The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) is dedicated to:

Founded by the late Professor Erwin Ringel and Dr. Norman Farberow in 1960, IASP now includes professionals and volunteers from 77 countries. IASP is a Non-Governmental Organization concerned with suicide prevention.

If you are feeling suicidal or know of someone who needs help, browse Help to find a crisis center anywhere in the world.

Sign up for updates on World Suicide Prevention Day and the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

IASP COVID-19 Resource Centre

IASP COVID-19 Resource Centre

IASP has created a COVID-19 Resource Centre which provides information for those seeking resources related to the pandemic and suicidal behaviour, suicidal ideation and self-harm.

Click here to visit the COVID-19 Resource Centre.

IASP Special Working Group (SWG) on the Decriminalisation of Suicide


Suicide remains illegal in at least 25 countries worldwide and attempted suicide is punishable under Sharia law in a further 10 countries1. The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Report (WHO, 2014) found no empirical evidence that decriminalising suicidal behaviours leads to an increase in suicide rates, and urges countries to "review their legal provisions in relation to suicide to ensure they do not deter people from seeking help" (p. 51). Decriminalisation is a stepping stone in the prevention of suicide and requires the accompaniment of multilevel prevention efforts.

IASP supports the decriminalisation of suicide and suicidal behaviour so as not to penalise those who attempt suicide or the families who lose someone through suicide. A fundamental part of IASP's global policy and advocacy work aims to strengthen the forum of expertise who can provide a range of support in the development of global policies and national strategies.

Through the IASP Special Working Group (SWG) on the Decriminalisation of Suicide, IASP aims to identify, and support the implementation of, effective approaches to advocating for the decriminalisation of suicidal behaviour (suicide and attempted suicide) to relevant international and national authorities (e.g., WHO, governments, professional associations, NGOs etc.)

IASP's recent policy position on the decriminalisation of suicide will serve advocates for decriminalisation, policy makers, other international organisations, NGOs and also government. The document outlines the current status of attempted suicide, presents the arguments for and against decriminalisation, discusses the challenges of decriminalisation and outlines the roles of stakeholders in decriminalising suicidal behaviour. Read the full policy position and supporting background document.

Visit the IASP Special Working Group (SWG) on the Decriminalisation of Suicide Web page.

Briefing Statements

Click here to read IASP briefing statements on issues pertaing to suicide and suicide prevention.

Statement from the Executive Committee of the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

On 11 March 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 virus a global pandemic. To help reduce the spread of the disease, governments have adopted a variety of community-wide measures, including social distancing and household lockdowns, quarantine of infected and exposed individuals, restrictions on international and domestic travel, closure of schools and ‘non-essential’ workplaces, and cancellation of all large-scale public events. At present there is a lack of robust evidence about the impact of the pandemic and of these governmental responses to the pandemic on suicidal behaviour. However, evidence relating to previous public health emergencies, while limited, gives reason for concern. Deaths by suicide increased in the USA during the 1918–19 influenza pandemic (Wasserman 1992), and studies on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) found an increase of suicide among the elderly (Cheung et al, 2008; Yip et al, 2010, Chan et al, 2006), associated with social disengagement, mental stress, anxiety, and fears of being a burden on the family. Recent informed commentaries suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to an increase in suicidal behaviour due to the development or exacerbation of known risk factors for self-harm such as mental ill-health, social isolation, entrapment, grieving, loneliness, hopelessness, unresolved anger, stigma, unemployment, financial strain, domestic violence, and excessive alcohol consumption (Holmes et al, 2020; Gunnell et al, 2020).

The International Association for Suicide Prevention, in collaboration with national and international organisations, intends to play a leading role in responding to global suicide-related risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and other future public health emergencies. The IASP urgently needs your help to develop and implement a strategic plan to reduce COVID-19-related suicidal behaviour. We call upon you to work in collaboration with the IASP, sharing research and other evidence from your country about the impact of the pandemic on suicidal behaviour so that we can collectively integrate sources of key information and insights from your membership, from external stakeholders and, wherever possible, from governments.

IASP is building a central pool of resources (expertise, research, guidelines for good practice) which will be available to support your organisation in its important work to mitigate the potentially damaging impact of the pandemic on population mental health and suicidal behaviour. If you need assistance or wish to collaborate with us, please contact us directly at admin@iasp.info. Together we can deliver our suicide prevention work more effectively both during the pandemic and during its aftermath.

