EPA 2020

COVID-19 UPDATES: The EPA Madrid 2020 congress is going virtual!

The virtual meeting will take place between 4 – 7 July 2020. Virtual sessions will allow for live interaction, and will be available on-demand in the weeks following the congress.


Here you can find the list of EPA-SSSP activites planned for the upcoming EPA Congress in Madrid, and also of other suicide-related activities.


Workshop: Secondary Prevention of Suicide

  • Session Type: Clinical/Therapeutic
  • Chair(s): Enrique Baca-García, Spain, Jorge Lopez-Castroman, France
  • Room: Hall 8
  • Session Description: Suicidal behaviors are the most faithful risk marker for future death by suicide and entail substantial clinical and economic costs. This symposium will focus on current clinical-level prevention efforts for suicidal behaviors aimed at high-risk subjects and suicide attempters. Dr. Gramaglia will present the use of early rehabilitation strategies as a secondary prevention tool for suicide attempters admitted to the Psychiatry Ward in Novara, Italy. The involvement of the whole therapeutic team (including psychiatrists and nurses) in the approach to these patients will be described, as well as the psychometric assessment employed, and clinical implications will be discussed. Dr. López Castroman will present new data on the activation syndrome induced by antidepressants in a large cohort of depressed patients, identifying the clinical variables that can be used to detect the emergence of suicidal ideation. Recommendations about antidepressant prescription in suicide attempters will also be discussed. Dr. Martínez-Alés will talk about a real-world study comparing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of three differente post-discharge suicide prevention programs (a brief contact intervention, an enhanced contact intervention and a psychotherapeutic program) including 1,492 suicide attempters in Madrid, Spain. Dr. Jardon will provide an overview of Vigilans, a health care program designed for people with recent suicide attempts. Built on an algorithm that dynamically adapts the monitoring and case management to each individual’s suicide risk, recent assessments suggest that inclusion to this program, currently in use in northern France, is associated with a subsequent decrease in suicidal behaviors.
    • Early Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention for Suicide Attempters
      Presenter: Carla Gramaglia, Italy
      Lecture Time: 08:00 – 08:22
    • The Role of Antidepressants in the Secondary Prevention of Suicide
      Presenter: Jorge Lopez-Castroman, France
      Lecture Time: 08:22 – 08:44
    • VigilanS, an Algorithm for Post-Discharge Monitoring after a Suicide Attempt
      Presenter: Vincent Jardon, France
      Lecture Time: 08:44 – 09:06
    • Contact Interventions versus Psychotherapy for Post-Discharge Suicide Prevention
      Presenter: Gonzalo Martínez-Alés, United States of America
      Lecture Time: 09:06 – 09:28

Symposium: Etiopathogenesis of Suicidal Behaviour and Major Depression: Novel Approaches

  • Session Type – Educational
  • Chair(s): Marco Sarchiapone, Italy, Jorge Lopez-Castroman, France
  • Room: Hall 3
  • Session Description: Proposed by the EPA Section on Suicidology and Suicide Prevention. Although many risk and protective factors have been identified, suicidal behavior remains an unpredictable, albeit preventable, phenomenon with a dynamic nature. The focus of this symposium will be on current efforts to understand the mechanisms underlying suicidal behavior. Previous studies investigating biological processes involved in suicide have typically used bulk tissue to explore molecular processes. However, the brain is composed of different cells, and tissue homogenates cannot capture signals at the single-cell resolution. Dr. Turecki will present recent single-cell transcriptomic studies in suicide and depression implicating OPCs and deep layer excitatory neurons. Secondly, Dr. Courtet will show the results of a GWAS in 2 446 suicide attempters by using a “Global screen array“ for 687 572 SNPs and a whole methylome in depressed patients with and without prior suicide attempts, stratified by history of childhood abuse. Results for potential genetic or methylomic markers of suicide attempt and / or early maltreatment will be discussed. Dr. Saiz will present an original investigation about global hematopoietic parameters in blood counts of major depressive disorder (MDD) patients, with or without a suicide attempt history, and controls. Their results suggest that MDD and childhood trauma are associated with an underlying hematopoietic distress that may decrease with adequate treatment. In the general population, childhood abuse is strongly associated with suicidal behavior, but its specific influence on MDD is still controversial. Dr. Cardoner will talk about the relationship between major depression, childhood abuse and suicide, considering also the moderating effects of other clinical and demographic variables.
    • Suicide Risk in Major Depression: Focus of Childhood Maltreatment
      Speakers. Narcís Cardoner Álvarez, Spain
      Lecture Time: 10:00 – 10:22
    • Single-Cell Approaches to Understand the Suicidal Brain
      Speakers: Gustavo Turecki, Canada
      Lecture Time: 10:22 – 10:44
    • Hematopoietic distress and suicidal behavior in patients with Major Depressive Disorder
      Speakers: Pilar Saiz, Spain
      Lecture Time: 10:44 – 11:06
    • Genomics of Suicidal Behaviour
      Speakers: Philippe Courtet, France
      Lecture Time: 11:06 – 11:28

