In June of 2013, the editors of the Perspectives in Infant Mental Health announced the birth of an occasional column, The World in WAIMH, intended to generate reflection and dialogue on the roles of context, culture, and community in infant mental health around the world. Our shared hope is that this will offer a space for questioning, challenge, dialogue and interdisciplinary discussion. We are calling for
- field reports,
- case studies,
- concept or theory building papers,
- research articles,
- book reviews,
- literature reviews,
- • and (when proper permission can be obtained) adaptations of previously published articles
In our globalized world, every infant and family is affected by forces far beyond their reach, forces that may strengthen, hinder, or undo the work of infant mental health professionals. To be a truly global organization, WAIMH will increasingly need to understand and develop strategies to address these forces. To foster healthy early development around the world, WAIMH will need to extend its reach, and to learn from contexts, cultures and communities that are not or only minimally represented in its current membership. Among the many questions to answer are:
- What processes can contribute to a more inclusive and expansive knowledge base?
- What kinds of partnerships – with members of cultures not yet represented within WAIMH, with other organizations, with other disciplines such as cultural anthropology or community psychology – are needed to truly put the world in WAIMH?
We look forward to your reflections and hope that vigorous dialogue in this reflective space will ensue. Joshua Sparrow, Director of Planning, Strategy and Program Development at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center (Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School), conceived of this column and has enthusiastically agreed to coordinate it.
What follows is a contribution from Alexandra Harrison who describes her consultative work with care providers in Central America and India.
Fitzgerald, Hiram E.,