As promised in my previous Presidential Address, I wish to inform all our members about what the Board has done since our last conference in Cape Town, but not before I share with you the emotion I felt while reading Karlen’s funny and beautiful description of Dan Stern’s way of celebrating life and ideas. Here, in Israel, Dan’s ideas have been so deeply infused into our work that we felt compelled to organize a memorial conference day next month with his wife, Nadia.
Very much in light of what is described in this issue of Perspectives, under the title of «Diversity-Informed Infant Mental Health Tenets: Together in the Struggle for Social Justice,» the present Board, together with our past presidents, Tuula Tamminen and Bob Emde, and our past Executive Director, Hiram Fitzgerald, we have been in the process of writing a first draft of a Declaration of Infant’s Rights. You will soon receive this draft to reflect on and send any comment/suggestion you may have to the WAIMH Central Office. We invite your feedback before we finalize the proposal and present it at our next conference in Edinburgh, 15-18 June, 2014.
A second task in which we are very much involved is the revision of the DC 0-3R, as a joint effort of the WAIMH and ZERO TO THREE organizations. Again, you will receive in the near future a survey about how much you use the DC 0-3R in your current practice, clinical as well as research. The revision will use the results of the survey, as well as updated literature reviews about each diagnosis. The whole process is supposed to take three years, starting from May 2013, and is sponsored by the ZERO TO THREE organization.
A major change has been initiated regarding the way the WAIMH Board and the Executive Committee use the time in-between the conferences. Indeed, the new electronic facilities enable us to have frequent, cheap, video-call meetings at which we can discuss in real time any topic we wish. In the past, due to logistical constraints, we had one Executive Committee meeting per year, with many expenses, and one WAIMH Board meeting prior to each world conference. This new way, we can accomplish much more especially if we are disciplined and stick to the rules of turn-taking and time limits! Still, we are only at the beginning of this new way of meeting. Our last video call was indeed dedicated to the topic of developing our WAIMH Social Media so that our outreach to one another and to new members around the world can be more immediate. We want to have much more contact between the Affiliates and the Board in the coming years, ongoing instead of just meeting every two years in the course of the conference.
Because it is time to elect new Board members, the Board itself will also be changing. As you know, Campbell Paul and Deborah Weatherston have served for one 4-year term. Campbell has agreed to run for a second term.. Deborah will continue as Editor of WAIMH Perspectives (formerly, The Signal) but will not run for a second term. You have been asked to vote for two new Board positions. We were very pleased…and proud…to receive five excellent candidates from all over the world.
Last, but not least, we are about to launch the Call for Papers for our next World Congress, that is to be held in Edinburgh, 15-18 June 2014….So get ready!
We really wish to fill you in between our world conferences, through on-going conversations using new technology, through dialogue in Perspectives, sharing interesting clinical experiences with one another, and especially letting us know about the major progress and problems you encounter in the field of IMH in your own country and society.
Very warmly to all of you.
MD, President of WAIMH,