From the IMHAANZ President

Kia Ora Koutou

Your Executive joins me in wishing you a peaceful and enjoyable festive season with friends and family and we look forward to 2016.

He taonga rongonui te aroha ki te tangata
Goodwill towards others is a precious treasure

There is plenty of good reading in this newsletter, perhaps not for the beach but definitely in a quieter moment in January. Memories of Conference 2015 in Queenstown will be revived as you check out the responses to the survey. Many thanks to those who provided feedback appreciating the presentations, keynotes, learnings and connections made and providing us with constructive thoughts and ideas for future Conferences. IMHAANZ is planning that our next 3 day Conference will be in early 2018.

We publish a paper completed by Wendy Tyghe as part of her course requirements with the Masters in IMH course at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry and thanks to Martha Birch for making this possible.

In the New Year we will be making the 16 short films, created by Zero To Three, that are the “Magic of Everyday Moments” available to Regional Network groups for viewing. This has been made possible by donations given when Janet Gregory a founder member of IMHAANZ died. We thank her family and its fitting to support an educational resource for members.

Executive News

In October the Executive discussed raising the cost of Membership of IMHAANZ. It has been unchanged since 2006 when we became an Affiliate of WAIMH. It was agreed to increase the membership from $35.00 to $40.00 beginning January/February 2016.

We have also moved forwards on plans to re-develop the website and this work will begin late January. This is exciting and our primary focus will be a website that is responsive, educational and informative for members and visitors to the site.

The Executive have begun a considered and helpful conversation with AAIMHI Executive and the WAIMH Affiliates Council around the appropriate use members may make of their IMHAANZ membership. We plan work on a guidance document much like AAIMHI is currently developing. In the meantime we would be clear that IMHAANZ membership may not be used to endorse or promote products, publications or individuals.


From time to time we ask the membership for input into a response from IMHAANZ regarding documents being developed by different organisations. Thanks for the time and thought people have given to such requests.

In October the Ministry of Health released ‘Supporting Parents Healthy Children – Supporting parents with mental illness and or addiction and their children: A guideline for mental health and addiction services [2015]’. IMHAANZ welcomed the development of this national guideline which provides a positive mandate for identifying, protecting and intervening for children with parental mental illness and service focussed service provision. Thanks to Tanya Wright, Liz MacDonald, Kelly Jones, Carol McArthur, Dave Owens, Marion Doherty and Clare Shepherd and her colleagues at the MoE all of whom contributed to development of the IMHAANZ response. The specific vulnerability of infants, their maximal dependence for care and the clear, and the acute impact parental mental illness can have during infancy, has been highlighted. The documented is directed to mental health and addiction services so one of the other messages made by members that COPMIA is relevant to the Education and NGO sector concerned to support the parents they see with mental health and addiction problems and to advocate for their children was not picked up but needs attention.

IMHAANZ will continue to be responsive to requests from organisations for Infant mental health expertise and guidance and very thankful to members supporting this work.

I would recommend reading the following Reports for their relevance to those of us working with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families.

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner “STATE OF CARE 2015 – What we learnt from monitoring Child Youth and Family.”

Modernising Child, Youth and Family Expert Panel: Interim Report 31.07.15

The imperative for working early and knowledgeably with infants, their parents and caregivers and relevant systems [including health, education, home care and child protection] is repeatedly underlined.

News from Australia

The National Australian IMH organisation, AAIMHI, has recently published a new Position Paper: ‘Infants in Immigration Detention’. This was accompanied by a media statement recommending the immediate release of infants and their parents from detention. This paper can be accessed from:

Martha Birch who has been coordinating the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health training programme at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry has recently retired and those of you who know Martha would wish her well with future endeavours. She remains on the NSW Branch and National Committees of AAIMHI.

Special thanks to the Executive for their hard work, enthusiasm, tenacity and humour through this year and to members and interested non-members thank you for your ongoing support.


From the IMHAANZ President


Guy, Denise, Dr.,
President IMHAANZ,
New Zealand

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