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!”. 


International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

In 2018, from November 25th  to December 10th (Human Rights Day) there will be the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign” to promote the ending of violences against women and girls around the world. The  campaign aims to avoid silence and stigma that may promote violence against women: “the time for change is here and now”. Many campaigns have been carried out worldwide to encourage physically or psychologically abused women to tell their stories.

In 2008, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s, promoted the “UNiTE to End Violence against Women” campaign; in 2018 the global advocacy theme is: Orange the World: #HearMeToo

“The UNiTE partners are encouraged to host events with local, national, regional and global women’s movements, survivor advocates and women human rights defenders and create opportunities for dialogue between activists, policy-makers and the public. As in previous years, the colour orange will be a key theme unifying all activities, with buildings and landmarks lit and decorated in orange to bring global attention to the initiative” (LINK).

In Novara (Italy), every year, our Section member Patrizia Zeppegno organizes a cultural half-day event at UPO University to reflect about violence against women, using a movie on this topic and then discussing about it with students, residents, professors, specialists, clinicians and administrative staff. It will be on  November 26th from 10.00 to 13.00 pm and the main theme will be “There is a moment you have to decide: you can be the princess that needs to be saved or the warrior that saves herself…”.  

World Mental Health Day: Experiences from Members

Our members shared with us their experiences for the World Mental Health Day:

Ricardo Gusmão and Inês Rothes from Portugal were involved in a World Mental Health initiative of the Public Health Institute of the University of Porto (ISPUP). Ricardo Gusmão presented, among other subjects, a project aimed at increase mental health literacy of the scholar community and reduce stigma, including the subject of suicidal and self-harm behaviours – WhySchool. The WhySchool project is carried out by the team of EUTIMIA ( and will be implemented in 2018/19 and 2019/20 in the 17 Municipalities of Metropolitan Area of Porto (AMP).

– Natasa Ljubomirovic shared her project to carry on research related to self harm behavior and suicidal attitude behavior among the adolescent, the sample for research will be adolescents who were hospitalized at the Clinic for child and adolescent psychiatry Institute of Mental Health, Belgrade, Serbia.

Patrizia Zeppegno and Carla Gramaglia with their clinical and research team participated to the initiative “Progetto Onda” for women’s mental health at the “Maggiore della Carità” Hospital in Novara offering free psychiatric  interviews and assessment, counseling ans psychological support for women with eating disorders or menopause-related problems.

Thanks to Ricardo Gusmão, Inês Rothes and Natasa Ljubomirovic


Today is the #WorldSuicidePreventionDay!

Every year, on September 10th, the #WorldSuicidePreventionDay gives the opportunity to talk about suicide and suicide prevention all over the world through different events.

The WSPD 2018 slogan is: “Working together to prevent suicide”.

We would be grateful if you could inform us about any initiative organized in your country about suicide prevention.

Thank you for your help!

Our experiences at the 26th EPA Congress in Nice (March 2018)

CME Course: “Management and Treatment of Suicidal Patients”

On Sunday 4th March 2018, at the 26th EPA Congress in Nice there was the CME Course “Management and Treatment of Suicidal Patients” directed by Marco Sarchiapone and Vladimir Carli. The Course, chaired by Marco Sarchiapone, was attended by 33 participants, a really high number considering also the schedule (Sunday morning, starting from…).

Participants were very interested about the topic and highly interactive. During the 3 hours of the course, participants were offered theoretical knowledge via a frontal lesson format, but also had the opportunity of working in small groups to debate about the topic discussed. In the end, we had a very engaging group discussion, which allowed sharing of experiences in different European Countries.

Intersection symposium “Suicide, assisted suicide and euthanasia in the elderly”

On Sunday 4th March 2018 it took place the Intersection symposium “Suicide, assisted suicide and euthanasia in the elderly” organized by the EPA-SSSP and by the EPA Section of Old Age Psychiatry. A joint symposium involving these two sections had already been proposed at the 25th EPA Congress in Florence, and considering its success, it was decided to continue this fruitful intersection collaboration. In Nice, the Chairs of the symposium were Gabriela Stoppe and Patrizia Zeppegno, who were also presenters together with Reinhard Lindner and Christina Van der Feltz Cornelis. Many people joined the simposium; the debate about the relationship between aging, assisted suicide and euthanasia involved experts from all over the world and was really engaging.

In the past months, the topic was discussed not only by physicians, but also by politicians. For instance, in Italy, on 22th December 2017 it was presented Law n°219, about living will. Law 219/2017 allows adults to decide their end of life medical care including the terms under which they can refuse treatment. The law permits Italian citizens to write living wills and refuse medical treatments including artificial nutrition and hydration.

To know more click HERE.

Intersection symposium: “Suicidal Behaviour in the Vulnerable Populations: Focus on Migrants”

On Tuesday 6th March 2018 it took place an important focus on one of the main EPA topic, “Suicidal Behaviour in the Vulnerable Populations: Focus on Migrants”. The symposium was held by M.Sarchiapone and M. Schouler-Ocak. The first intervention by C. Gramaglia, entitled “Migrant’s suicidals behaviours: a transcultural perspective”, brilliantly introduced us into the actual topic; then, M. Schouler-Ocak presented “Suicide Attempt Rates and Intervention Effects in women of Turkish Origin in Berlin”, providing the audience an example of effective prevention. In the end we had the pleasure to assist to D. Bhugra intervention on “Attempted suicide among South Asians in the UK”. These speeches elicitated a very participated debate and wide spreaded discussion adding enriching hints of knowledge in the audience which participated with interest.



