On 2 September 2022, we held an event at Cukrarna to inform the public about the activities on the occasion of the World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September and to officially announce that the University of Primorska will host the 32nd World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) in September 2023 - a key event in the field of suicide prevention. It's an honour and a testament to the excellent work of our researchers in the field of suicide prevention who have been working at the University of Primorska since 2011 within the Slovene Centre for Suicide Research at the Andrej Marušič Institute.
The first part of the programme was moderated by Dr. Vita Poštuvan, who introduced Dr. Klavdija Kutnar, Rector of UP. She welcomed the participants and emphasised that such large international events are proof of the University's excellent involvement in the international environment. Dr. Rory O'Connor, President of IASP, congratulated the organisers. Dr. Diego De Leo, Head of the Slovene Centre for Suicide Research and world renowned suicidologist, stressed the importance of Slovenia hosting as suicide is a key public health problem at a national level. The floor was given to Dr. Mojca Gobec, Head of the Disease and Injury Prevention Sector at the Directorate for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia. The announcement of the Congress was concluded by Ms. Wendy Orchard, Director of IASP, who stressed the importance of studying and preventing suicide.
Lastly, the panel showcased the activities that have helped to improve mental health in the past year and that will support it in the coming years. The 10 September event is now in its twentieth year with the "Creating Hope through Action" campaign. Key activities are the lighting of candles on World Mental Health Day and the Cycle the World campaign, which runs from 10 September to 10 October. These activities were presented by Dr. Vita Poštuvan alongside other activities of the Slovene Centre for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Saška Roškar (NIJZ) presented the activities and data of the National Institute, and Anamarija Zavasnik (representative of the Slovenian Association for Suicide Prevention / Posvet Psychological Counselling Centre) presented the activities for people in need. More information on the activities is available in the press release (in Slovene).
The event was further enriched with a dance interpretation of hardship and mental health by dancer Lia Ujčič, who in a three-part performance took the audience through a depiction of physical distress, through the awareness of emotional adversity and to the final liberation.
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