As we write this, it is Rugby World Cup time. New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England, Ireland, Wales, France, Argentina, Canada, USA, Russia, Romania, Italy, Namibia, Scotland, Japan, to name a few, are in New Zealand to play Rugby. We wish all the best to those of you who have a team playing in this competition. Rugby aside, a competition such as this reminds us about the power of joining together for a shared cause. However, observing the ease of sharing the cause when it’s about sport, in contrast to getting governments to commit to policies and initiatives around infant and family mental health, is somewhat painful. Collectively, as part of WAIMH, our shared commitment is to infant and family mental health; an arena of play that lasts generations longer than a game of rugby. As such, as an international group of affiliates with WAIMH, we greet you and remind you, that you are part of an international team.
The task of the Affiliates Council is to grow in our understanding and in our actions regarding the very practical ways that we can work as a team: to be there for each-other in terms of sharing our resources; our quests; and questions. As part of this emerging understanding during the past few months the Council with the WAIMH Board have been conducting a survey where each Affiliate via their president has been invited to provide details around: a) their training needs, and b) any resources they have as an affiliate that could be shared with other affiliates. The survey is still in process and when completed the shared findings will be made available.
Second, the area “infant mental health social policy” has arisen as an area of interest and concern among some affiliates. However, communicating our expertise from the field of infant mental health with policy development experts is uncharted territory for many of us. If this is an area of development that you would like to share with others across the affiliates, please let us know.
Third, we remind you of the pending 13th WAIMH Congress to be held in Capetown, South Africa, April 17-21, 2012. We understand the many challenges in finding ways to attend an international congress and encourage you to creatively seek possible avenues of support in your area. As many of the Affiliates have a form of legal status in their respective country, it is possible that there may be funding available for you, upon application. Approaching a resource person who supports charities and or not for profit organisations access funding, may result in a potentially helpful funding source.
Finally, as a council we want to extend our ongoing thanks to WAIMH head office and especially to Minna Sorsa who works tirelessly to keep us in connection with each other. Further, we are always keen to hear from any of you about your activities/projects as well as any ideas for new projects that you may have. Any news/requests can be shared through the mailing list that is actively managed by the central office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you all the very best over the next few months!
Foley, Maree, MPhil,
Affiliate Council Representative,
St-André, Martin, MDCM,
Chair of Affiliate Council,