Autumn has arrived in Finland with trees blazing with red and yellow leaves, cold wind blowing and hours of daylight diminishing. During this darker season we can still remember the days in sunny Leipzig and the excellent congress, as Ms Elvira Dieringer from Interplan kindly sent WAIMH Central Office some statistical information on the participants.
Altogether 1323 infant mental health specialists/ workers from 49 different countries participated in the successful Leipzig Congress. The winner in the number of delegates was Germany with 363 delegates, then USA (107), Australia (87), the Netherlands (65), Switzerland (63) and, in a dead heat, France and Finland (57). Japan, United Kingdom and Portugal crossed the line of 50 delegates, too. We were also happy to see new countries sending one infant mental health pioneer to represent their country in the congress, like Albania, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Iran, Moldova and United Arab Emirates.
WAIMH Central Office wants to thank
- Every participant of the Leipzig Congress for creating enthusiastic and wonderful atmosphere of the Congress
- Submitters of the Congress for patience with the new abstract submission system
- Leipzig Local Organizing Committee for fantastic work
- Interplan for good cooperation
- Local Organizing Committee members from Cape Town and Edinburgh for planning the future WAIMH congresses
- Affiliate Presidents for electing their representatives and starting the work with involving the Affiliates in the work of WAIMH
- WAIMH Board for effective Board Meeting
In the membership meeting in the Leipzig Congress the President of WAIMH Antoine Guedeney and the Central Office gave the members an overview of what had been accomplished between 2008 and 2010. With great help of the Michigan team, WAIMH Central Office has successfully completed the transfer of the office from Michigan State University to the University of Tampere. The transfer also meant developing the WAIMH web pages in cooperation with the Internet4associations.
This was a big task for the Office, as new congress organizing functions, like abstract submission pages, had to be developed almost at the same time as they were needed in organising the Congress. In addition to these the tasks of the Central Office has involved developing the new website, providing membership services, preparing and distributing the Signal, organising the electronic election of three new Board members, organising the Affiliate President meeting and Affiliate Council meeting, management of finances of the WAIMH, supporting the work of the Board of Directors. Just to give you an idea of the amount of interaction between the members and the Office staff, the members of the Office have responded to roughly 5000 email messages.
A lot of development work is still waiting for to be started and done. Now the affiliate pages are waiting for their turn. We have to keep in mind that the Administrative Assistant works only 60 % of her working hours for WAIMH, and the Executive Director Pälvi Kaukonen and Associate Executive Director Kaija Puura work for WAIMH over and above the daily work at the department of Child Psychiatry at the Tampere University Hospital. This fall Ms Minna Sorsa is on research leave for three months and we are happy to have Leena Kiuru to substitute her in WAIMH Central Office.
Currently the next world congress in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2012 is already under intensive preparation by the Cape Town Local Organizing Committee, Program Committee and the WAIMH Central Office.
You are now reading the Signal for the first time ever in a new layout, which was designed by Adena Huda in Michigan State University. This was a successful example of the WAIMH Office transfer tasks. Our thanks to Adena and Tina Houghton.
Finally, we want to remind you about RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP FOR 2011.Please go online to www.waimh.org.
Enjoy your autumn or spring – whichever season one is coming up on your side of our globe!
Pälvi Kaukonen, Kaija Puura, Minna Sorsa and Leena Kiuru