Recently a new council has been established within WAIMH: the WAIMH Affiliates Council. This Council consists of each WAIMH Affiliate president. In Leipzig, the newly elected Chair of the Affiliates Council is Martin St-André (Quebec) and the newly elected Affiliate Council Representative is Maree Foley (New Zealand).
The purpose of the WAIMH Affiliates Council is to:
Advise and guide the Executive Committee regarding the activities, needs, and opportunities of the regions served by WAIMH and its many affiliate, infant mental health associations. It shall attend to matters of scientific information exchange, education, and training with respect to clinical infant mental health throughout the world and it may suggest initiatives with respect to workshops, regional meetings, and other activities to be facilitated by WAIMH (WAIMH Inc ByLaws, Article IX).
The initial task of the council will be to facilitate expertise sharing across WAIMH Affiliate: getting to know more about what we share in terms of strengths and concerns as well as our unique cultural differences. We will invite each affiliate president to share information about key aspects of the life of their affiliate: training activities, partnerships, advocacy, organizational structure, membership profile and development, etc. This information will then be made available to the Council and WAIMH Board to collate, distribute and guide future decision making. The process should lead to an online survey where each Affiliate will be invited to participate.
While the immediate focus is to gather the Affiliates into a shared working relationship, we are aware that not every WAIMH member has ready access to an Affiliate. So, if your region is in the early stages of developing into an Affiliate, or if you are a WAIMH member who resides in an area where there is no easily accessible Affiliate, we welcome your participation. If you would like to participate, you can email the WAIMH office in the first instance. From there we will work alongside you to find the optimal way to include your contribution.
From here on in, the Signal will provide a venue for the Council to keep you updated with progress. In addition to the articles on affiliates that have regularly enriched the Signal over the years, we hope that once the initial structures are in place, this space will become a regular site to provide an even richer synergy among affiliates. Furthermore, we hope that the creation of this council will catalyze our common thinking regarding the creation of new WAIMH Affiliates in areas of the world currently underserved in terms of infant mental health.
Martin St-André, MDCM,
Chair of Affiliate Council
Maree Foley, MPhil (Dist),
Affiliate Council Representative,
Canada, New Zealand