Alexandra Pitman

Addressing suicide risk after suicide loss: how near are we to understanding mechanisms?
In this talk I will summarise the evidence describing risk of suicide in specific kinship groups bereaved by suicide (parent, partners, offspring, siblings) and set out what we know from the quantitative and qualitative literature about potential mechanisms. I will apply these findings to suggest the implications for targeted interventions, and review how much progress is being made towards identifying interventions that can reduce the risk of suicide in people bereaved by suicide.
Associate Professor, Alexandra Pitman, General Adult Psychiatry, Division of Psychiatry, University College London, United Kingdom

Dr Alexandra Pitman is an Associate Professor in General Adult Psychiatry in the UCL Division of Psychiatry and an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust. Her clinical and research interests relate to the care of people who feel suicidal, and she uses a range of research methods (quantitative epidemiology, qualitative interviews, experimental studies) to understand risk factors for suicide attempt, both in clinical settings and using public health approaches. Current studies include investigating the influence of loneliness and social isolation on mental illness and suicidality; social, cognitive and built environment risk factors for self-harm in vulnerable groups (people bereaved by suicide; people with cancer; LGBT youth; migrants; specific occupational groups; people who identify as lonely; adolescents); cognitive availability of suicide; limiting physical access to the means of suicide; and the development of interventions to prevent suicide attempt. She co-leads the UKRI-funded Loneliness & Social Isolation in Mental Health research network with Professor Sonia Johnson, serves on the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Psychiatry, is a Co-Director of the UCL Wellcome Trust PhD programme in mental health science, and is a Patron of the Support After Suicide Partnership. Recent research funding includes grants from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (to investigate mediators of suicide risk after suicide bereavement), the UKRI (to co-lead the Loneliness & Social Isolation in Mental Health research network) and the UCL Institute of Mental Health (to investigate peer influences on self-harm).

Anja Vedelsby

Reducing stigma related to mental illness – highlights from the Danish anti-stigma program ONE OF US

The purpose of ONE OF US is to reduce stigma related to mental illness in Denmark and the vision is a society with no more discrimination and exclusion based on mental illness. ONE OF US is a national program based in the Danish Health Authority regionally rooted in the psychiatric information units (PsykInfo) within the five target areas: Service users and relatives; professionals in the health and social sectors; young people; the labour market; the public and the media. The presentation will give examples of highlights from the program and an ambassador will share their personal experience with stigma, suicidal ideation and a suicide attempt.
Anja Kare Vedelsby, ONE OF US, Health Promotion and Inequality, Danish Health Authority, Denmark

Anja Kare Vedelsby holds a Master of Arts in Psychology and International Development Studies. She has previously worked as a Project Manager in The Danish Mental Health Fund. She worked as the project Coordinator in ONE OF US, the national anti-stigma program, since the beginning of the program in 2011. In July 2020, Anja Kare Vedelsby became Program Manager of ONE OF US.

Annette Erlangsen

National Suicide Helplines: opportunities and obstacles
National suicide helplines might one of the most implemented venues of support for people with suicide thoughts and helplines exist in many countries around the world. Recent studies have demonstrated that a substantial proportion of callers are at risk of suicide, yet, intervention is often momentary duration only. Frequent callers, in particular super callers, seem constitute a challenge to helpline operators.

Annette Erlangsen PhD is an Associate Professor and Head of program at the Danish Research Institute for Suicide Prevention in Denmark. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA and Honorary Associated Professor at the Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Australia. Dr. Erlangsen’s research interests focus on suicide risks among socially stigmatized and marginalized groups, such as survivors of suicide, sexual minority groups, asylum-seekers, people in prison, and homeless people. Her work has been published in numerous scientific journals, including Science, JAMA, BMJ, and The Lancet.

David Jobes

Effectively Treating Suicidal Risk: CAMS Research and Practice
The Collaborative Assessment and Managements of Suicidality (CAMS) is a suicide-focused clinical treatment supported by randomized controlled trials and a recent meta-analysis. This presentation will provide an overview of the CAMS framework, highlight clinical trial research findings, and describe its use in clinical settings around the world. New developments in the use of CAMS that will be featured in the forthcoming sourcebook, Managing Suicidal Risk: A Collaborative Approach, 3rd Ed. (Guilford Press) will also be highlighted.

David A. Jobes, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor of Psychology, Director of the Suicide Prevention Laboratory, and Associate Director of Clinical Training at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC. He is the developer of the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) and he is the founder of CAMS-care, an international training and consultation company.

