IASP Newsletters - October 2000
THE 8 TH EUROPEAN SYMPOSIUM ON SUICIDE AND SUICIDAL BEHAVIOUR SUICIDE RISK AND PROTECTIVE FACTORS IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM BLED, SLOVENIA, 6TH - 9TH SEPTEMBER 2000, ONJA GRAD
Bled and Slovenia were the venue of the 8th European Symposium on Suicide, where 276 participants from 28 countries worldwide were gathered for a four day scientific event.
The conference tried to provide a highly scientific exchange between the scientists, researchers and clinicians working in the broad field of suicidology in the form of plenary lectures, orally presented free papers, workshops and posters. There were 18 invited plenary speakers with some excellent contributions that covered three main scientific streams: psychobiology, prevention and diffferent kinds of treatment. The program included 92 oral sessions, 6 workshops and 36 posters. The active participation of the audience was outstanding, which provided the platform for discussion, professional exchange and personal growth. It is quite difficult if not impossible to convey the general message of the whole event, as there were so many topics discussed, but the main paradigm at the end seemed to be the joining of the two extremes. If the first few European symposia tried to explore and understand many different risk factors, epidemiology, biology and pschology of the suicidal process, the latest ones and this one in particular tried very hard to catch and explain the current trend, which is to combine and connect neurobiology with psychodinamical explanations of this human phenomenon. We can only wish that the next symposium in York, United Kingdom in 2002 will explore even further this combined and promising approach, which will hopefully result in reduction and better prevention of suicide.
Before and after the congress there were many other interesting activities going on. The Executive Board of IASP had a few very hard working meetings with a long and time consuming agenda being worked out. The Interantional Academy for Suicide Research had a business and scientific meeting before the official symposium.
There was also a whole day meeting of the Association of European Regions, which has been trying to prepare a network of different organizations dealing with suicide prevention in Europe. After the conference there was the meeting of the WHO/EURO MULTICENTRE STUDY ON PARASUICIDE, with more than 20 centres participating.
The ending of the symposium was very satisfying. I think we reached the highly required scientific standards, but also had a lot of oportunities to enjoy each others' company, had time for gathering and fruitful discussions, but also enjoy the nature and warm atmosphere produced by all the colleagues from all over.
Some of the conference spirit can be seen on the home page of the Bled congress.
See you all in York.
Visit the conference Web-site animus.mf.uni-lj.si/~8ess (The way we were)