Affiliates Corner

Greetings to all Affiliates,

Affiliates want to connect with one another in order to nourish, to stimulate and to sustain their action within their own community. They also want to feel a connection with WAIMH. As Affiliates Council co-leaders, we are always impressed by the dedication, creativity and energy that Affiliates generate for infants and families across the globe and by the degree of determination that Affiliates manifest in terms of keeping their organization alive amidst various political and financial pressures. In this issue of Perspectives, we especially thank the Western Cape Association for Infant Mental Health for bringing the liveliness of their story to our community.

It is heartwarming and encouraging for the Affiliate community to have access to Affiliates who accept to share their stories. These narratives – often produced by people whose English is not their first language – generate greater connectedness and inspire our efforts to improve the lives of infants in our communities. Writing an Affiliate story for Perspectives always involves unveiling not only our strengths and hopes but also our various challenges and even our limitations. Without such risk taking and dedication by Affiliates Presidents, it would simply be impossible to imagine the Affiliates Council as a lively community.

Since the creation of the Affiliates Council, the WAIMH Board has put great emphasis on developing increasingly diversified strategies for facilitating connectivity across our community. For example, the consultative process concerning “infant rights” and attending to developing our capacity to utilize social media. These strategies are underpinned by the objective of bidirectional communication which in turn creates opportunities for Affiliates to increasingly experience ongoing support from WAIMH. It also creates opportunities for Affiliates to play a critical role in nourishing the wider WAIMH community. For some Affiliates, this might also involve transmitting WAIMH information to their community by adding words in their own language.

We also salute here the determination of various groups of infant clinicians worldwide who demonstrate great determination to launch a new WAIMH Affiliate. This process always involves bringing together local people from various horizons and entails developing a shared vision before applying for WAIMH Affiliate status. These steps – often felt by new Affiliates as somewhat long to accomplish – have a dual impact both at the local and at the international level. In addition to contributing to the diversity of the WAIMH community, launching a WAIMH Affiliate brings increased connectedness and credibility to local infant mental health groups who wish to make their advocacy, clinical and scientific actions more powerful. We especially welcome here the official joining of the Japan Affiliate in the WAIMH Affiliate community.

Over the coming weeks, all Affiliate Presidents will receive a third survey regarding the democratic process for the next Affiliates Council election. The survey will especially focus on role definition within the Affiliates Council for Affiliates Representative and Chair and also for Affiliate Presidents.

Given our global community, surveys are a key way for sharing our hopes and concerns for the future of WAIMH. While they understandably generate more paper work to attend to, by attending to them, we each contribute to the development of our goals as an Affiliate Council. Furthermore, while we acknowledge survey-fatigue, as a Council we are committed to using the knowledge gained from the surveys to increase our global connectedness with each other in support of our local work. An example of this action process is the forth coming Live Supervision events that will take place in Edinburgh – and whose description is included in this issue of Perspectives. These events have been implemented as a direct result of surveying the educational needs of Affiliates. So the participation of Affiliates Presidents truly impacts the functioning of WAIMH.

As we move closer to the Edinburgh conference, we wish you ongoing success with your Affiliates activities. As always, we are more than eager to respond to queries that you might have regarding Affiliates involvement in WAIMH and we invite you warmly to contribute your words to Perspectives.


Affiliates Corner


Foley, Maree,
Affiliates Council Representative,
New Zealand,
St-André, Martin,
Affiliates Council Chair,

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