Mental health and suicide: from the 19th century to present


(Matt Flores, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Cristiene Neta de Sá Araújo, a second semester medicine student at the Federal
University of Maranhão campus Pinheiro. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Produced in the nineteenth century by the artist Goethe, the book “Young Werther’s Sufferings” shows how mental issues of unrequited love can lead an individual to irreversible consequences such as the act of suicide. Not unlike today, what has is observed today is a society that is mentally ill and disturbed by dynamism, thus constituting a striking feature of contemporary times.

According to the World Health Organization: Health is not restricted to just the absence of pathology, but a state of harmony between the physical, social and mental state of the individual. The implementation of the Unified Health System (SUS), based on the principles of comprehensiveness, equity and universality, allowed individuals to have greater access to health services in Brazil. Concomitant with the other services available, mental health services have been widely sought throughout the country, requiring improvements and more accessible forms for the population.

Not unlike the Brazilian scenario, the city of Pinheiro found in the interior of Maranhão, also feels the lack of measures that allow the population access to mental health services, since the suicide cases of depression are have accentuated in the region. According to WHO records, suicide annually accounts for 1 million deaths, equivalent to 1.4% of all deaths. This fact is often a reflection of mental health issues, which for many reasons are have ignored by the majority of the population, and the performance of social insurance, social assistance and health policies, reaffirming the State’s obligation to provide assistance universal, public and free medical care at all levels of complexity under decentralized and participatory management.

Given the current situation of the population of Pinheiro, lacking comprehensive health care, which requires greater financial and professional investment in the mental health of residents. Regarding mental health as a primordial component for the realization of social life, health services such as CAPS (Center for Psychosocial Care) and centers for the integration of people with fragile mental health are indispensable in the city of Pinheiro. Thus, to ensure access to mental health services, there is a need for established relationships between the agencies responsible for health delivery, allied to other health sectors in Brazil, thus establishing a strong relationship between the components involved in the mental health issue of health. pinewood population.

It is important to advance in the construction of a policy that allows involving the mental health of Brazilians. Finally, the time has come for modern society to understand young Werther’s true suffering as a feature of 21st century society.


1-INVESTIMENTO em saúde mental devem aumentar para atender as necessidades atuais das Américas. OPAS/OMS Brasil, 2018. Disponível em: Acesso em: 16, out 2019.

2- LOUREIRO, adeilson; MARIA, Sônia et al. Suicídio. Saber, agir e prevenir, 2017 Disponível em:–ao-a-sa–de.pdf. Acesso em: 16, out 2019.


3- CYNTHIA, karenn; MARINHO, Julia; LAMAS, Laura et al. O cuidado no CAPS numa região de saúde maranhense, 2018. Disponível em: Acesso em: 16, out 2019.


4- D’ECA, aurean; SANTOS, livia; PINHEIRO, edivaldo et al. Mortalidade por suicídio na população brasileira, 1996-2015: qual é a tendência predominate?, 2019. Artigo orinal. Disponível em: Acesso em: 16, out 2019.

About the author

Cristiene Neta de Sá Araújo is a second semester medicine student at the Federal
University of Maranhão campus Pinheiro. She is currently part of the Local Board of
Publication, Research and Extension of the UFMA-Pinheiro committee affiliated to
IFMSA Brazil. Binder of the Primary Care Academic League, LAABS. Passionate about
literature and admirer of science. 







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