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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Rev. Saúde Pública vol.43  suppl.1 São Paulo Aug. 2009

 

EDITORIAL

 

 

Rita Barradas Barata; Euclides Ayres de Castilho

Editores do Suplemento

 

 

Since the creation of the Departamento de Ciência e Tecnologia (DECIT -Department of Science and Technology) within the Ministério da Saúde (Brazilian Ministry of Health) and the organization of the 2nd National Conference of Science, Technology, and Innovation in Health, Brazilian research funding has a new player.

The decision of the Ministério da Saúde to fund health research has led to the injection of new resources into the sector. It has also triggered a fundamental change in distribution of resources aimed at both fulfilling spontaneous demand and at inducing research deemed necessary and strategic for national development.

The Ministério's new role is carried out in partnership with other funding agencies within the Science & Technology system, such as the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq - National Council for Scientific and Technological Development), the Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP - Studies and Projects Financing Agency), and the state foundations for the support of research (FAP).

The funding process begins predominantly by means of public calls for projects, which guide the process of project presentation and selection. As an innovative element in the production and use of the generated knowledge, DECIT organizes workshops in which research is presented at different stages of completion, congregating the researchers responsible for projects within a given call. These workshops also include the presence of guest researchers, whose role is to evaluate the quality of projects and to assess the possibility of incorporating their results into health policies and programs.

Thus, the Ministério da Saúde, in a manner coherent with its role at the head of national health policy, places the production of scientific knowledge in a strategic position, not only by increasing research funding, but also through its involvement in activities aimed at translating such knowledge into practice, as well as encouraging different forms of divulgation and diffusion of the results of funded projects.

One of the sub-agendas that constitute the National Agency for Priorities in Health Research is concerned with research in mental health, undoubtedly a major topic given both its magnitude and its epidemiological and social relevance.

The present supplement is a collection of articles reporting the results of projects selected through a joint call for projects - between CNPq and the Ministério da Saúde - aimed at financing research along five guidelines defined under the mental health sub-agenda. These include primary care, service evaluation, studies of violence and mental health, studies of vulnerability factors among specific population groups, and development and application of novel methods and techniques to mental health research.

The articles in this supplement are examples of research funded along these different guidelines.

We believe that the results herein will be of interest to mental health professionals, post-graduate students in collective health, and those responsible for formulating and executing health policies at the municipal, state, and federal levels.

In line with its tradition of divulging high-quality research in public health in Brazil, the Revista de Saúde Pública has the great pleasure to, once again, partner with the Ministério da Saúde in bringing to the public the results of a variety research projects in the field of mental health.