Danuta Wasserman

Danuta Wasserman

Professor of Psychiatry, Expert in Suicide Prevention, former President of the EPA, Board Member of the EPA (Sweden)

Professor Danuta Wasserman, renowned expert in suicide prevention from Sweden, former President of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), Board Member of the EPA, will discuss about her areas of expertise in Congress Plenary Lecture and Symposiums.

Danuta Wasserman (DW) is a Univ. Prof. Dr. Med. in Psychiatry and Suicidology at Karolinska Institutet (KI), and the current Director and Founding Head of the National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP) at KI, and has held these positions since 1993. DW has been the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research, Methods Development and Training in Suicide Prevention since 1995 and assists in the development of suicide preventive research and suicide preventive programs on five continents. She is the former President of the (EPA) and the International Academy of Suicide Research (IASR). She has served on the Board of the EPA since 2008. Additionally DW served for several years as the Chair of the Suicidology Sections at the EPA and World Psychiatric Association (WPA). Presently, she is the chair of the Suicide Research Network at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP). Professor Wasserman is the Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK, Honorary Member of the Hungarian Psychiatric Association and Honorary President of Estonian-Swedish Mental Health Institutet.

DW has won numerous national and international honours and awards, including the Public Health Prize from the Nordic Council of Ministers of Health for the outstanding contribution to public mental health research and prevention, the Distinguished Research Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Research (AFSP), the Hans Rost Prize from the German Association for Suicide Prevention for the outstanding contribution to suicide research and prevention, the Stengel Research Award for outstanding contributions in the field of suicide research and prevention from the International Association for Suicide Prevention and Crisis Intervention (IASP), and from the British Medical Association (BMC) Board of Science Award for the Public Understanding of Science for her book Depression: the facts published by Oxford University Press. DW is the author of numerous scientific articles, reports and book chapters. She is the editor of the Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention: A Global Perspective, published by Oxford University Press in 2009. Her comprehensive book for busy clinicians and the broad audience interested in suicide prevention “Suicide an unnecessary death” published by Martin Dunitz (2001), has been translated into Chinese, Japanese and Russian and was updated in a new edition by the Oxford University Press (2016).

DW’s research activities comprise epidemiological, psychodynamic and genetic studies of suicidal behaviours. In 2009, she received the honour from the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, to organize the “Nobel Conference on the role of genetics in promoting suicide prevention and the mental health of the population.” Summary of the whole conference was published in a special issue of European Psychiatry, 2010;25(5):249-310. She was responsible for organizing several national and international congresses in psychiatry and suicidology.

DW is the Principle Investigator for two large-scale European randomized controlled trials (RCT), “Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE)” and “Working in Europe to Stop Truancy Among Youth (WE-STAY),” assessing the effectiveness of different intervention approaches and prevention strategies for adolescents. Both RCTs are funded with €3 million each by the European Union (EU). DW leads also a large RCT in Sweden involving 163 schools, with the aim to test the effectiveness of the mental health promoting, Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) program in comparison to a control group. She serves as a consultant to the mental health promotion and suicide preventive studies among youth to several universities in Europe, Latin America, and to Montana State University, Texas University and Columbia University in the United States. She is the Swedish site-coordinator of the NEVERMIND project (NEurobehavioral predictiVE and peRsonalized Modeling of depressIve symptoms duriNg primary somatic Disorders through ICT-enabled, self-management procedures), funded by the EU in the Horizon 2020 framework program.

Since 2000, she has served as the Principle Investigator for the Genetic Investigation of Suicide and Attempted Suicide Project (GISS project), funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Research Foundation in Sweden. Professor Wasserman is also the chair and a member of several working groups on mental health promotion and suicide prevention.


Alfa Hall

CHAIR Danuta Wasserman (Sweden) CO-CHAIR Virginija Adomaitienė (Lithuania) SPEAKER THEMES Eugenijus Laurinaitis (Lithuania): Tendency of Psychotherapy in the 21st Century. Danuta Wasserman (Sweden): Suicide Prevention from the Health Care and Public Health Perspectives. DESCRIPTION To be confirmed.

Plenary Lecture