First, let me introduce myself: I’m a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Director of Community-based Infant Mental Health Unit, and also the current President of the l WAIMH Israel Affiliate. It is a great honor and challenge to take the editorship of our Association Newsletter, The Signal, after Paul Barrows has been doing such a wonderful job the last 6 years or so…
While wondering about the potential use of the Signal in the context of the myriad of journals and books that are published every month, I suggest to use it as a forum of informal communication among the Affiliates of our Association. Indeed, very often, interesting clinical approaches and interventions, as well as social policies dilemmas, are not publishable in official journals, but still are very important for clinicians to know about. In addition, the value of transcultural professional exchange is inherent to the WAIMH existence.
Still, one of the real technical problems of editing such a Newsletter is the need to “chase” for papers under time pressure (needless to remind that we are all very busy folks!). I therefore propose the following format: Every President of Affiliate would take his/her turn at collecting two papers of 6000 words each, that describe country/culture-specific approaches, programs, dilemmas that reflect the “colors” of infant mental health in his/her country. In addition, as president of the Affiliate, he/she would describe the activities of their Affiliate.
The first Affiliate presidents, who have agreed to take part in this plan, are Campbell Paul from Australia, and Marguerite Dunitz-Sheer from Austria. Each of them has contributed a paper about tube-fed infants and their parents. In my clinical experience, tube-fed infants are more and more commonly seen, as the number of extremely small premature babies is steadily increasing, and there is an urgent need to make the pediatricians aware of the psychological impact of the tube on the infant’s body self development as well as on the parents’ perception of their baby and their contingent parenting behaviors, if one wants to prevent later psychopathology.
Good luck to all of us!
Keren, Miri, M.D.