Dinner in Nice (March 2018)

During the 16th European Congress on Psychiatry in Nice, on March 4th 2018, some EPA-SSSP members joined the event “Dinner in Nice”,  which was proposed by Christina Van der Feltz Cornelis. It was an informal dinner in which the participants shared their experiences in scientific research and had the possibility to learn more about one other. The event was a beautiful moment of sharing that reinforced the contacts between members of the section; it was also a great opportunity in particular for young researchers to talk directly with specialists in the field. Participants came from all over the World. The participants were (as they appear in the photo from the left): Patrizia Zeppegno, Carolina Baeza, Iciar Abad, Sofian Berrouiguet, Lucia Loreti, Chiara Guerriero, Armin Schmidtke, Jean-Pierre Kahn, Christina Van der Feltz Cornelis, Sylvia Schaller, Jorge Lopez Castroman, Dinah Weissman, Anna Plaza Estradè, Eleonora Gattoni, Raffaella Calati, Carla Gramaglia. Regrettably our Chair Marco Sarchiapone could not attend the dinner, but was updated and received the photo in real time!

Thank you very much to you all for your participation!

Experiences from International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (part 2)

On 1st December, as already announced, Patrizia Zeppegno organized the half-day cultural meeting on the prevention of violence against women, which took place at the University of Piemonte Orientale (Novara).
The whole “Novara” group, including several Section members, participated to the organization of the event. Many students, doctors, nurses and administrative staff attended it. According to the training and education approach of our School of Psychiatry, founded by Eugenio Torre, stimuli from literature, music and cinema were used. It was an inspiring occasion to talk about this topic and making prevention of a risk factor for suicide: the main focus was on intimate partner violence and how it could influence victim’s behavior.

Thanks to Professor Patrizia Zeppegno and to our Secretary Carla Gramaglia M.D., PH.D.

Experiences from International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

We asked Section members to share their experiences and initiatives about the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2017.

Patrizia Zeppegno, Carla Gramaglia and the other Section members working in Novara, Italy, informed us about the initiative which will take place on December 1st at the University of Piemonte Orientale:

“We are organizing a cultural half-day at our university to talk about violence against women, which is widely acknowledged to be a risk factor for suicide in the female population. Following the method of the founder and master of our psychiatry school, Eugenio Torre, we will use movies, songs and books to think over and discuss about this topic. The day will be open to students, professors, clinicians, nurses and administrative staff”.

Here you can find more information: InternationalDayForTheEliminationOfViolence-Novara2017



WSPD 2017

We asked our members to tell their experiences about the World Suicide Prevention Day 2017.

Professor Zoltan Rihmer shared with us the initiative held in Budapest for the occasion:

“On 8th of September we organized a half-day symposium on prevention of suicide. There were two main lecture (Z. Rihmer and T. Bakó) on suicide, and suicide prevention and a round-table discussion with several contributors, including the S.O.S – Hot Line – Telephone crisis intervention and  suicide prevention organization. There were about 120 attenders”.

To see the program click HERE

Thanks to Professor Zoltán Rihmer, MD, PhD, DSc

2nd Roman Forum on Suicide: what do you think about it?

Victor Gheorman, MD

“This is my first time at the Roman Forum and in Rome. I’ve been knowing Professor Marco Sarchiapone since many years and I am following his studies with interest. I think this experience will be a great opportunity, particularly for the clinical practice”.

Prof. Patrizia Zeppegno

“This is a very interesting event: it offers a comparison between different care models and several realities. I appreciate that a long time is dedicated to opinion sharing and resulting educational for young clinicians and researchers. The subdivision in two half days is a good strategy to keep up everybody’s concentration. I am waiting for the Third Roman Forum with trepidation. I have seen the new website in preview: it’s  aesthetically beautiful  and full of informations”.

Prof. Zoltan Rihmer

“It’s a very special meeting for both big names and young researchers. It is like a “family meeting” with a great and friendly atmosphere and the location is perfect because it is not to big. The context is stimulating with a lot of reserved space for discussions which is not usual considering that in other similar events it is possible to ask only one or two questions”.

Prof. Gil Zalsman

“Rome is a wonderful city and Roman Forum is a great experience. The most experts on suicidology are here, and may young people too”.

Tiago Carlos Zortea, PhD

Q: “Do you enjoy this second Roman Forum?”

A: “Yes I do, very much. I particularly like the focus on clinical cases and the opportunity to discuss them with international big names in the field of suicidology. I also consider positive the fact that Roman Forum is more “intimal” in comparison to other events, providing more possibility to ask questions or have a direct interactions with the speakers. I also like the large amount of time dedicated to questions despite interventions: it’s a more relational modality that simplifies informational exchange beetween participants”.

Q: “Do you have any suggestion for the next Roman Forum?”

A: “ I think it could be interesting to involve more professionals from different areas of expertise considering that suicidology  is a wide and complex field”.