Salud Mental 2018;

ISSN: 0185-3325

DOI: 10.17711/SM.0185-3325.2018.001

Quadragesimo Anno (On the 40th Anniversary of Salud Mental)

Héctor Pérez-Rincón García 1

1 Director-Editor de Salud Mental, Departamento de Publicaciones, Dirección de Enseñanza, Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz, Ciudad de México, México.

Correspondence: Héctor Pérez-Rincón García Departamento de Publicaciones, Dirección de Enseñanza, Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz. Calz. México-Xochimilco 101, Col. San Lorenzo Huipulco, Del. Tlalpan, C.P. 14370, Ciudad de México, México. Phone: +52 (55) 4160-5128 Email:

I am extremely grateful to doctors Medina-Mora and Gómez-Mont, who have decided to devote part of the XII Colloquium on Neuro-Humanities to celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Salud Mental journal, the official organ of this Institute, and the seventy-fifth birthday of its Editorial Director. These two anniversaries that now coincide have very different meanings and their coexistence is due to laws of chance beyond my understanding. There are very few Latin American medical journals that have achieved forty years of uninterrupted publication, while individuals who reach the age their Editorial Director just has, thanks to the advance of medical science and the fact that they were certainly not “those whom the gods love”, now form part of a numerous “fearful flock”.

Embarking on an editorial endeavor such as that achieved by Salud Mental requires carrying out many actions, whereas in order to reach this age, it is necessary to refrain from many more. Eight lustra have elapsed since the founder of the Institute and the journal invited me to accept the role of editor. What Salud Mental has achieved in this period is the result of a series of happy coincidences.

First of all, the foresight of its founder, who envisaged a publication in which researchers at the institution he had created could convey the results of their work, which would develop from a humble CEMEF newsletter to a national journal produced by the CEMESAM, and eventually an international one published by the IMP.

At the same time, Salud Mental was conceived of as an instrument of continuing education for professionals and students of the disciplines involved in the institution’s wide-ranging treatment and teaching project, which would reflect the holistic vision of psychiatry of its founder, and encompass clinical, neuro-scientific, and humanistic disciplines. For nearly thirty years, Professor de la Fuente meticulously supervised the publication. Every issue the editor presented him with in illo tempore was subjected to a rigorous analysis and although our monthly meetings always ended in agreement between the two of us, and eventually enjoyed the founder’s imprimatur, the process was not always easy or free of differences. Secondly, I would particularly like to mention the dedication and invaluable institutional commitment of those who have formed part of the Publications Department over the years. During that period, I was fortunate to have the valuable collaboration of an excellent group of people whose names I now gratefully recall: Norma Vollrath, Elizabeth Cisneros, María Antonia Espel, Francisco Gómez-Mont Ávalos, Nora Volkow, Angélica Bustamante, Laura Díaz, Sara García Silberman, Eva Ma Rodríguez, Mario Aranda, Beatriz Ramos, Omar Ruiz and others who were briefly present. Special mention should be given to the Composición Editorial Laser company, which has assisted us for over 20 years, and its Director, Monsieur Bruno Vanneuville.

In them, I found willingness, loyalty, and professionalism. The Publications Department has functioned to some extent like a large family. Our work has also been possible thanks to the support of the Directors of the Institution: Professors de la Fuente, Heinze, and Medina-Mora, and those in the Teaching Directorate: doctors Vázquez López-Guerra, Vargas Terrez, and Sentíes Castellá.

As you all know, the publication developed progressively over a period of three decades. Convincing researchers that the Institute’s publication was a suitable forum for disseminating the results of their researches or the reflections their scientific work elicited was a lengthy and not always easy task. In the early years, we published translations of articles, that had originally appeared in other journals, by distinguished authors who authorized us to reproduce them. In turn, this attracted the interest of increasing numbers of readers until an international level was achieved in the Spanish-speaking world. The fact that more manuscripts were submitted meant that we were able to increase the length, frequency, number of copies printed, and dissemination of the journal. Editorial Committees were created, the review process was consolidated, and acceptance criteria became more rigorous. Extensive abstracts in English were required in order to achieve greater dissemination. Over time, a bilingual electronic version was created, enabling the journal to be positioned in a greater number of international bibliometric indexes. This attracted the interest of authors beyond the Spanish-speaking world. Accordingly, we published articles from Belgium, Korea, Turkey, Brazil, the United States, the Netherlands, and Canada. Eventually, in 2011, an electronic editorial assistant was created, following the current guidelines of international publications and forcing us to abandon the artisanal, domestic production of the publication. In fact, the number of manuscripts submitted quickly exceeded the operating capacity of the small but hard-working Editorial Department. Once she learned of our plight, Professor Medina-Mora came to our rescue. She therefore sponsored the creation of a new era for Salud Mental, which enabled us to access the most up-to-date technological tools in the publishing trade to maintain its validity in the databases and its inclusion in CONACyT’s Index of Scientific and Technological Journals. The family expanded to include two efficient, well-informed co-editors, doctors Héctor Esquivias and Rodrigo Marín, and an editorial assistant, Melissa Flores, well-versed in the secrets of the electronic management of a scientific publication. A demanding Internal Evaluation Committee was created to critically assess the scientific methodology of the proposed manuscripts before submitting them for peer review. All these new collaborators share the mystique we created over the years. The fact that Salud Mental has reached this age and secured a prestigious place among Latin American publications is not only due to the number and quality of the authors who chose to publish in it but also to the loving care devoted to each step of the editorial process by members of the department. Authors who chose it and readers who consult it should be grateful for this. We hope that in the future, the impulse provided by its illustrious founder will remain alive in its pages, whether printed or electronic.

San Lorenzo Huipulco, Spring 2017