 Workshop: Assisted Suicide in the Elderly

  • Session Type – Educational
  • Chair(s): Gabriela Stoppe, Switzerland, Diego De Leo, Australia
  • Room: Hall 5
  • Session Description: Proposed by the EPA Section on Old Age Psychiatry. At advanced age, rates of males diverge even more from those of females. This means that a number of life and existential issues aggregate to make more frequent suicide in older males. A better understanding of these factors may reduce the toll of suicide at these extreme ages as Prof. de Leo is going to discuss. Prof. Zeppegno will focus on the even twofold rate of suicidal behaviours when there is a chronic or terminal illness. Psychiatrists and geriatricians will likely meet mentally competent older adults expressing a wish to die. The possibility of a “rational suicide” is debated in the literature, and its clinical and ethical implications will be discussed. Prof. Stek is going to discuss the problem that in late life depression the clinical management of suicidality is often complicated by the presence of physical and neuropsychiatric comorbidity. Moreover, in The Netherlands the position of euthanasia in end of life choices may interfere with available diagnostic and treatment options. Although interventions for suicide prevention are known, their relative effect for the elderly in general have not been explored. But the elderly are an especially vulnerable group for suicide. Prof. van der Feltz-Cornelis will discuss in her lecture what could be aspects of relevance for interventions in this specific age group.And finally Prof. Hegerl will show – at the example of a recent increase in gassing suicides – which role the media and especially the internet plays for the methods of suicide and what it could mean for suicide prevention.
    • Suicide in the Very Old
      Presenter: Diego De Leo, Australia
      Lecture Time: 15:00 – 15:18
    • Rational Suicide in the Elderly
      Presenter: Patrizia Zeppegno, Italy
      Lecture Time: 15:18 – 15:36
    • Clinical Management of Late Life Depression and Suicidality in the Oldest-Old
      Presenter: Max Stek, Netherlands
      Lecture Time: 15:36 – 15:54
    • What Interventions Work for Suicide Prevention? And do they Work for the Elderly?Presenter: Christina Van der Feltz-Cornelis, United Kingdom
      Lecture Time: 15:54 – 16:12
    • Media and Suicidal Behaviour
      Presenter: Ulrich Hegerl, Germany
      Lecture Time: 16:12 – 16:30

Symposium: Suicide Behaviour in Different Mental Disorders: Epidemiological Findings and Perspectives on Suicide Prevention

  • Session Type – Mental Health Policy
  • Chair(s): Diego Palao Vidal, Spain, Philippe Courtet, France
  • Room: Hall 6
  • Session Description: Suicide is one of the leading causes of premature death in Western countries. Several studies report that nearly 70-95% of suicide victims suffer from a mental disorder, being affective disorders the most common diagnosis. When focusing on psychosis, a high risk of suicide has been reported in first-episode of psychosis in the first 5 years. Furthermore, patients with schizophrenia show particular clinical factors to be associated with an increased risk of suicide. The present symposium will cover several aspects concerning suicidality in affective and psychotic disorders and also review pain and interoception from a suicide prevention perspective. Lastly, it will show some results about the effectiveness of long-term suicide prevention pragmatical programs. In the first part, the community based 4-level-intervention model will show the effectiveness of the prevention of suicidal behavior through improving the care and treatment of patients diagnosed with depression. In a further step, this symposium will cover the investigation of the prevalence of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and completed suicide in delusional disorder. Frequencies will be compared with those found with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders and first-episode of psychoses. The impact of gender and substance use on prevalence rates of suicide attempts will be also investigated. Several general aspects on pain and interoception will be reviewed from the suicide prevention perspective. Finally, the effectiveness of suicide prevention programs will be presented, with particular emphasis in their application at the emergency departments and community mental health services.
    • Suicide Risk in Depression: Effectiveness of the Community Based 4-Level-Intervention (EAAD)
      Presenter: Ulrich Hegerl, Germany
      Lecture Time: 08:00 – 08:22
    • Prevalence and Incidence of Suicidal Ideation and Behaviour in Delusional Disorder, Schizophrenia and Other Related Disorders
      Presenter: Alexandre González-Rodríguez, Spain
      Lecture Time: 08:22 – 08:44
    • Pain and Interoception: Perspectives on Suicide Prevention
      Presenter: Philippe Courtet, France
      Lecture Time: 08:44 – 09:06
    • Effectiveness of Suicide Prevention Programs at Emergencies and Community Mental Health Services
      Presenter: Diego Palao Vidal, Spain
      Lecture Time: 09:06 – 09:28

