16th European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour (ESSSB16)

The 16th European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour (ESSSB16) took place in Oviedo (Spain) from September 8th to September 10th, 2016. International experts presented really interesting symposia on suicide, ranging from the psychosocial to the neurobiological and genetic point of view. Suicide topic was considered in all its aspects: suicide prevention, suicide risk assessment, population-based prevention, social media and suicide, use of drugs in patients with suicidal risk, neurotransmitter studies of suicidal behavior, psychosocial therapy after self-harm, and so on. All these issues were discussed with different modalities: symposia, round tables, breakfast and lunch with the expert. During the meeting it was widely debated about new researches in suicide and prevention of suicidal behaviours prevention involving the use of new technologies (smartphone apps) and social network (e.g. Facebook and Twitter). These new means allow supportive and prevention programs to reach subjects at high risk, as the so-called “digital native” adolescents.

It has been an exciting opportunity to meet and listen to senior researchers in the field of suicidology in high quality symposia. Moreover, it has been a chance for young researchers and trainees to present the results of their research in the oral communication and poster sections, and to receive awards for their scientific activity.

Our Suicidology and Suicide Prevention (EPA-SSSP) Section was very active during the ESSSB: several members were involved in the organizing and scientific committee; more than 40 members were chairs or discussants; as you know, we had a Section symposium and a Section business meeting, with the debut of the new Board; and last but not least, our Chair, Marco Sarchiapone, presented the first plenary session “Suicide Risk Assessment” and other symposia.

We wish to thank you all for your participation! We believe the Section did a good job in Oviedo, and this could not happen without everybody’s commitment. Noteworthy, some newcomers who wished to join our Section attended the Section business meeting, and in the last weeks we have received more applications, especially from Eastern Europe. We are now almost 130, and we consider the willingness of people to join the EPA-SSSP as a confirmation of the appeal of our section and of the quality of the work we are doing all together. As you know, we will try to further enhance contact, integration and cooperation of Section members, through the projects we shared with you during the Section business meeting.

During the General Assembly, after a “fight to the death” among Denmark, Hungary, Italy and The Netherlands, participants decided to crown Rome, whose candidacy was presented by Marco Sarchiapone, as the hosting city for the 18th edition of ESSSB. This is actually an important achievement of the whole Section. As the SSSP of the European Psychiatric Association, we strongly wish and encourage all Section members’ involvement in the 18th European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour.

Finally, during the ESSSB we all had the opportunity to celebrate together the Word Suicide Prevention Day; in the congress hall there were 2 exercise bikes and all of us were invited to use it in order to symbolically prevent suicide. Moreover, during the plenary section Martin Ploderl was rewarded for his travel by bike. Martin is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist at the Christian Doppler Clinic in Salzburg and does crisis intervention
with suicidal inpatients, give trainings in suicide prevention and is committed in this field of research. He reached Oviedo from Germany with the strength of his legs, the determination of his will and the two wheels of his bike…and this is for suicide prevention!

What else? We look forward to the next scientific appointments!

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