Created in the early 1920s, at a moment when the country’s psychiatric field was embracing the preventive outlook, the Liga Brasileira de Higiene Mental included within its members the elite of Brazilian psychiatry, along with a number of physicians and intellectuals. The article discusses the institution’s proposals for intervention among children. The league ended up incorporating into its theoretical arsenal the basic themes of mental hygiene and eugenics as part of its general goal of collaborating in Brazil’s process of "racial sanitation". With this objective in mind, and viewing the child as a "pre-citizen" who is a "fundamental part within the man of the future", league members included the children’s issue in their projects and saw an imperative need for mental health care from early ages on.
preventive psychiatry; childhood; eugenics; mental health; race