Affiliates Corner. Infant Mental Health Symposium in Ankara

Infant Mental Health Symposium organized by Ankara University and Infant Mental Health Association of Turkey (IMHAT) was held in Ankara on the 28 February-2 March 2011, for the second time dedicated to the memory of Prof Dr. Mualla Ozturk founder of the Child Psychiatry Department in Ankara University.

Baby – photo from the lullaby documentary by Tülin Sertöz.

In the 24th symposium the day care children from Ankara University greeted participants with narcissus flowers. Opening Ceremony started with the quotations from the documentary “Lullabies” by Tulin Sertoz, famous Turkish documentarist from Turkish Radio and Television Corporation. “For those who’ve once been a baby and cried…” “The intimate relationship between the mother and the baby”….

Following the lullabies, Prof. Dr. Ayla Aysev, Chair of the Ankara University School of Medicine Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Prof. Dr. Ilker Okten, Dean of the Ankara University School of Medicine and Prof. Dr. Cemal Talug, Rector of the Ankara University mentioned about the importance of Infant Mental Health in Turkey.

This year the symposium program was organized by Prof. Dr. Nese Erol founder and the president of Turkish Association for Infant Mental Health and Prof. of the Ankara University.

Prof Dr. Zeynep Biringen gave a two day pre-symposium training on “Emotional Availability”on the 26-27 February as well as a general presentation in the symposium on the topic of “Emotional Availability (EA):  Conceptualization and research on its assessment and intervention for caregiver-child relationships.”

Prof. Dr. Antoine Guedeney gave a presentation on the topic of “Developmental Psychopathology Comes of Ages: The (still) mysterious unfolding of development and psychopathology”.

Turkish colleagues from different professions such as child psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, developmental psychologists, pediatricians, social workers, nurses, child developmentalists, speech and language pathologists, psychological counselors and lawyers from different provinces of Turkey participated to the symposium and information in a lot of topics was shared. Documentary films on lullabies were presented.

About Lullaby Fest

At the end of her documentary “Ninni” (Lullaby), Tülin Sertöz made a lovely suggestion about a dream she had conjured. Here is her proposal enthusiastically supported and flamed by Neşe Erol:

Old woman and a baby – photo from the lullaby documentary by Tülin Sertöz.

“I am dreaming of a Lullaby Festival. We can send invitations to several countries asking them to make their own “Lullaby” documentaries so that each country can come up the next year with her own version of the “Ninni”. Thereon, we can make an International Lullaby Fest where a documentary, the film’s director, and possibly a mother and her baby can show up. What a lovely cultural sharing and what a colorful festivity it would have been…”

“This idea is not as far fetched as it seems. An annoouncement can be sent to Televison Corporations of different countries and this can be made by the support and leadership of UNICEF. Documentarists from different countries can make documentaries about lullabies and about mother-baby relationships in their own culture. They can film examples of different life styles from different levels of income specific to their country. They can document ways of cradling babies to sleep, authentic cribs, baby carrying styles, traditions and superstitious beliefs about protecting babies against evil eye, archaic ways of baby care especially about methods before modern diapers came out. These documentaries can also be a way of telling about how cultures lose their identity in the process of modernization.”

Tülin Sertöz has been invited by the President of WAIMH Prof. Dr. Antoine Guedeney to the Infant Mental Health Congress which will held in Cape Town in April 2012. She will be there with a full screening of her “Lullaby”film.



Affiliates Corner. Infant Mental Health Symposium in Ankara


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