Ellenor Mittendorfer-Rutz

Suicidal behaviour and forced migration – it is time to open a transcultural paradigm in suicide research

The plenary will present an overview on the current state of the art knowledge on suicidal behaviour and related health care consumption in asylum seekers and refugees. A specific focus will be on studies carried out in European countries with available data on refugees’ health with national coverage in order to overcome previous methodological challenges like small sample sizes and loss to follow-up. On the basis of the presented findings, the plenary attempts to argue for a need to open a transcultural paradigm in suicide research to meet the new challenges of contemporary societies with increasing socio-cultural diversity and guarantee culturally sensitive person-based health care.

Ellenor Mittendorfer-Rutz is Professor in Insurance medicine at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, where she is also Head of the Division of Insurance medicine and Acting Head of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience. She further holds a Guest professorship at the Medical University in Vienna. Dr. Mittendorfer-Rutz is a board member of several international medical journals and research consortia. Her work responds to the complexity of research on suicidal behaviour by conducting interdisciplinary and translational research, which spans from etiologic and prognostic to prevention and treatment research. Due to the rising number of refugees to Sweden and other European countries, her research has a specific focus on transcultural aspects. Studies are primarily based on nation-wide registers applying cutting-edge epidemiological methodology. Her work has led to several influential papers in high ranking medical journals such as The Lancet and JAMA Psychiatry.

Ivan Miller

The Coping Long Term with Active Suicide Program (CLASP): a Telehealth Suicide Prevention Program
With a foundation grounded in theoretical models of suicide prevention, CLASP is unique among suicide prevention interventions in that it targets multiple risk factors for suicide using a combination of formats and therapeutic strategies. The treatment can be delivered in-person and/or via telehealth to focus on values-goals clarification, problem solving, and significant other support.

Dr. Miller is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University where he directs the Brown Consortium for Research Innovation in Suicide Prevention (CRISP). Dr. Miller is also the Director of the Psychosocial Research Program at Butler Hospital. Dr. Miller has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health for over 40 years for his work on developing and evaluating treatments for individuals with severe mood disorders and suicide risk during care transitions. Dr. Miller has published over 300 articles, chapters and books focused on suicide risk and prevention, clinical trials for severe mood disorders and the role of the family in psychiatric disorders. Dr. Miller was one of the Principal Investigators of the multi-site ED-SAFE study investigating the efficacy of screening and brief interventions in reducing suicide among emergency department patients – one of the largest studies of suicide prevention conducted in the US. For this work, he was recently awarded the Minerva award for “Best Clinically Useful Original Research Paper in Mental Health.” Dr. Miller is a member of the Scientific Review Board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and has consulted regularly with National Institute of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration and The Joint Commission on issues of screening and prevention of suicidal behavior.

Jane Pirkis

Monitoring suicides during the COVID-19 pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, there was widespread concern that suicide rates might increase. Researchers examined whether trends were changing in their own countries, and we conducted two multi-country studies to try to provide a global picture. At the same time, efforts were also being made to examine changes in other indicators relating to self-harm, mental health issues and psychological distress. This presentation will provide an overview of the findings from these various studies, and will highlight some of the lessons we learned while conducting our two international studies.

Professor Jane Pirkis is the Director of the Centre for Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. She has a background in psychology and epidemiology and has worked in the field of suicide prevention for 25 years. She is perhaps best known for her work on suicide and the media, but recently she has led several local and international studies in the area of COVID-19 and suicide. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Crisis and a past Vice President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). She was the recipient of the 2019 IASP Erwin Stengel Research Award.

Jennifer Muehlenkamp

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in the Context of Suicide Risk and Prevention

Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a robust risk factor for suicidal behavior yet, many who engage in NSSI do not attempt suicide. This plenary will provide an updated overview NSSI and its relationship to suicidal behavior including how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected rates of self-injury and pathways to suicide risk. The plenary will conclude with a brief review of evidence-based interventions and strategies for responding to NSSI and co-occurring suicide risk.

Dr. Muehlenkamp is a licensed clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire who has been studying non-suicidal self-injury and suicidal behaviors for over 20 years. Dr. Muehlenkamp is a respected scholar, having published over 100 studies, book chapters, and co-authored books on NSSI risk, protection, assessment, and intervention. Dr. Muehlenkamp’s work has been recognized by awards from the American Association of Suicidology, Self-Injury Awareness Network, and grants from NIMH and SAMHSA. She is Past President and Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Self-injury (ISSS) and is the director of UW-Eau Claire’s Suicide Prevention and Research Collaborative.

