From the Central Office: Introducing the people working in the WAIMH Central Office

Minna Sorsa

This year we were pleased to work with the Local Organizing Committee and Program Committee of the Rome World Congress. Another big project for the Central Office has been working on our new website. At the end of 2017 we started with the redesigning of the WAIMH Brand. With the extremely supportive and helpful specialists from Differo (in Tampere, Finland), content strategist Santeri Niemi has collaborated with us in creating a much more vivid graphic design. As we also changed our website software, we have been very busy. Luckily Administrative Assistant Sari Miettinen has started to work at the Office.

WAIMH is more visible in the social media. We invite you to like WAIMH on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @WAIMHorg. You are welcome to join the conversation online in social media using the following hashtags: @WAIMHorg #WAIMH #WorldInWaimh #IMH #WAIMH2020 (the Brisbane World Congress).

In the last Issue of Perspectives the new Executive Director Kaija Puura told you more about herself. Now we want to introduce the other people at the World Association for Infant Mental Health you can connect and work with. Minna Sorsa is working as Senior Administrator, Sari Miettinen as Administrative Assistant and Reija Latva as Associate Executive Director.

 

Minna Sorsa

I started to work with WAIMH in 2006, when we started the transfer of the WAIMH Central Office from East Lansing in Michigan to Tampere in Finland. It was good to get to know the wonderful people behind WAIMH –Hiram and Dee Fitzgerald and Tina Houghton working at Michigan State University. One memorable moment was the biking tour along Red Cedar (the river running through East Lansing), as well as attending a spectacular Spartans football game at their stadium. WAIMH creates unforgettable memories.

The Office was officially transferred from the USA (Michigan State University) to Finland (University of Tampere) after the 2008 Yokohama congress. In the beginning the President of WAIMH was Tuula Tamminen. The subsequent Presidents were Antoine Guedeney, Miri Keren and currently Kai von Klitzing. It has been a privilege to work with all WAIMH Board members and Affiliates during the past years. Many of the WAIMH members have become my good friends.

As ten years has since passed, we are now at a new development phase, with technological changes swinging WAIMH into the swift social media times, and thus our website also has to fill the requirements of current times. We are about to open a new website with Yourmembership. We have modernized Perspectives in Infant Mental Health, with weekly releases. Our members have chosen to keep the “old format” of Perspectives (formerly the Signal). In the future you will be able to browse past issues more easily, and share them openly.

In the Central Office I work on general questions, social media, WAIMH World Congresses and different administrative tasks. I have worked with Perspectives in Infant Mental Health (formerly the Signal) since 2006, with Miri Keren as the Editor until 2012, when Deborah Weatherston commenced as Editor with 3-4/2012 issue. I am in deep gratitude for the outstanding collaboration.

As regards my background, I was trained as a Psychiatric Nurse, and have had many types of work experience, also as a reporter. I have been involved in local community volunteer work in my hometown, which has meant that I have worked together with people striving to preserve our historical and cultural heritage (which exists visibly as architecture and invisibly as traditions). My interest in volunteering arises from my belief in communities and active participation as the basis of societies. I strive to create communities where everybody can experience belonging, instead of exclusion. In my volunteer work I am interested particularly in the meaning of inclusion, a focus which may come from my interest in Mental Health Policies.

As my colleague Professor Kaija Puura wrote in her previous article, I think that an optimistic approach is needed in current times. As WAIMH has the intention of continuing with the important work for infants and families all around the world, we also need to be aware of the huge importance of our network. We need the support of others and we need to be supportive ourselves, for example by asking each other how we are doing, being helpful and supporting each other, and sharing the experienced burdens together. In WAIMH we meet at biannual congresses, and in between on the web and in social media.

During the past years I completed my PhD studies on mothers living in complicated life situations (dual diagnosis) as help-seekers. I am interested in qualitative methodology, and currently I am seeking research funding. This means that I will occasionally work part-time in WAIMH.

Contact Minna: office (at) waimh.org