We hope you will make plans to join us for the 2023 International Summit on Suicide Research being held in Barcelona, Spain from October 15-18, 2023. The meeting will be held at the World Trade Center Barcelona with housing blocks at nearby hotels. Please check back for additional updates!
The 2021 Virtual Summit was the largest to date with 549 attendees from 36 countries! The Summit is sponsored by the International Academy of Suicide Research in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
John Mann, M.D.
Columbia University & New York State Psychiatric Institute, USA
Ping Qin, M.D., Ph.D.
National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Oslo, Norway
As with other areas of psychiatric, epidemiological and intervention research, best practice in suicide research is based on following a generally accepted research design that incorporates the latest evidence in the area being studied and complying with IRB requirements where appropriate. However, the field of suicidology research faces unique challenges for study design. Suicide is a complex behavior resulting from the interaction of biological, psychological and social factors that must be considered in the design, conduct, and interpretation of research studies. In addition, there are unique features of suicide research including the study of low-frequency outcomes and high-risk patients, ethical choices that must trump research design, and in some situations the use of proxy outcome measures. These and many other design issues specific to suicide research require attention.
It is estimated that each year at least 800,000 people die by suicide world-wide and that for every suicide there are between 25 to 50 suicide attempts. In an effort to facilitate the development of empirically-supported approaches to the prevention of suicide and suicidal behavior, both with a focus on high risk individuals as well as populations more broadly, education of researchers and support of their work is essential. It is crucial that professionals interested in undertaking suicide research be educated about the newest developments regarding identifying risk and protective factors and the robust design and testing of effective prevention strategies. Research and its translation into clinical practice is crucial at this time because suicide rates have increased steadily in many countries in recent decades, making prevention of suicidal behavior morbidity and mortality a world-wide imperative.