John Mann

Can Ketamine Change Suicide Prevention?
Ketamine rapidly lowers severity of suicidal ideation. Improvement in depression accounts for only part of the decrease in suicidal ideation and animal studies indicate enhanced resilience. Improvement in aspects of cognitive function is another independent pathway that reduces suicide risk. Human studies highlight effects of ketamine on glutamate and GABAergic systems as being related to depression but their role in reducing suicide risk is less well studied. Animal studies have emphasized effects on synapse formation but also show short term surges in serotonin and perhaps opioid receptor activation. This talk will integrate human and animal findings to develop a biological model of the anti-suicidal effects of ketamine.

J. John Mann MD, is The Paul Janssen Professor of Translational Neuroscience (in Psychiatry and in Radiology) and a former Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is Director of Research and Director of Molecular Imaging and the Neuropathology Division at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
Dr. Mann is trained in Psychiatry and Internal Medicine and has a Doctorate in Neurochemistry. His research employs functional brain imaging, neurochemistry and molecular genetics to probe the causes of depression and suicide. Dr. Mann is the Director of the NIMH Conte Center for the Neuroscience of Mental Disorders, and Past President of the International Academy of Suicide Research.
Dr. Mann has published 458 papers and edited 10 books on the subjects of the biology and treatment of mood disorders, suicidal behavior and other psychiatric disorders. In private practice he specializes in the treatment of mood disorders.

Konrad Michel

Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP): Evidence and clinical implications

ASSIP has now become a well-established effective therapy for patients who attempt suicide. The model of suicide as a goal-directed action is a key element for a collaborative working alliance in which patients are active participants in therapy. The suicide-as-action framework, however, has a potential for suicide prevention in a wider context, with its person-centred model of suicide that is meaningful to individuals considering suicide or engaging in suicidal behaviour. The model does not claim to explain suicide as a human phenomenon, but to help individuals – and therapists – to understand the suicidal development in a personal context. Mental health problems are seen as suicide risk factors, not as the cause of suicide.

Konrad Michel, M.D., professor emeritus of psychiatry, is a clinical psychiatrist and psychotherapist affiliated with the University of Bern, Switzerland. A major focus of his work has been on the various aspects of the therapeutic relationship with the suicidal patient. Based on a model of suicide as goal-directed action, Konrad Michel and his co-workers have developed a three-session intervention for patients who attempted suicide, ASSIP (Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program), which in an RCT has been very effective in reducing suicide-reattempts. Recent publications have focused on the implications of a person-centred suicide-as-action framework for suicide prevention.

Lakshmi Vijayakumar

Community Intervention for suicide

Community interventions play a significant role in suicide prevention. They are locally irrelevant, culturally appropriate and cost effective. They reduce stigma and even effect policy changes.

Dr. Lakshmi Vijayakumar is the founder of SNEHA, an NGO in Chennai for the prevention of suicide. She is the Head, Department of Psychiatry, Voluntary Health Services, Adyar, Chennai. She is a member of the W.H.O’s International Network for Suicide Research and Prevention. She is an Honorary Associate Professor in the University of Melbourne, Australia.
She was the Vice President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (I.A.S.P.) for four years. She was awarded the Ringel Service award by IASP. She has been conferred Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (FRCPsych), U.K and FRCP (EDIN) for her work on suicide prevention.
She was one of the editors of the WHO’s report “Preventing Suicide – A global imperative” published in 2014. She has received numerous awards in India such as For The Sake Of Honour, Bharathi Virudu, Women Doctor of the year etc. She has actively worked for decriminalization of suicide, media guidelines for reporting of suicide and developing a national suicide prevention strategy for India.
She has published widely in peer reviewed journals and has authored several chapters. She is a reviewer for numerous journals and has edited two books. Her area of interest and expertise includes developing cost effective community intervention to prevent suicide.

Lars Mehlum

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in the treatment of suicidal individuals - what have we learnt?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), a treatment originally developed for women with borderline personality disorder and recurring suicidal behaviour, now supported by more than 40 randomized trials, have taught us many lessons on how to treat suicidal behaviour effectively, directly and specifically in a wide range of clinical populations. Translational research has, furthermore, given us important insights into how and why the treatment works and for whom. This plenary will highlight key discoveries and developments in using DBT to treat suicidal individuals.

