In the beginning of the 1970's, the Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing (EERP) went through a number of technical and administrative changes, including the creation of two of its Departments: General and Specialized Nursing (DEGE) and Psychiatric Nursing and Human Sciences (DEPCH).
The multidisciplinarity the DEPCH has assumed since its birth continues as a central value in its vocation. Over the years, its faculty have included nurses, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, pedagogues, philosophers and, more recently, a statistician. There are currently eight nursing faculty (an additional two are being nominated) and five other professionals.
The first Graduate Course (Masters) started in the same period, more specifically in 1975, and was implemented by the Department of Psychiatric Nursing and Human Sciences. It should be highlighted that it was the third course of this kind to be created in Brazil. In the initial stage, in response to the demand by nursing and to the proper guidelines of EERP Graduate courses, priority was given to the formation of Nursing professionals.
After all administrative instances were passed in the Technical-Scientific Council of the Brazilian government agency for graduate studies (CAPES) and the University of São Paulo Graduate Council, the proposal for a Doctoral Course in Psychiatric Nursing was approved in 1999, when the first class group started. From that year onwards, the DEPCH organized the only Graduate Program (Masters and Doctoral) of this kind in Brazil.
In 2002, the Department was finally able to attend to one of the issues considered essential in its vocation, starting to accept, besides nurses, candidates from other health professionals.
Five research groups from the DEPCH are registered at the Brazilian National Scientific and Technological Development Council-CNPq. One of these is the Study Group on Psychiatric Disorders – Care and Research, which includes a subarea of studies and research on alcohol and other psychoactive substances. This area offers an area for research and extension activities, the Research Lab:Stress, Alcohol and Drugs, and has already consolidated a research line in this theme area.
As the largest group of faculty members in the field of Psychiatric Nursing and Mental Health, at the end of the 1970's, the DEPCH took the initiative to promote meetings among Psychiatric Nursing specialists, since it was already offering a latu sensu Nursing Training Course at graduate level. This idea was consolidated in the 1980's and, from the 1990's onwards, Meetings of Mental Health Researchers and Meetings of Psychiatric Nursing Specialists have been held every two years.
This event has been characterized by the presence of professionals from the health and educational areas, teachers, clinicial professionals, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, who work or are interested in Mental Health. It should be highlighted that people from all over Brazil have participated in all events (eight until now), which turns them into a meeting point for exchanging experiences, updating knowledge and holding discussions on Mental Health issues.
In an attempt to live up to the innovative and combative spirit that has characterized the DEPCH throughout its existence, we are now starting another challenging experience: the creation of a thematic journal on-line, aimed at Mental Health professionals, with special emphasis on alcohol and drugs as a strategy to encourage research in this area.
These are our first steps as a journal and, like all newborns, we have a lot to learn, the genetic background is good, but we will need help from the environment to develop.
The name is: “SMAD Electronic Journal of Mental Health, Alcohol and Drugs”.