Activities World Suicide Prevention Day 2019

In alphabetical order, for country:

Federico Daray wrote us from Argentina about their initiative, called CALMA: “This September 10 we have lanced CALMA. CALMA is the first Spanish tool-based mobile app for smartphones, which interacts with the user providing tools based on dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) for the management of crisis situations and thus preventing suicide among adolescents and young people. CALMA also provides information, promoting activities aimed to reduce one’s vulnerability in order to prevent new crises and psychoeducational content about suicide and its prevention. The app was designed for teenagers and young people. It is available for free and works with Android and iOS. We have a small trial under review analyzing its effectiveness. This has a great impact on the media.

For now, we only have it in Spanish but we are searching the way to translate it into other languages. Maybe circulating this info through the EPA network could help to translate it into other languages, even to improve the app or do research projects to prove its effectiveness.

The project has no economic purpose, it has no financing, and the app is free”.

Here is the web site: 

Daniel Banos Illan from Australia wrote us a couple of things they do for suicide prevention: 

  • RUOK? Day  – This is a suicide prevention charity in Australia, reminding people that having meaningful conversations is important and encouraging to meaningfully ask “Are you ok?”. I am a local RUOK champion promoting this initiative. Info here:
  • Out of the Shadows – This is a national suicide prevention walk here in Australia, and is held to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day. More info here

Moreover, Daniel on the 20th September 2019 delivered a suicide prevention TEDx talk in Bundaberg, Queensland in Australia about the link of spirituality and hopeful living. 

Sergey Igumnov shared with us the text of his popular article which is planning for publishing in Belarusian Newspaper “Vecherny Minsk” (Minsk Evening) on October 10, 2019 and devoted to suicide prevention (original is in Russian). LINK

Alexandr Kasal, who is now coordinating most of the suicide prevention-related agenda of Czech National Institute of Mental Health, supervised by Dr Winkler, told us: “On WSPD 10th September we held a press conference on the Ministry of Health to introduce that Czechia is preparing the National Action Plan for Suicide Prevention. It is the first strategical document on this topic in our country. Attending were among others the Minister of Health, the director WHO country office and representatives of relevant institutions” press release, video and other materials are accessible on the following link:

Moreover, Kasal informed us about the activities they are organizing for the WMHD: “On World Mental Health Day 10th October we will release collaborative publication of National Institute of Mental Health, Ministry of Health and WHO country office in both Czech and English called Situational Analysis of Suicide Prevention in the Czech Republic. It covers epidemiology of the suicide and self-harm in our country as well as the results of interviews with relevant actors with identification of both opportunities and threats in the public health care and identification of promising interventions for the Czech context. It is background document for the previously mentioned action plan, and it may serve as inspiration for other states of the CEE region”.

Nicoletta Lekka from England sent us an update about a recent symposium on Suicide Prevention in Sport, as well as World Mental Health Day activities organised by the Mental Health Foundation and by One Dance UK.

  • On September 20th 2019, the Sport and Exercise Special Interest Group of the Royal College  of Psychiatrists organised a Symposium about Suicide Prevention in Sport, during the Autumn Conference in London. The speakers were Dr Tom McCabe who has published about suicide in sport, and Dr Allan Johnston who has chaired the Derbyshire Suicide Prevention Strategy Group from 2013-2018.
  • For World Mental Health Day 2019, the Mental Health Foundation ( created the advice ‘WAIT’, a good way to remember how to support another person who may be suicidal.  It stands for:
    • Watch out for signs of distress and uncharacteristic behaviour e.g. social withdrawal, excessive quietness, irritability, uncharacteristic outburst, talking about death or suicide
    • Ask “are you having suicidal thoughts?” Asking about suicide does not encourage it, nor does it lead a person to start thinking about it; in fact it may help prevent it, and can start a potentially life-saving conversation
    • It will pass – assure your loved one that, with help, their suicidal feelings will pass with time
    • Talk to others – encourage your loved one to seek help from a GP or health professional › publications › suicide-prevention-wait

  • On World Mental Health Day (October 10th), OneDanceUK and the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science (NIDMS) plan to create a social media discussion about Suicide Prevention in Dance. The key focus will be on sharing information about suicide prevention (e.g. risk and protective factors for suicide among dancers), signposting to support and resources, and getting people to engage with the question ‘What do you think needs to be discussed in suicide prevention in dance?’