Professor Lars Mehlum MD PhD is the founding director of the National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Oslo, Norway. His research focuses on clinical and epidemiological aspects of suicidal behaviour and development of interventions for suicidal people. He is a past president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), the International Academy of Suicide Research (IASR), the European Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (ESSPD) and a current board member of the World Association for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (WADBT).

Merete Nordentoft

They knock on our door, and we don't see them - how to improve treatment of people at acute increased risk of suicide?

Many people at imminent risk of suicide seek help, but those who do so receive fragmented, insufficient, or inadequate treatment. Four large groups have high imminent risk of suicide: 1) patients with hospital contact after a suicide attempt, 2) patients recently discharged from psychiatric hospital, 3) patients presenting to a psychiatric emergency department, and 4) callers to helplines for suicide prevention. This talk will review their risks and the opportunities for intervention.

Merete Nordentoft is a clinical psychiatrist and Professor in Psychiatry, University of Copenhagen. Merete Nordentoft played a leading role in developing and implementing early intervention services in Denmark. She is an expert in epidemiology, suicidal behaviour, psychopathology and early intervention in psychosis. She has led the process from research to implementation of early intervention services all over Denmark, and all over Europe, she has been a strong advocate for improvement of services for people with first episode psychosis. Professor Nordentoft has worked with suicide prevention at a national level since 1997, and together with a group of epidemiologists from Nordic countries, she has demonstrated that life expectancy for people with schizophrenia is 15 to 20 years shorter than in the general population. She initiated the Danish High Risk and Resilience Study VIA 7 -a representative cohort study of 522 7-year-old children with 0, 1, or 2 parents with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Professor Nordentoft was given the prestigious awards: The Golden Scalpel, Global Excellence in Health, the Richard Wyatt Award, the Marie and August Krogh Award and the Novo Nordisk Prize. From 2017 to 2021 she was amongst the one percent most often cited researchers in Clarivate Analytics
She was the president of IEPA from 2012 to 2014, and she has serves as general secretary for IASP. She is currently president elect in SIRS. She has been a member of the EPA since 2005.

Nav Kapur

From first hello to long-term follow up – what does excellent care for suicidal behaviour look like?

Suicidal behaviour is a common reason for presentation to health, mental health, and social care services across the world. How can research help us to provide the best possible care to every single patient? In this talk Nav will discuss the evidence and what it does and does not tell us.

Nav is Professor of Psychiatry and Population Health at the University of Manchester, UK and an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. He has spent the last 25 years researching suicidal behaviour, particularly its causes, treatment and prevention. He has led committees for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK including those developing guidelines for how all clinical staff should treat people with self-harm. He sits on the main advisory group on suicide for the Department of Health in England and is currently helping to lead a national quality improvement project to prevent suicide. He is the lead author of Suicide Prevention (3rd Edition, Oxford University Press) and has published over 300 academic papers. He is the 2021 recipient of the American Association of Suicidology Louis I. Dublin Award for lifetime achievement in suicide prevention and the 2021 International Association of Suicide Prevention Stengel Award for outstanding research.

Paul Siu-Fai Yip

Suicide Prevention in a Digital Era: Challenges and Opportunities

Suicide Prevention in a digital era is difficult and challenging as the users tend to turn away from traditional services and they spend more time in social media and virtual world. The talk will present some encouraging findings in engaging vulnerable in social media and some good practices in providing online emotional support Challenges and opportunities will be highlighted and discussed.

Professor Yip is the director of the HKJC Centre of Suicide Research and Prevention and a chair professor (population health ) at the Department of Social Work and Social Administration and the Associate Dean (Research) at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong. He has won the spirit of Innovation Award of the 9th Spirit of Hong Kong Awards 2021 for promoting suicide prevention using social media. He is also a recipient of the Australia-China Alumni Award for Research in 2019; a medal of honor from the Hong Kong SAR Government in 2017; the Stengel Research Award from the International Association of Suicide Prevention in 2011. He has published extensively in suicide prevention and population health.

Ping Qin

Follow-up care and support after suicide attempt: what do we know from real-life data

Follow-up care and support following suicide attempt somatic treatment is of great importance in clinical management and could have a profound influence on the patient’s life both in short- and long-term. This plenary will provide insights into what follow-up care and support are delivered in routine care and how they have influenced the patients’ risk for self-harm repetition and premature mortality prospectively.

