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IASP Executive Committee

Ella Arensman

Professor Ella Arensman

Dr Ella Arensman is Director of Research with the National Suicide Research Foundation and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Ireland, positions which she took up in 2003. Prior to this, she worked most of the time at Leiden University and Vrije University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has been involved in research into suicide and deliberate self harm over the last 20 years, with a particular emphasis on risk and protective factors associated with suicide and deliberate self harm, cross-cultural differences, and efficacy of intervention and prevention programmes addressing suicidal behaviour. Since the early nineties she has been involved in various international collaborative studies including the WHO/Euro Multicentre study on Suicidal Behaviour, Child and Adolescent Self Harm (CASE), the European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD) and Optimised Suicide Prevention programmes and their Implementation in Europe (OSPI-Europe). She is also co-ordinator of the Network for International Collaboration on Evidence in Suicide Prevention (NICE-SP).

Dr Arensman has published in scientific peer reviewed journals and contributed to international textbooks on suicidal behaviour. She also acts as a reviewer for many international scientific journals. She is a member of various national and international advisory boards, and she was a member of the writing group that prepared the National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention, Reach Out (2005-2014) in Ireland.

Dr Arensman is strongly committed to the further development of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), in particular to promote wider implementation of evidence based intervention and prevention programmes to reduce suicidal behaviour, to enhance international collaboration in suicide research and prevention enabling exchange of knowledge and expertise, and to bridge the gap between research groups and policy makers, nationally and internationally.


Murad Khan

Dr. Murad Khan
1st Vice President

Murad Khan is Professor & Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. He completed his medical training from University of Karachi and higher psychiatric training in General Adult and Old Age Psychiatry at Maudsley and Kings College Hospital, London, UK. He has over 25 years of experience in teaching, research and clinical psychiatry. He is the Principal investigator of Karachi Suicide Study, a collaborative study with the Institute of Psychiatry, London. He is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, International Academy of Suicide Research (IASR), Chair of Council of National Representatives and Board Member of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). He has published extensively on suicide and attempted suicide in Pakistan and is on the editorial board of a number of national and international journals. His research interests include mental health of women and elderly, psychosomatic medicine and bioethics.


Steve Platt

Professor Steve Platt
2nd Vice President

Stephen Platt is Professor Emeritus (Health Policy Research) at the University of Edinburgh. For 35 years he has pursued a research interest in mental health and suicidal behaviour, co-authoring publications on social, epidemiological and cultural aspects of suicide and self-harm. He co-edited the International Handbook of Suicide Prevention: Research, Policy & Practice (published in 2011). He has been particularly concerned with the influence of labour market conditions (and related inequalities) on the incidence of suicide and deliberate self-harm. He has extensive experience of management and leadership roles in relation to suicide prevention research, acting as principal investigator of several large-scale projects and as international co-ordinator of the WHO Multicentre Study on Parasuicide (1986-1991). He was co-organiser of the 12th European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour, held in 2008 in Glasgow, UK. He has provided expert advice on suicide prevention to the World Health Organization (1980s, 1990s) and (more recently) the Scottish Government, serving on several committees and contributing to the development of Choose Life, a National Strategy and Action Plan to Prevent Suicide in Scotland (2001-02). In 2004-06 he led a consortium of researchers who undertook a formative evaluation of the first phase of the strategy. He is a member of the International Academy for Suicide Research and has served on the Scientific Review Board for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He is involved in policy development and analysis relating to public mental health and mental health improvement, and has successfully collaborated with policy planners and practitioners working in these areas. He has published on conceptual and methodological aspects of positive mental health and well-being and is co-developer of the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS). He is a trustee of UK Samaritans.