IASP Executive Committee
14 May 2020

Download the statement with references here.

International Consortium Meets for Improving Mental Health in Small and Medium Enterprises

IASP is delighted to be an international partner in an EU-funded large-scale research project called MINDUP (Mental Health Promotion and Intervention in Occupational Settings.) Learn more about this MINDUP project, consortium partners and related research at: www.mindupproject.eu or follow MINDUP on Twitter: @eu_mindup.

Click here to download the Project press release announcement.

Upcoming IASP Events

10 September, 2020
World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day

22 – 24 November, 2020
9th IASP Asia Pacific Conference

9th IASP Asia Pacific Conference

21 - 24 September, 2021
31st IASP World Congress
Gold Coast, Australia

IASP World Congress 2021

View Non-IASP Upcoming Events.


Click here to download the May 2020 News Bulletin

2020 May News Bulletin

IASP President, Professor Murad Khan, writes about the unprecedented challenge the international community is experiencing and how the virus continues to inflict devastation on our global population by claiming the lives of thousands each day. He encourages you regions and countries to continue to undertake mental health surveillance throughout this crisis and beyond. He notes, "This is also a time for each one of us to reflect, but particularly those in positions of power and wealth." He extends his gratitude to the incredible frontline workers who are providing life-saving clinical care for those infected by the virus. These professionals are not only risking their lives, but they are also carrying the huge emotional burden related to difficult ethical decisions based on resource allocation and prioritization of care.

Bronwen Edwards, Co-Chair of the IASP Special Interest Group (SIG) on Lived Experience, writes about finding connections during times of adversity.

Reports on IASP COVID-19 briefing statements, from the IASP Executive Committee, that have aimed to focus on supportive messages prioritising self-care and the protection of everyone's physical and mental wellbeing.

Linnette Rodríguez-Figueroa, National Representative from Puerto Rico discusses basic concepts to understanding COVID-19 statistics as they relate to Puerto Rico.

Learn about MINDUP (Mental Health Promotion and Intervention in Occupational Settings) a new consortium, consisting of 17 high-ranked international partners, discussed the approaching work packages, milestones and desired impact of MINDUP in order to develop, implement and evaluate various (online)interventions and training materials.

Professor Nav Kapur reports on the recently-held IASP Australian Research Workshop on Suicide and Self-harm in Brisbane in February, See testimonials from participants.

Nicole Hill and Jo Robinson offer an update on the IASP SIG Suicide Clusters and Contagion, reporting on new research shows that exposure to suicide is associated with a threefold increase in both suicide and suicide attempt, and exposure to suicide attempt is associated with a 3.5 fold increase in later suicide attempts.

National Representative from Australia, Professor Nicholas Procter, reports that the Australian government, led by the National Mental Health Commission, has developed a national conversation build around the theme #InThisTogether. Find online forums such as Beyond Blue, ReachOut, and SANE.

Olivia Kirtley offers a Report from Early Career Group (ECG), detailing activities at the IASP World Congress in Derry-Londonderry. Read about survey of early career researchers' experiences of their own wellbeing, in the context of conducting suicide and self-harm research.

National Representative from Israel, Professor Anat Brunstein Klomek, discusses suicide prevention using Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) techniques during the COVID- 19 outbreak.

Jetha Devapura, shares simple steps on how to connect and care for yourself
and others, especially during these difficult times. Learn about the Let’sTALK program.

Discover WellbeingAndCoping, a website offering free calming and practical advice for anyone emotionally struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, developed by 4 Mental Health and NHS England.

Shares iFight Depression, an online depression self-management programme is temporarily accessible without guidance as many people affected by the corona virus must stay at home and general practitioners may reach their capacity limits

Read about the 2021 IASP World Congress Launch. Learn about upcoming IASP events, including the IASP Asia Pacific Conference and 2021 31st IASP World Congress.


Early Career Group Newsletter December 2017

Download the inaugural edition of Engage -the Early Career Group newsletter, that introduces this new and growing IASP group. Read to find information on upcoming conferences or to discover features and snapshot pieces from early career persons working in the area of suicidology.


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