Join us in Barcelona October 24-27, 2021

Suicide Research and Prevention Without Borders 

In-person and hybrid registration options will be offered.

Now Accepting Abstracts

We are now accepting abstract proposals for consideration for poster and oral presentation.  The deadline to submit an abstract is May 31st.  Poster sessions for the 2021 Summit will be held virtually.

IASR/AFSP International Summit on Suicide Research
October 24-27, 2021 • Barcelona, Spain
Suicide Research and Prevention Without Borders 

We are pleased to announce that there will be a hybrid component to the 2021 Summit.   Traditional poster sessions create safety concerns for attendees due to the close proximity of a large number of attendees at once.  To ensure the safety of our in-person attendees, poster sessions will be held virtually.    We will make additional details available as soon as they are confirmed.

The Summit is sponsored by the International Academy of Suicide Research in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  The 2019 Summit included over 450 researchers and clinicians from 28 countries across the globe.

Conference Co-Chairs: 

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

A Message from the Organizers:

We hope you are all looking forward to the 2021 International Summit on Suicide Research to be held October 24-27, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. We are aiming for our largest meeting ever and have been putting together a superb list of plenary speakers and invited symposia. Of course, it is our hope that with the current vaccine projections, we will all be able to meet safely in-person.  However, we know that the vaccination programs vary a lot around the world and that some people are hesitant to travel even with the vaccination. Consequently, we are also planning a hybrid meeting option that would allow attendees to participate either in-person or virtually.  We have not finalized the details, but hope to offer those with accepted sessions the choice between their full session being presented in-person versus submitting a pre-recorded version of their full session for viewing at the in-person meeting and by those attending virtually.  We would not require the participants in each submitted session that is accepted to make a decision on their preferred method of participation until closer to the event.

We do recognize that traditional poster sessions pose the greatest risk for in-person attendees due to the nature of these sessions.  Many conferences are now adopting electronic posters as a safer, more cost-effective option for attendees.  We will be adopting this concept for the 2021 Summit and holding the poster sessions electronically. The poster session platform is robust and will allow attendees to upload a high-resolution image of their poster as well as a brief audio recording of their presentation.  Each poster will also have a discussion board for attendees to ask questions throughout the conference and not just within the poster sessions.  Lastly, each poster presenter will be able to submit a link to a video conferencing platform that will be available to attendees during the virtual poster session times so they can interact face to face.  It is our hope that the hybrid component (and all virtual poster sessions) will allow us to reach our biggest audience yet.  

In light of all these considerations, we will open our registration site this summer to give everyone more time to decide if they will attend in person or register for the virtual meeting.  We expect the 2021 International Summit on Suicide Research, whether in-person or virtually, will offer the best scientific program of any previous IASR/AFSP meeting and that we will see our largest attendance to date! Come join us in Barcelona.


This meeting will bring together suicide researchers studying topics ranging from neurobiology, epidemiology and genetics to assessment, intervention and prevention. All suicide researchers and those interested in learning about the most cutting-edge evidence are invited to attend and take advantage of this excellent opportunity to network and interact. In addition to plenary sessions with preeminent suicide researchers and symposia, the meeting will include a mentoring program, poster sessions, and workshops addressing methodological issues particular to suicide research. Workshops will cover topics such as assessment of suicidal behavior and risk, strategies for research on low base rate outcomes, use of technology and proxy measures, approaches to facilitate inclusion of underrepresented populations, study design options that produce robust and reliable results, and guidance for the safe inclusion of individuals at high-risk for suicidal behavior. 

After participating in this live event:

  1. Participants will be able to articulate the key findings in the development of preventive, intervention, and implementation strategies and how to incorporate translational research strategies into preventive, intervention, and implementation research on suicide.
  2. Participants will be able to describe methodological and ethical challenges in research design for studies where the outcome of interest is suicidal ideation and behavior.
  3. Participants will be able to enumerate the most recent neurobiological, genetic, psychological and social evidence related to suicidal behavior.
Needs Statement

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.

Educational Gap

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.

The target audience for this event is professionals that conduct research or treat patients in the field of suicidology or other related fields.
The International Summit on Suicide Research offers AMA credits for physicians and APA credits for psychologists.  Previous events have offered between 20-23 education hours.  Please continue to check back for updates regaring the continuing education offerings for the 2021 Summt.