Symposium: The Ageing Schizophrenia Population: A New Growing Population With New Challenges

  • Session Type – Mental Health Policy
  • Chair(s): Cecile Hanon, France Armin Von Gunten, Switzerland
  • Room: Hall 3
  • Session Description: Proposed by the EPA Section on Old Age Psychiatry. Worldwide, a crisis is emerging in the care of older adults with schizophrenia. The ageing schizophrenia population has created vast health-care needs and their medical comorbidity contributes to higher mortality than in the general population. In this symposium, we sought to review specificities of this population and associated needs, as well as concrete pathways to improvement, recovery and prevention. The clinical evolution over time, from adulthood into older age, including cognitive and medical comorbidities will be the focus of the first speaker. The second speaker will address the issue of a reduced life expectancy among the population of adults with schizophrenia, and will present the results of a prospective study examining the 5-year mortality rate and their causes in a multicenter sample of 353 older adults with schizophrenia as compared to older adults with other psychiatric conditions. Recent research suggests that this excess mortality in older adults with schizophrenia may be due to high rates of physical comorbidity, suicides and accidents, and possibly intrinsic biological mechanisms related to the disorder itself accelerating the physiological ageing. The 3rd speaker will present a study that investigates the frequency of screening and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in older adults with schizophrenia, as well as its possible correlates, using the Cohort of individuals with schizophrenia. Preventive measures will be discussed. The last speaker will present an overview of a long-term antipsychotic treatment in schizophrenia in older adults according to the recommendations, clinical pharmacology and comorbidities.
    • Clinical Evolution od Schizophrenia in Old Age
      Presenter: Armin Von Gunten, Switzerland
      Lecture Time: 15:00 – 15:22
    • Excess Mortality in Older Schizophrenia Population: What are the Causes?
      Presenter: Nicolas Hoertel, France
      Lecture Time: 15:22 – 15:44
    • Metabolic Syndrome in Older Adults with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder: Prevalence and Associated Factors
      Presenter: Sandra Abou Kassm, Lebanon
      Lecture Time: 15:44 – 16:06
    • Long-Term Antipsychotic Treatment in Patients With Schizophrenia: the Gap Between Research and Practice
      Presenter: Matej Stuhec, Slovenia
      Lecture Time: 16:06 – 16:28

Oral Communication Session 13: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder / Suicidology and Suicide Prevention / Oncology and Psychiatry

  • All Sessions Oral Communication
  • Chair(s):  
  • Room: Hall 10

EPA-EUFAS Symposium – Will the Opioid Crisis Hit Europe and What to Do?

  • All Sessions European 
  • Chair(s): Geert  Dom, Belgium Philip A. Gorwood, France 
  • Room: Hall 3
    • Opioid Epidemiology: Evolutions in Europe
      Presenter: Arnt Schellekens, Netherlands
      Lecture Time: 17:00 – 17:22
    • Co-Morbidity: Opioid Use Disorders, Pain, Depression and Suicide
      Presenter: Marta Torrens Melich, Spain
      Lecture Time: 17:22 – 17:44
    • TBA
      Lecture Time: 17:44 – 18:06
    • New Ways in Pharmacotherapy of Opioid Dependence: Naltrexone Implants for the Treatment of Opioid Addictions?
      Presenter: Lars Tanum, Norway
      Lecture Time: 18:06 – 18:28