Philippe Courtet from France informed us that on September 10th, they launched a prevention programme for students of the University of Montpellier. On October 10th, with Fondamental Foundation, they organize a press meeting in which he will present the project of an app of monitoring and suicide prevention “Emma”, they are currently developing. 

Hannah Müller-Pein from Universität Kassel in Germany informed us about their WSPD-related activities, which can be found here:, taken the opportunity to have a month of Suicide Prevention between WSPD and WMHD. (

Zoltan Rhimer from Hungary shared with us activities in which he was recently involved in:  

  • 17 September. Chairmanship at Keynote Lecture on suicide at International Symposium on Suicidology and Public Health, Rome, Sapienza University
  • 20 September: Lecture on suicide in young persons at Scientific Congress  (Forum for Young People, Baja city, Hungary)
  • 21 September: Lecture about Recognition of suicide risk tz meeting in the village Szihalom (Hungary).
  • 10 OctOber: Lecture on Prevention of suicide in the frame of World Day of Mental Health, Eötvös Lóránd University, Budapest

Judit Balazs from Hungary wrote us as follows: “In Hungary, the Hungarian Psychiatric Association, where I’m the president-elect, jointly with Eötvös Lóránd University Faculty of Education and Psychology have organized an event on the WMHD focusing on prevention of suicide among youth. The WHO Country Office leader and the representative of the Hungarian Government will also be present. Prof Rihmer will present on suicide prevention, my PhD student, Lili Olga Horvath will present on school-based prevention programs, including YAM and I will present on youth mental health.  There will be a round-table as well with several experts”.

PROGRAM (Hungarian): HERE 

On the occasion of the XVII edition of World Suicide Prevention Day, Maurizio Pompili from the Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) organized the XVII edition of the International Symposium on Suicidology and Public Health which took place in Rome on September 17-18, 2019; the main theme was “World Suicide Prevention Day: Working Together to Prevent Suicide”. 

During the symposium, many specialists gathered to discuss the most up-to-date suicide-related topics. The high scientific level of the meeting was granted by the participation of italian and international speakers and opinion leaders including some of the most important experts in the field of suicidology worldwide. 

Several of our Section members attended the congress, either as presenters or participants. You can find more here:

Our member Agnieszka Gmitrowicz, President of Scientific Section of Suicidology of Polish Psychiatric Association sent us this small summary of Polish activities for suicide prevention:

“ Recent months have proved extremely important for Polish Suicidological Society (PSS). On September 10, we celebrated the World Suicide Prevention Day. As part of the campaign “Life is worth a conversation’ the PSS in co-operation with the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology and the University of Warsaw organized Open Lectures addressing both theory of suicidology and practical issues of suicide prevention and postvention. The event proved to be quite popular – not only a large group of people have gathered in the Library of the University of Warsaw to listen to the lecturers, but there has been also a substantial media response. During the event specialists were available for consultations. A video spot „Manly thing” has been presented, addressing the issue of suicide among men, who are an 80% majority among suicide victims in Poland.

Since September 2019 as a part of the EU program ERASMUS+ an e-learning platform is being developed, whose objective is to popularize the ideas of suicide prevention among students and university teachers and improve their knowledge in this area. The project is to be carried out for the next three years.

Still active and available are helplines for adults, children and adolescents in crisis.

A guideline for journalists on how to inform the public about suicide has been issued earlier this year. It is available free of charge, both in print and on the website

Thanks to this action, some newspapers and web portals have already changed the way of reporting suicide deaths. They also publish – at the end of each such article – information on how to deal with suicidal ideations and where to find help.

Another extremely important issue is the accession of the Polish Suicidological Society to the international program ELLIPSE. This project is first such initiative in Poland. Polish Suicidological Society consider access to this program a milestone on the road to suicide prevention in our country. In addition, it should be emphasized that we succeeded to join forces of our Society with representatives of foreign organizations dealing with suicide prevention. Thanks to such actions undertaken on a large, international scale we can speak louder and louder that suicide can be prevented! Our common effort helps not only break stereotypes, but also save lives!”. 



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