harm reduction and health promotion.

A survey conducted in Sergipe on the "Sociodemographic and chemical-dependence profile of users at a specialized Psychosocial Care Center" identified predominance of single men with low schooling, urban residents and dependent on multiple drugs or exclusively on alcohol. Regarding isolated use of psychoactive substances, in addition to alcohol, crack and marijuana also stood out.

"Dangerous behavior as a device in the publications about 'mad criminals': An integrative literature review" is a paper that presents dangerousness as a device that guides measures to be taken when a person with a mental disorder commits a crime. The authors address the intertwining of knowledge and powers related to the topic as well as the limitations in the criteria to assess and classify dangerousness, present divergences and questions about guilt in subjects considered unimputable, and discuss dangerousness as a quality attributed to people in distress, in addition to reflecting about power strategies for body control.

It is hoped that this edition may contribute to effective, empathic and critical discussions related to mental health in different contexts. The knowledge and reflections presented in this issue highlight the importance of strengthening skills and the individual and collective commitment to the promotion of mental health. Therefore, dear readers, please feel free to contribute with whatever your possibilities allow for the promotion of mental health and the protection of human rights.



Corresponding author:
Kelly Graziani Giacchero Vedana



Corresponding author:
Kelly Graziani Giacchero Vedana

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