Movie of the Month (July 2017)

In July 2017 we choose a movie for you:

“Girl, Interrupted”

Directed by: James Mangold

Based on: “Girl, Interrupted” by Susanna Kaysen  

Starring: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Brittany Murphy, Jared Leto, Whoopy Goldberg
Year: 1999
Running time:  125 min
Awards:  Angelina Jolie won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Globe Award.

Plot: The story talks about 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder) who takes an overdose of pills with a bottle of vodka: she denies that she tried to kill herself. For this suicidal actions, she is checked into a psychiatric hospital where meets different patients. Among these we find Polly (Elisabeth Moss), Georgina (Clea DuVall) and Daisy (Brittany Murphy) but, above all, Lisa (Angelina Jolie), who is a rebellious, but charismatic girl.

We choose this movie because it talks about suicide in different kind of psychiatric patients and also because it talks about psychiatry ward life, treatment, problems and interactions between patients.

The Blue Whale Game: what do we know about it?

Wikipedia says that the Blue Whale Game (Russian: Синий кит, Siniy kit) was born in 2013 as an unofficial community on a VKontakte Social Network, with the aim of achieving a sense of superiority administrators, who induce passive players to suffering and suicide.

The game is based on the relationship between the challengers (“players or participants”) and the administrators; it involves a series of self-harm duties given by the administrators that players must complete in 50 days and the last task is suicide.

It was probably created by Philipp Budeikin, a psychology student who was expelled from university; he said his purpose was to “clean” society by pushing to suicide those he deemed as having no value.

The first case of suicide related to the game occurred in 2015 in Russia.

The Blue Whale has received significant media attention: several posts and articles report that it likely has led dozens children and adolescents from Russia (as well as from other countries) on the way to suicide. The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, albeit in an arbitrary manner, suggested a link between 130 suicides happened from fall 2015 to spring 2016, to this presumed digital brainwashing.

Anyway, actually we really don’t know either the game’s existence or its role in child and teenage suicides or acts of self-harm. reports that an investigation by the UK Safer Internet Centre has failed to corroborate the claims. Online fact-checking website Snopes found that, although there have been reports of young people committing suicide in Russia over the past six months, there is inconclusive evidence tying them to the Blue Whale. Professor Sonia Livingstone from the London School of Economics told WIRED: “The importance of media literacy to identify and reject fake news is vital for everyone, but especially for parents whose anxieties about their children’s safety make them too easily to fall prey to clickbait designed to trap them. The responsibilities of journalists to check their facts and sources has also never been so great, as the Blue Whale scare illustrates clearly.”

Nonetheless, the implications of the phenomenon are important, at least from the sociological point of view, no matter if it is a false news or it is proven in some cases. Blue Whale phenomenon began in Russia, where the problem of adolescent suicide is widely acknowledged (in 2012, the rate of teenage suicides in Russia was three times higher than the world average), but now it has gone far beyond. Even if it was a fake, it may still be damaging. Every alarming news, every service that drives the macabre storytelling, every act of self-harm and violence automatically may fuel a vicious cycle of suggestion and discomfort. It is important to protect children from online dangers and also let them know the existence of support networks involved in offering help to people who need it.

To know more, contact EPA- SSSP e-mail address:


Movie of the month (June 2017)

In June 2017 we choose a movie for you:

“Death Of a Salesman”

Risultati immagini per death of a salesman

Directed by: Volker Schlöndorff

Based on: Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Kate Reid, John Malkovich, Stephen Lang
Year: 1985
Running time: 136 min
Awards: Golden Globe to Dustin Hoffman for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television”

Plot: The Salesman Willy Loman is in a period of crisis of his life. He’s about to lose his job, he can’t pay his bills. His sons Biff and Happy haven’t any respect for him and it seems they don’t rise up life in the best way. He ask himself what went wrong and how he can make things up to his family.

Movie of the month (May 2017)

In May 2017 we choose a movie for you:

“Sarah’s Key”


Directed by: Gilles Paquet-Brenner

Based on: Elle s’appelait Sarah, Tatiana de Rosnay
Starring:  Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup, Frédéric Pierrot
Year: 2010
Running time: 111 min

Plot: Sarah’s Key tells the story of two people: Sarah, a young girl whose family was torn apart during the notorious Vel d’Hiv Roundup in 1942, and Julia, a middle-aged woman who writes an article in a modern-days Paris. The story is about the particular remote connection between their lives in France: at the beginning of the novel, the chapters alternate between the two separate lives of Sarah and Julia, and there will be an unexpected end! 

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”.

Movie of the month (April 2017)

In April 2017 we choose a movie for you:

“The Hours”


Directed by: Stephen Daldry

Based on: The Hours by M.Cunningham
Starring: M.Streep, J.Moore, N.Kidman
Year: 2002
Running time: 114 min
Awards:  nine Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture), and a win for Nicole Kidman as Best Actress.

Plot: The plot focuses on three women of different generations whose lives are interconnected by the novel Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. These are Clarissa Vaughan (Streep); Laura Brown (Moore); and Virginia Woolf (Kidman) herself in 1920s England, who is struggling with depression and mental illness while trying to write her novel.

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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