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This year has already been gathering momentum. It’s always a pleasure to see how our community continues to grow and be strengthened by new members and initiatives.
I would like to encourage you to register for our 32nd World Congress in Piran, Slovenia from 19-23 September 2023. We are extremely honoured that the Congress will be held under the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Slovenia Dr Nataša Pirc Musar. We have been delighted by the number of abstract submissions that we have received. Please keep your eyes peeled for when registration opens full details will be available on our social media pages and please check our website for regular updates. The website also provides an overview of accommodation as well as our networking and social well-being programmes at the congress.
The Partnerships for Life Programme has truly become one of the centrepieces of our work at IASP. The regional coordinators and leadership teams have done a phenomenal job. The central office has also welcomed two new research officers to support the programme efforts. This year across the regions, in multiple languages, various exciting workshops and webinars are being held to foster a dialogue on national suicide prevention strategies. The Partnerships for Life Programme will also be hosting a pre-conference workshop at the World Congress in Piran.
In 2021, the LGBTQA+ Special Interest Group (SIG) was founded. It currently includes 10 members from across the globe and warmly invites others to join who are interested in contributing to improving the lives of LGBTQA+ people worldwide. Their next meeting will be held in May – contact the central office if you would like more details.
On 28 February, the Primary Care SIG hosted a fascinating panel discussion with an extensive number of experts on the role that primary care and other community-based health services can play in suicide prevention. Among other important points, they highlighted the necessity to include lived experience and community voices in the healthcare narrative.
On the 1st March, we marked self-injury awareness day or self-harm awareness day. Although we need to focus on self-harm every day, it is important to acknowledge these days and harness them to spread awareness and encourage open dialogue. On this day of global importance, IASP called for greater understanding and awareness around self-harm and self-injury to enable individuals to seek help free from stigma.
As all of our lives seemingly get busier and busier, it’s essential to reflect on why we work in this area and consider the bigger picture. It’s also important that we take a moment to appreciate opportunities like the Congress and World Suicide Prevention Day where we can come together and take advantage of opportunities for mutual exchange and learning; to support each other and maximise our collective action.