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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 11:10 GMT
Meeting of anti-suicide experts
Depressed man
Depression can lead some people to commit suicide
World experts on suicide prevention are to take part in a major conference in Scotland.

The 12th European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour is to be held in Glasgow this summer.

The event, organised jointly by the universities of Edinburgh and Stirling, will bring together 400 leading researchers, clinicians and planners.

Worldwide, someone takes their own life every 40 seconds, while in Scotland about two people a day commit suicide.

Conference organisers hope that sharing knowledge and experience of suicide prevention will help Scotland meet its target of cutting the number of deaths by 20% by 2013.

The conference aims to bring together the leading authorities on suicide prevention from across the globe
Professor Stephen Platt
Edinburgh University

The target was introduced as part of the Choose Life strategy brought in by the previous Scottish Executive in 2002.

Dr Rory O'Connor is the symposium's co-president as well as being the head of the suicidal behaviour research group at Stirling University.

He said: "It is a great coup for Scotland to win the bid to host the bi-annual 12th European Symposium on suicide and suicidal behaviour.

"This is the most prestigious suicide prevention conference in Europe, and it aims to improve our understanding and prevention of suicide and self-harm.

"It highlights that Scotland is leading the way in all areas of suicide prevention and research."

Leading authorities

Professor Stephen Platt, the director of the research unit in health, behaviour and change at the University of Edinburgh, is also co-president of the symposium.

He explained: "The conference aims to bring together the leading authorities on suicide prevention from across the globe.

"As suicide prevention is everyone's business, the conference will appeal to anyone with an interest in this field.

"It also provides an excellent opportunity to showcase the world-class work being conducted in Scotland, including Choose Life, the national suicide prevention strategy."

The conference is being organised by the universities of Edinburgh and Stirling together with the Suicide Information Research and Evidence Network (Siren) and is supported by the Scottish Government and NHS Health Scotland.

It will take place from 27 to 30 August.

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