Symposium: Improving Lifestyle Behaviours in People with Severe Mental Disorders

  • Session Type – Mental Health Policy
  • Chair(s): Maurizio Pompili, Italy, Norman Sartorius, Switzerland
  • Room: Hall 3
  • Session Description: The need to improve physical health in patients with severe mental disorders, namely schizophrenia, major depression, and bipolar disorders, has been highlighted by several recent international guidelines. In fact, patients with severe mental disorders die on average 20 years prior to the general population. This mortality gap is due to several factors, including the high prevalence of physical comorbidities (mainly, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases), the adoption of unhealthy lifestyle behaviours (such as heavy smoking, being sedentary and not having a balanced diet) and the lack of screening health procedures. The improvement of physical activity, the changes of dietary patterns, and the reduction of smoking habits of people with severe mental disorders represent a public health priority for mental health professionals in order to increase life expectancy and quality of life. In this symposium, recent evidence from ongoing European trials focused on healthy lifestyle behaviours in patients with severe mental disorders will be presented. In particular, the beneficial effects of physical exercise in patients with severe mental disorders will be discussed, not only in terms of improvement of quality of life, negative and general symptoms, cognition, and global functioning, but also as regards the improvement of neuroplasticity. Moreover, the role of psychosocial interventions in improving the management of side effects of pharmacological treatments, with a focus on the metabolic side-effects of antipsychotics, will also be discussed. Finally, gaps and obstacles for including these interventions in the clinical routine practice will be analyzed.
    • The Role of Physical Exercise to Reduce the Mortality in People with Severe Mental Illness
      Presenter: Peter Falkai, Germany
      Lecture Time: 08:00 – 08:22
    • Reducing Mortality Gap in Schizophrenia: Healthy Lifestyles and Pharmacological Treatment
      Presenter: Maurizio Pompili, Italy
      Lecture Time: 08:22 – 08:44
    • Can Psychosocial Treatment Reduce Antipsychotic-Induced Metabolic Disturbances in Patients with First Episode Psychosis?
      Presenter: Martina Rojnic-Kuzman, Croatia
      Lecture Time: 08:44 – 09:06
    • The Role of Psycho-Educational Interventions in Improving Physical Health of People with Severe Mental Illness
      Presenter: Andrea Fiorillo, Italy
      Lecture Time: 09:06 – 09:28

Symposium: Can Innovative Technologies Optimise Mental Health Care? Some Shining Examples

  • Session Type – Research
  • Chair(s): Diego Palao Vidal, Spain, Narcis Cardoner Alvarez, Spain 
  • Room: Hall 1
  • Session Description: New technologies applied to medical care represent a historic opportunity to improve the lives of people with mental health disorders. These advances allow optimizing different essential aspects of medical care in patients who suffer from psychiatric disorders or are at risk of suffering them. In this sense, the focus of this symposium is to present different initiatives aimed at improving and changing crucial health care facets such as primary prevention, clinical monitoring and diagnosis. First, Dr. Barreda, will explain the results of a research initiative that uses the co-creation of virtual reality scenarios for the development of a program to prevent bullying behavior in the classroom. Secondly, Dr. Faurholt-Jepsen will present the results of a recent multicenter study aimed to examine the feasibility and usability of two different smartphone-based monitoring systems in patients with bipolar disorder, developed and selected to be tested as a part of a European Union funded Pre-Commercial Procurement (the NYMPHA-MD project). As third speaker, Professor Lopez Castroman will present the results of the Smart-Crisis project which uses two smartphone apps to obtain implicit and explicit measures of risk-related factors after the discharge of suicidal patients. This project aims to identify the patterns of sleep, alimentation and social connectivity that are predictive of a new crisis in order to adapt preventive interventions. Finally, Dr. Soriano-Mas, will focus his talk in the use of innovative approaches involving digital technologies, such as machine and deep learning strategies, to integrate neuroimaging data into mental health clinical decision algorithms.
    • Virtual Reality in Primary Prevention: Bullying in the Classroom
      Presenter: Miguel Barreda, Netherlands
      Lecture Time: 10:00 – 10:22
    • Smartphone-Based Self-Monitoring in Bipolar Disorder: Evaluation of Usability and Feasibility of Two Systems
      Presenter: Maria Faurholt-Jepsen, Denmark
      Lecture Time: 10:22 – 10:44
    • The Smart-Crisis Project: Ecological Risk Assessment in Suicidal Patients
    • Presenter: Jorge Lopez-Castroman, France
      Lecture Time: 10:44 – 11:06
    • When Digital Technologies Met Neuroimaging: Implications for Clinical Psychiatry
      Presenter: Carles Soriano-Mas, Spain
      Lecture Time: 11:06 – 11:28

