The healthcare services in the scope of the Brazilian National Health System (SUS) have brought countless challenges not only to the professionals involved there but also to teachers, students and researchers in the Academy. This unique articulation, which is characteristic of the Public Health field in Brazil, has originated the several scientific works published in the journals of the area and also in Saúde e Sociedade.

This issue of Saúde e Sociedade presents papers about important themes concerning the health care and assistance that is provided for the Brazilian populations which, traversed by the services, gain expression in the universe of scientific research and academic production.

The papers deal with the themes of mental and adolescents' health, death and environmental issues.

Mental health has been occupying an increasing space of discussion in the Public Health field, in view of the structuring of the care system all over the country, focusing on primary care. Many of the papers presented here discuss the Psychosocial Care Centers, which attempt to meet the challenge of the dehospitalization and deinstitutionalization of the care provided for the person with mental suffering. The paper written by Portuguese researchers who examine the therapeutic itinerary of patients/users searching for attention and care in their country is included in this thematic block because it is related to the discussion present in the Brazilian papers.

Adolescents' health emerges by means of themes that are always urgent, like drug addiction, teenage pregnancies and the suicide of non-heterosexuals, which reveal the increasing concern of professionals, researchers and scholars about this segment of our population.

The question of death has to be dealt with by professionals, family members and population groups especially due to the difficulty in coping with "human dying" (morrer humano), to use the expression coined by one of the authors. It reveals, above all, the difficulties associated with simpler and collective forms of addressing the theme, beyond the care provided by the healthcare services.

The papers about environmental issues are more diversified and approach the perception about the environment of Community Health Agents in the Amazon region, the economic cost of pollution in the city of Cubatão and people's relationship in the urban environment. The highlight, in this set of papers, is the theoretical article that proposes that in the benchmark of the global scenario, in the context of sustainable development, a new conception of health has also been emerging.

You are invited to read this issue of Saúde e Sociedade. It reaffirms one of the traditions of the journal: that of articulating knowing and doing or, in current terms, the academy-services articulation, maintaining a dialog with other countries and cultures, as the papers from Portugal and from our Latin American neighbors demonstrate.


Aurea Maria Zöllner Ianni
In behalf of the Editorial Board

Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. SP - Brazil
E-mail: saudesoc@usp.br