Professor Rory O’Connor elected president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention

Professor Rory O’Connor has been announced as the new President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) – the first person in the UK to hold this position for almost 50 years.

Professor Rory OConnor

An expert in suicide prevention research, who is also currently working on studies into the mental health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK, Professor O’Connor takes up this position on 1st January 2021. 

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), the leading suicide prevention organisation globally, is dedicated to preventing suicide and suicidal behaviour, alleviating its effects, and providing a forum for academics, mental health professionals, crisis workers, volunteers and suicide survivors.

Professor O’Connor, from the University’s College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, said: “I am delighted to have been elected as the next President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), the first holder of this position from the UK in almost 50 years.

“I am keen to work with the Board and our members to extend IASP’s reach globally particularly in low- and middle-income countries.  I am also passionate about supporting people with lived experience and those early in their career to get involved in suicide prevention. 

“I will also continue IASP’s support of the Presidential taskforce to monitor and support suicide prevention efforts globally in light of COVID-19 as we all work together to prevent suicide.”

Professor O'Connor joined the University of Glasgow in July 2013 where he is Professor of Health Psychology in the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Director of the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory and head of the Mental Health and Wellbeing group there. 

He was previously a Vice President of IASP, is a Past President of the International Academy for Suicide Research and a member of the American Association of Suicidology.  He is also Co-Chair of the Academic Advisory Group to the Scottish Government's National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group.

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First published: 24 November 2020