Symposium: Mixed Features in Diagnosis and Treatment of Paediatric Depression

  • Session Type – Clinical/Therapeutic
  • Chair(s): Rasim S. Diler, United States of America Azucena Diez-Suarez, United States of America
  • Room: Hall 7
  • Session Description: About 20% of youth develop functionally impairing depression that substantially increases the risk for suicidality and hampers normal development. However, depression is a heterogeneous condition with various degrees of severity and different etiological mechanisms. Furthermore, less than two-thirds of depressed youth respond to treatment interventions and still had high risk for relapses despite ongoing treatment. Recent findings have demonstrated substantial co-occurrence of cognitive difficulties and mixed manic features during depression that brings up significant diagnostic and treatment challenges. Furthermore, some depressed youth, especially those with family history of bipolar disorder, can develop manic episode in few years that complicates the treatment interventions. Suicidal ideation tends to peak prior to starting medication or therapy intervention, and some youth may experience suicidal ideation after medication; however, is far more frequent that these ideas are reduced. Youth with higher risk are those with mania, agitation, of baseline suicidal ideation, and they should be monitored closely with close parental guidance. In this symposium, Dr. Inal-Emiroglu from Turkey will review progression from depression to mania in youth, Dr. Soutullo from Spain will review safety results and risk for suicide and manic switch during antidepressant treatment, Dr. Maalouf from Lebanon will discuss the implications of neurocognitive assessment in youth with depression, and Dr. Diler from the US will review diagnostic and treatment difficulties of mixed manic features of unipolar and bipolar depression in youth. This symposium will allow enough time for questions and help improve understanding and practice of diagnosis and treatment of pediatric depression.
    • How Can We Assess the Risk of Bipolar Disorder During the Longitudinal Course of Paediatric Depression?
      Presenter: Neslihan Inal-Emiroglu, Turkey
      Lecture Time: 10:00 – 10:22
    • Implications of Neurocognitive Functioning and Emotion Processing in Paediatric Depression
      Presenter: Fadi Maalouf, Lebanon
      Lecture Time: 10:44 – 11:06
    • Mixed Manic Features in Unipolar and Bipolar Depressed Youth
      Presenter: Rasim S. Diler, United States of America
      Lecture Time: 11:06 – 11:28

Symposium: Identifying and Targeting Suicide Risk Factors in Youth

  • Session Type – Mental Health Policy
  • Chair(s): Danuta Wasserman, Sweden, Julio Bobes, Spain
  • Room: Hall 5
  • Session Description: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 15-29 years and suicidality in even younger children is increasing. The proposed symposium addresses the issue of suicidality by focusing on the major risk factors and presenting current and emerging interventions for prevention. Prof. Frangou will present data on suicidality from a USA cohort of 11,000 children aged 9-10 years that participate in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The risk factors considered included data on neighborhood characteristics, parental characteristic, information on family function and individual traits of the children. The presentation will detail the most significant predictors, collectively accounting for 56% of the variance, and their association with familial relatedness. Prof. Sarchiapone will discuss findings regarding suicidality in youth in Europe. Specific risk and protective factors for youth suicide will be discussed in the framework of the diathesis-stress model integrating biological, psychological, social and situational factors. Prof. Pompili will focus on risk factors and interventions related to cyberspace which is a new environment where youths are forming communities. Prof. Pompili will also present programs aiming to improve parenting and school-based interventions to identify and mitigate suicidal risk in youth. Finally, Prof. Wasserman will present Evidence for treatment needs and treatment options with antidepressants and psychological methods for suicidal adolescents as well as evaluations of school- based programmes preventing suicide attempts and ideation.
    • Neighbourhood, Family and Individual Predictors of Suicidality in 11,000 School-Age Children From the ABCD Cohort
      Presenter: Sophia Frangou, United States of America
      Lecture Time: 15:00 – 15:22
    • Protective and Risk-Conferring Factors for Suicidality in Youth in Europe
      Presenter: Marco Sarchiapone, Italy
      Lecture Time: 15:22 – 15:44
    • Perspectives of Modern Society in Youth Suicide Prevention
      Presenter: Maurizio Pompili, Italy
      Lecture Time: 15:44 – 16:06
    • Treating and Preventing Suicidality in Youth: Assessing the Evidence for Efficacy
      Presenter: Danuta Wasserman, Sweden
      Lecture Time: 16:06 – 16:28