Gold Coast to host suicide prevention congress

More than 800 mental health professionals, academics and suicide survivors will attend the event.

The Gold Coast has been selected to host the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) World Congress in 2021.

The event will bring together around 800 mental health professionals, academics, crisis workers, teachers and suicide survivors from around the world, to examine advances in suicide prevention, research and support.

Taking place at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on 21 – 24 September 2021, it is the first time the group has convened on the Gold Coast and the first time since 1997 the event has been held in Australia.

“Securing this event is a testament to the capabilities of the city to deliver world-class, large-scale business events in the heart of Australia’s playground,” said Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista.

“It’s encouraging to see more associations and multi-disciplinary medical and health conferences, choosing to align with the Gold Coast and its burgeoning reputation as Australia’s progressive hub for medicine, health and innovation.”

IASP is dedicated to preventing suicidal behaviour and alleviating its effect through a network of professionals and volunteers from over 80 countries.

Announcing the decision to meet on the Gold Coast, Professor Jane Pirkis, a psychologist, epidemiologist and one of IASP’s vice presidents, said the congress is an important forum.

“This congress will discuss evidence-based research, best practice and suicide prevention measures, bringing together networks to share knowledge and skills,” she said.

Pirkis said the appeal of the Gold Coast to international delegates was a major drawcard in the decision.

“The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre is the perfect fit for our event, and the compact nature of the city means our delegates can experience so much of the Australian lifestyle, within walking distance of the venue,” she said.

“As a host city, the Gold Coast bid offered an intimate and holistic approach to accommodating our congress, which is highly valued by our organisation.”

The bid was a collaborative effort, with strong local support from Griffith University, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Tourism and Events Queensland, Destination Gold Coast and Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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