This issue, the final one of 2017, is dedicated to the well-being of all babies and families around the world. These are turbulent times. As Kai von Klitzing, WAIMH President, challenged us last year “… in the long run, if we want to protect our social environments from destabilization and from populist ideas taking over our hearts and those of our fellow citizens, we must advocate for an improvement in the living conditions and relational experiences that the societies of the world offer to their youngest members.”
The WAIMH community at large has the capacity to impact the physical, developmental, and psychological health of very young children and their caregivers around the world. By working together, we can change the trajectory from certain risk to improved outcomes – but, it will take each and every one of us to contribute – as scientists, as university faculty, as clinicians, as developmental specialists, as early care and education providers. Arthur Miller, American playwright, wrote, “We are all in this together…” We are – babies are – families are. Together, we can make a difference. Hope lies in the relationships we enter into and sustain through our work with, or on behalf of babies and families around the world.
This has been a year of change for WAIMH Perspectives. In addition to publishing issues throughout the year, we, with assistance from Minna Sorsa and Reija Latva, used social media more intentionally, posting single articles on the WAIMH Facebook page. We hoped this format would encourage dialogue about issues that are critical to the WAIMH community, e.g. “Should we diagnose babies?” and a response from the Zero to Three Task Force, “Should we Diagnose Babies? No! Should we Diagnose Disorders in Babies? Yes!”
Other articles that appeared in Perspectives this year included the WAIMH position paper on the Rights of Infants, a careful examination of infants’ rights by Maree Foley and Miri Keren, and a focus on the worldwide burden of infant mental and emotional disorder (A WAIMH Task Force initiative led by Karlen Lyons-Ruth). Consideration of cultural practices within community support services were featured in both the World in WAIMH and the Affiliates Corner. Profiles gave us a window into the interests and professional lives of WAIMH Board of Directors. Reviews of several books introduced us to new ways to support infant mental health practice.
We end the year with thanks to the WAIMH Board of Directors, the WAIMH Central Office staff, and the many members who have enriched our thinking through contributions to Perspectives. We welcome submissions that challenge the way we currently think about infancy and early parenthood, assessment, intervention and treatment. We invite scientific studies and clinical case reports, reports from the field, new resources, and books reviews. We end the year with wishes for greater understanding and peaceful coexistence in communities across the world.