Dr Ping Qin is professor at National Center for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Oslo in Norway, and head of research group for register-based study on suicide and self-harm. Professor Qin has been dedicated to reseach on suicide pevention and psychiatric epidemiology for more than 25 years. Her main focus of research has been quantitative investigation on contextual influence of multifactorial exposures on risk for suicidal behavior and follow-up care for people with deliberate self-harm. She is the co-chair of 2021 IASR/AFSP International Summit on Suicide Reseach, past Vice-President of IASP, and a founding co-chair of the Special Interest Group on Suicide and Self-harm in Middle-aged Adults.

Rory O'Connor

When it is darkest: Understanding suicide risk

I will describe some of our recent work, underpinned by the integrated motivational-volitional model of suicidal behaviour. This will include an exploration of the psychological and physiological mechanisms associated with the emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviours as well as thoughts around interrupting the transition from suicidal thoughts to suicidal acts.

Rory O’Connor PhD FAcSS is Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and a Past President of the International Academy of Suicide Research. Rory leads the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory (Web:; Twitter: @suicideresearch) at Glasgow, one of the leading suicide/self-harm research groups internationally. He has published extensively in the field of suicide and self-harm, specifically concerning the psychological processes which precipitate suicidal behaviour and self-harm. He is also co-author/editor of several books and is author of When It is Darkest. Why People Die by Suicide and What We Can Do To Prevent It (2021). He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Archives of Suicide Research and Associate Editor of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. Rory acts as an advisor to a range of national and international organisations including national governments on the areas of suicide and self-harm.

Thomas Niederkrotenthaler

Creative approaches to harnessing positive media potentials for suicide prevention

This plenary will review the current evidence of media effects on suicidal and help-seeking behaviours with a particular emphasis on positive media effects. Recent studies suggest that a fundamental shift in media communication about suicide prevention to promote stories of coping is warranted, but this is difficult to implement. In contrast to media stories of suicide death which often reach large audiences, portrayals of coping with adversity are underrepresented and often reach small audiences only. Creative collaborations between suicide prevention experts, individuals with lived experience and sectors including the creative arts and entertainment industry appear to be key in providing positive media models for coping and recovery at scale.

Thomas Niederkrotenthaler is research group lead for suicide prevention research and associate professor at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria. He has published more than 170 articles on suicide prevention and has been first to coin the Papageno effect, which describes suicide-protective potentials of media portrayals of hope and recovery. He is current Vice-President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention IASP.

Timo Partonen

National action plans for suicide prevention in Finland
Deaths from suicide are being recorded in Finland since 1751. A national suicide prevention program was conducted in 1986–1996, after which the suicide mortality has decreased by 58%. This positive trend is not expected to continue further without specific measures, but therefore a national suicide prevention program is currently running for 2020–2030.

Timo Partonen, MD, is research professor in the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He is the chair for the National Coordinating Network for Suicide Prevention Work, supporting the National Mental Health Strategy and Programme for Suicide Prevention for 2020–2030.

Keith Hawton

Assessment of suicide risk in mental health practice: Shifting from prediction to therapeutic assessment, formulation and risk management

Suicide prevention in psychiatric practice has been dominated by efforts to predict and classify risk of suicide in patients, yet traditional risk prediction measures are ineffective. There is a need to shift emphasis to therapeutic risk management, including recognition that any patients with mental health problems may be at increased risk of suicide. There needs to be a move towards dynamic and therapeutic risk assessment, formulation and risk management, including collaborative safety planning. Such an orientation can help clinicians develop a more tailored and intelligent approach to managing risk in patients, including potential therapeutic effects together with risk reduction interventions. This is likely to lead to enhanced patient safety and quality of care, and be more acceptable to patients.
Professor Keith Hawton, Centre for Suicide Research, University of Oxford, UK

Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Centre for Suicide Research at Oxford University; Consultant Psychiatrist with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, UK. His research group has been conducting investigations concerning the causes, treatment, prevention and outcome of suicidal behaviour for over 40 years. He has received the following awards: Stengel Research Award from the International Association for Suicide Prevention; Dublin Career Research Award from the American Association of Suicidology; Research Award of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; Morselli Medal from the International Academy for Suicide Research. In the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List he was made a Commander of the British Empire for Services to Suicide Prevention.

