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”.

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!

Up ↑