WAIMH 17th World Congress in Brisbane – New Dates

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Thank you for your feedback and patience whilst we have been busy working to re-schedule arrangements for WAIMH 2020. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the WAIMH Executive Committee and Organising Committee have concluded that WAIMH 2020 must be postponed.

The new dates for the 17th World Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health will be 23 – 27 June 2021.

The extensive planning and preparations for WAIMH 2020 are completely transferable to the new dates, by which time we anticipate that the thirst for knowledge and personal collaboration throughout the infant mental health community can and will be met with an extremely successful WAIMH Congress in Brisbane, Australia.

As part of the evolution towards a successful congress in 2021, the Congress Committee and WAIMH will keep in touch with delegates over the course of this year in the lead up providing updates and important information. Online materials and resources about how IMH can support families especially in this COVID-19 crisis will be shared. We welcome the opportunity for people to share their experiences from different countries around the world.

Given that the COVID-19 situation around the world continues to change rapidly, it is the intention of the WAIMH Organising Committee to work towards delivering WAIMH 2020 in Brisbane in June 2021. During the next 6-month period, the Organising Committee will be monitoring the situation regarding international travel restrictions and various country situations and are willing and able to adapt the delivery of the WAIMH Congress should a hybrid (face-to-face and virtual attendance options) or virtual Congress be required.

What happens now?

We understand that the postponement of this Congress raises questions in regards to current registrations, payments, accepted abstracts, program and accommodation booked. Please see below a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) to assist you to navigate your way forward.

Why has the 17th World Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health 2020 been postponed?

The evolving situation caused by COVID‐19 around the world required an assessment of the viability of holding the 17th World Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health (Congress) this year. The WAIMH Executive Committee and Organising Committee (Committee) made the decision to postpone the Congress in order to reduce risk to participants and minimize financial losses of the Association.

When will the Congress now be held?

The Congress will now take place on 23 – 27 June 2021 and will remain at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

What happens to my registration for the Congress?

All current registrations for the Congress will be automatically rolled over to the Congress’ new dates in 2021. Those already registered do not need to do anything to secure their attendance for 2021. All components of current registrations including pre‐Congress institute registration, Congress dinner ticket, welcome reception RSVP, go event travel cards and masterclass selections will also roll over. Should there be any timing, date or scheduling updates to any of these components, you will be advised via email. For those who have not registered, the early bird registration rate will remain open via the online registration form, until the new deadline of 31 March 2021. All registrations made through the form will now be for attendance in June 2021.

What happens to my accepted presentation at the Congress?

The Scientific Program Committee for WAIMH has now finalized the program, with all accepted abstracts assigned to sessions. This program will remain the same, with the same sessions organised in the same order. The Committee will need to make updates to the day, date and room allocation for sessions. All current accepted abstracts will remain on the program. Updated program and presentation details will be sent to all accepted presenters later this year. Those who have recently withdrawn their presentation due to the current situation will be given an opportunity to have their abstract reinstated. We understand that abstracts and presentations that are currently accepted may not be accurate or relevant next year. Authors will have the opportunity to submit revised versions of their abstracts for presentation in 2021, while retaining the theme relevant to WAIMH, as well as nominate updated presenting authors if required. Please continue to check for any email correspondence from the Congress Secretariat regarding the program.

Can I submit an abstract for the new dates if I missed the original deadline?

Those who missed out on submitting an abstract to WAIMH originally will have the opportunity to submit an abstract in a secondary call for abstracts to be announced later this year.

What happens to my accommodation booking I made for the Congress?

If you booked accommodation through the Congress Secretariat booking system, your current accommodation booking and any deposit monies paid will be held as a credit on your account. You will receive an email from the Congress Secretariat with the opportunity to select your new check in and check out dates. Your deposit payment credit will then be applied to the new booking. Our National Accommodations Manager is working closely with the accommodation providers to ensure that the nightly rates for the 2021 period are the same or similar to the current booked rates. If there is a change in the nightly rate, delegates will be contacted directly to discuss. If you booked accommodation independently, you will need to contact the providers directly to make alternative arrangements or to cancel the booking. Please continue to check for any email correspondence from the Congress Secretariat regarding accommodation.

What happens if I can’t go to the Congress in 2021?

Registrations for the Congress are transferrable. We encourage those who are currently registered, but cannot attend in 2021, to transfer their registration to a colleague or friend. Should you be unable to find a suitable person to transfer your registration to, a refund will be possible. Please contact the Congress Secretariat to discuss a refund of registration and cancellation of your accommodation booking.

I applied for the Sponsor a Delegate Program. Does my application still stand?

Yes. Applications for the Sponsor a Delegate Program will be retained. Future applications will continue to be considered. If you applied for the program and are unable to attend on the new dates in 2021, please advise the Congress Secretariat that you wish to withdraw your application. The review process of current applications received will be ongoing and applicants will be contacted in due course regarding the outcome of their application.

WAIMH 17th World Congress website