Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute

Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute

Prof Dr Airi Värnik nominated as president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)

22 August, 2013

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) is dedicated to preventing suicidal behaviour,  alleviating its effects, and providing a forum for academics, mental health professionals, crisis workers, volunteers and suicide survivors. Founded by the late Professor Erwin Ringel and Dr. Norman Farberow in 1960, IASP now includes professionals and volunteers from more than fifty different countries. IASP is a Non-Governmental Organization in official relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) concerned with suicide prevention. In initiative of the IASP Suicide Prevention Day is globally celebrated every year on 10th September.
Airi Värnik has been a member of IASP and the official representative of Estonia for a long time. Airi Värnik´s contribution as a word-class suicidologist and social psychiatrist has been previously acknowledged in Estonia and internationally as well. IASP President is elected for 2 years and this time election results will be announced in 2013 at the end of September in XXVII IASP World Congress in Oslo.

Below you can find Airi Värnik´s personal profile for the election procedure:


To the IASP Executive Committee

Personal profile for the election procedure


Prof Airi Värnik, MD PhD graduated as clinical psychiatrist from Tartu University, Estonia, she had PhD on geriatric psychiatry at Leningrad Bechterev Institute and PhD on psychiatry & suicidology at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. She has been chief Forensic Psychiatrist of Estonia and is founding and current Director of the Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute (ERSI) established in 1993, which was the only western-minded institution in Eastern Europe, where suicidal behaviour was considered to be a severe psychiatric illness. Financed by Swedish Eastern Europe Committee she delivered courses of suicidology to psychiatrists and psychologists of the former USSR during the years 2002-2006. Member and national representative of IASP since 1996, full member of IASR since 2001, currently Professor on Mental Health at the Tallinn University (2007-), Visiting Professor at the University of Tartu (1998-), Visiting Professor on Suicide Research at the Karolinska Institute (2003-2010), board member and principal investigator in numerous international projects on suicide prevention and mental health promotion, mainly funded by European Commission and the WHO, board member and reviewer of scientific journals, associate editor of the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, member of Board of Archives of Suicide Research. Author of 75 high-level scientific publications on suicide and Mental Health (incl 60 articles indexed by ISI Web of Science).
In case I will have a honour to be nominated and elected as president of the IASP I would continue to follow the main principles of the organisation and also to set up priorities I consider to be important in suicide prevention like strengthen the quality of suicide diagnostics and registration, to promote establishing registers of suicide attempts, to respect the cultural peculiarities in promoting suicide prevention and to introduce the spiritual and holistic approach in mental health (body-mind).

Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute (ERSI) | Õie 39 Tallinn 11615 |