Dr Vladimir Carli

Dr Vladimir Carli
3rd Vice President

Dr. Vladimir Carli, MD, PhD, is Senior Lecturer in Prevention of Suicide and Mental Ill-Health at the National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention (NASP), at Karolinska Institutet (KI). He is project leader of the project Suicide Prevention through Internet and Media-based Suicide Prevention (SUPREME), funded by the European Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC). He is also Assistant Project Leader of the 7th Framework Programme EU funded projects Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) and Working in Europe to Stop Truancy Among Youth (WE-STAY). VC actively participated in the ideation and the design of these research projects, in the drafting of the successful grant applications, in the scientific coordination and financial management of the projects.

He is Co-Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research, Training and Methods Development in Suicide Prevention. He collaborated with the WHO in the development of the section on Suicide of the mhGAP intervention guide, and is co-chair the workgroup on “Risk Factors and Evidence Based Interventions” that will produce the corresponding section of the WHO World Report on Suicide. VC is coauthor of more than 50 scientific publications. He also regularly teaches about suicide prevention to undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students and supervises PhD students.

Dr. Carli is an also Executive Board member of the Suicidology Section of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), Secretary General of the Network on Suicide Prevention of the European College of Neuropsycho-pharmacology (ECNP) and the Section of Sucidology and Suicide Prevention of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA).

Vladimir is committed to participate actively in all IASP activities and share his knowledge and experience to strengthen the Association's worldwide role in Suicide Prevention. His current main areas of interest are in the field of e-delivery of suicide preventive interventions, development and evaluation of interventions for young people, development of collaborative online tools for researchers in suicidology, development of statistical methods for the evaluation of suicide risk.


Dr Morton Silverman

Dr Mort M Silverman

Morton M. Silverman, M.D., currently is the Senior Science Advisor to the National Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). From 10/02 until 1/03 he served as the first Director of the SPRC. The SPRC was established under a cooperative agreement between the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Since 7/04 he has been the Senior Medical Advisor to The Jed Foundation (NYC). He currently is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine.

Dr. Silverman served as the first Chief of the Center for Prevention Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (1983-1985), and then served as the first Associate Administrator for Prevention in the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (1985-1987). From 1987-2002, he was an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Silverman served as the Senior Scientific Editor and Writer for the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action (2001). From 2011-2012 he was a member of the Task Force to revise the National Strategy. He has been a consultant to the DHHS Federal Steering Group to implement the U.S. National Strategy. From 1996-2009 he was the Editor-in-Chief of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, the scientific journal of the American Association of Suicidology. From 2002-2013 he was a member (elected) of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's (AFSP) Scientific Council. From 2004-2011 he served as a Senior Education Consultant to the Denver VA VISN 19 MIRECC, focusing on suicide prevention.

Dr. Silverman is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is the co-author or author of over 45 peer-reviewed publications, and over 30 book and monograph chapters on the topics of college student mental health, disease prevention, health promotion, alcohol and other drug abuse, suicide, and standards of care. He is the co-editor or co-author of six books on topics related to the field of suicidology, including The Comprehensive Textbook of Suicidology (2000), and Adolescent Suicide: Assessment and Intervention (2006). He is the 2005 recipient of the Louis I. Dublin Award from the American Association of Suicidology, for "outstanding service and contributions to the field of suicide prevention as evidenced by leadership, devotion and creativity."

He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania (1969) and received his M.D. degree from Northwestern University (1974). In 1978 he completed his residency training in Psychiatry at the University of Chicago.


Professor Jane Pirkis

Professor Jane Pirkis
General Secretary

Jane Pirkis is the Director of the Centre for Mental Health in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. She has an international reputation in the area of suicide prevention and mental health program evaluation, and currently holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship which is funding a program of work on suicide prevention. Her research falls into four main areas:

  1. studies on the epidemiology of suicide;
  2. studies on media reporting of suicide and mental illness;
  3. evaluations of mental health and suicide prevention programs and policies; and
  4. trials of specific interventions for at-risk individuals.

Her work has been extremely influential in the policy arena. Jane's research achievements in mental health and suicide prevention have been recognised by a number of awards (e.g., the 2001 Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Suicide Prevention Australia’s 2010 Lifetime Research Award).