Ella Arensman

Frameworks and resources to guide the development, implementation and evaluation of national suicide prevention strategies

The aim of this lecture is to guide and support the development, implementation and evaluation of national suicide prevention strategies, in high-, middle- and low-income countries. In recent years, a growing number of countries have expressed a need to support the actual implementation and evaluation of national suicide prevention strategies.
The increase in public health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflict, wars, and climate change, have increased the understanding of mental health risks and suicide prevention for people affected among governments and policy makers.
Currently, 41 countries are known to have a national suicide prevention strategy. However, the number of countries with a completed evaluation of the effectiveness of a national suicide prevention strategy or action plan is limited.
This lecture aims to contribute to increased insight into the current status of national suicide prevention strategies at global level; to provide insight into relevant frameworks and resources; to increase insight into indicators for process and outcome evaluation of national suicide prevention strategies.

Professor Ella Arensman is Professor of Public Mental Health with the School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health and Chief Scientist with the National Suicide Research Foundation, University College Cork, Ireland. She is Vice President of the European Alliance Against Depression and past President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. She is Visiting Professor with the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Brisbane, and an advisor for WHO.
Over more than 30 years, she has initiated numerous national and international interdisciplinary research consortia addressing real-time suicide/self-harm surveillance, intervention and prevention programmes for suicide, self-harm, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and excess mortality among people with mental health conditions. She has provided technical support for the establishment of national suicide prevention strategies and self-harm/suicide surveillance systems in many countries, and she serves on a wide range of national and international advisory boards.

Heleen Riper

Beyond state of the art of digital suicide prevention in research and routine care

Digital interventions for suicide- and self-harm prevention either as stand alone, adds-on or integrated interventions are coming of age in terms of clinical effectiveness and feasibility. Blended formats of suicide prevention and digital phenotyping are the relatively new phenomenon in this digital health landscape addressing both routine care requirements as well as the need for personal pathways. In her presentation Heleen Riper will touch upon these developments and questions their ability to improve and increase suicide prevention strategies. Riper will synthesize the current state of the art and beyond by virtue of several research projects she and her colleagues have been involved in over the last years as well as seminal work of others. She will make use of results of meta-analyses, quantitative and qualitative developmental- and blended routine care studies as well as underpinnings of conceptual frameworks that guide these developments. She will also use studies that blend digital phenotyping in CBT treatment for suicide prevention and which include mobile ecological momentary assessment tools and AI algorithms.
Evidence shows the potential of digital interventions for suicide prevention in terms of increased accessibility, feasibility, effectiveness, and implementation in routine clinical care, as well as the application of innovative research methods that underpin these results. However, the study of digital tools for suicide prevention is still in its infancy and actual implementation of digital mental health services in routine clinical care runs behind its’ actual potential.The question remains what the future may hold and whether the current road map for suicide prevention will leveraging digital mental health research and services to go beyond the current state of the art. This question and the results presented will lead the discussion during and after this presentation.

Heleen Riper is full professor of eMental-Health at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Department Clinical, Developmental and Neuro Psychology, section Clinical Psychology, The Netherlands) and works as well at the Amsterdam UMC, location Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Psychiatry (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).
She is honorary professor Telepsychiatry at the University of Southern Denmark (Faculty of Health Sciences, Odense) and a visiting professor at the University of Turku, Faculty of Medicine, Finland.

Over the past 20 years her research focus has been on the development, evaluation, and implementation of innovative digital mental health interventions for common mental disorders, including suicide prevention and treatment. The scope of her current research activities includes the evaluation of mobile health and combined online and face to face (‘blended’) treatments for these disorders. New methodological challenges include the development and evaluation of mobile ecological momentary assessments and interventions (EMA/EMI), patient-centered design and digital phenotyping. She has opted for an international perspective and collaboration throughout her academic career and acted as Principal Investigator of over 15 large scale European Union projects and reviewer for Research Funding Organizations globally. She was Principal Investigator/coordinator of the European Comparative Effectiveness study on Internet Interventions for Depression (E-COMPARED, She has published over 320 (international) peer reviewed papers and book chapters within the digital mental health domain (H index 54 as per 2022). In 2020 she has been ranked by the Web of Science™ in the top of 1% mostly cited researchers in her cross-sectional domain. In 2013 Heleen Riper (co) founded the Journal of Internet Interventions of which she was associated editor (published by Elsevier) and from 2014 - 2016 she was President of the International Society for Research on Internet Interventions (ISRII). Since 2018 she is director of the DIFFER EU-Consortium (Digital Framework For E-health Research) which provides a technological not-for-profit platform (Moodbuster 2.0) for mental-health researchers who aim to develop, evaluate and implement the digital interventions ( ). By June2021 she became chief section editor for the digital mental health journal of Frontiers of Psychiatry.

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