From March 30 to March 31 2017 more than 100 researches participated in a conference being held for the second time in Rome. Historically Rome is a perfect place for such a conference as it was common for Romans to discuss official issues in a forum. Marco Sarchiapone (University of Molise, Italy and an Associate Editor for BMC Psychiatry) was the main organizer and invited experts in suicide research from all over the world. Amongst others, important researchers including Danuta Wassermann (Sweden), Gil Zalsman (Israel), Zoltan Rihmer (Hungary), Maria Oquendo (USA) and John J. Mann (USA) presented and discussed new findings and their importance for patients suffering from suicidality. This conference was supported by the European Psychiatric Association and its Section “Suicidology and Suicide Prevention”.
The special atmosphere allowed a fruitful discussion of current research projects but also, and even more importantly, the clinical impact. As suicidality is one of the most complex phenomena in psychiatry a multilevel approach is needed for a better understanding and treatment. Biological perspectives, health care perspectives as well as public health issues were in the focus of the presentations. Young clinicians and researchers debated clinical cases in which one point became very clear: despite the guidelines and knowledge we currently have, the availability of local care and treatment options varies remarkably and sometimes makes it difficult for patients to receive the best care. Therefore suicide researchers and health care providers need to constantly raise awareness with political decision makers as this is crucial for supporting research activities and suicide prevention programs.
This meeting was an exciting opportunity to meet senior suicide researches and discuss their work. Young researchers and trainees got the possibility to present results of their research within poster sessions. The next Roman Forum on Suicide will take place in 2018!