|Dear Friends and Colleagues,
IASP’s 26th World Congress will be held in Beijing from September 13th to 17th, 2011. This is the second time a world congress on suicide prevention will be been held in Asia—the first was in India in 2001—highlighting the important role of the Asia-Pacific in the global effort to reduce the toll of suicide. The relatively high rate of suicide in many countries in the region has stimulated researchers, clinicians and policy makers to develop and assess a range of innovative methods for addressing the problem of suicide. These efforts have drawn attention to the crucial role of culture in the understanding and prevention of suicide, so cultural perspectives has been selected as the central organizing theme for the congress.
The Congress will bring together the dynamic forces of rapidly transforming Asia with the rich experience of experts from other parts of the world where there is a much longer history of working in the field of suicidology. Asian countries face many of the same challenges in suicide research and suicide prevention experienced by other parts of the world. But the limited health and mental health resources, large rural populations, rapid economic changes and ongoing political reforms in many Asian counties makes it difficult to apply the standard methods of addressing these challenges developed in Western countries over the last several decades. Much of what is happening in China and other parts of the Asia-Pacific is throwing new light on old problems, so the Congress will be a platform for exchanging ideas, renewing old friendships and, most importantly, for initiating new collaborative ventures.
The congress will include an exciting selection of plenary sessions by established and up-and-coming experts. Symposia, Workshops, Debates and Master’s Classes will cover the full range of topics of interest to those working towards the global goal of preventing suicide and of improving our methods for dealing with the consequences of suicidal behaviour. A variety of social activities will be arranged for first visitors and old friends who wish to explore the rapidly transforming culture of China’s capital or make side visits to other parts of China.
Welcome to Beijing in September 2011!
Yueqin Huang, MD, MPH,PhD