WAIMH consists of a network of persons and organisations involved in promoting Infant Mental Health and the awareness of the impact of the early years on health and well-being in adulthood. As we have about 1000 individual members and about 60 affiliates, we found out in previous years that the WAIMH network of members, associations and organisations affiliated with WAIMH consist of a around 15000 experts working with infants and their families. Thank you for being involved and active!
Spring 2020 has brought uncertainty in the lives of persons we love, and such impact on global economy and our lifestyle, that we dare not yet predict the future. For this reason, we as an association promoting infant mental health globally have opened a resource page, where we share evaluated content only. The page will be constantly updated by the Perspectives Editorial team and the WAIMH Executive Committee.
In the biennial organizational process of WAIMH we invited members to participate in the Membership meeting, which are usually held during the World Congresses. As you must have noticed, with the increasing global spread of COVID-19, it is clear that the 17th World Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health regretfully cannot take place as planned in Brisbane, June 7 – 11, 2020.
The membership meeting took place online and we sent a link to current (2020) members, as we invited each member to participate. We had about 40 participants, thank you! The membership meeting approved of the updated WAIMH Bylaws, we heard an update from the President, the Office and Affiliate Council and 2020 and 2022 congresses. The next congress after Brisbane was published: We will travel to Dublin.
As we want to honor persons who have made an impact on the evolving field of Infant Mental Health, WAIMH offers awards in recognition of individuals from across the world who have made important contributions to the Infant Mental Health community in the course of their careers. A young person within the field was awarded with The New Investigator Award. This year the Awards were presented at the online Membership meeting. All meeting materials are posted to the WAIMH membership website.
New board members and President-Elect
Last autumn we started the process of electing new members to the distinguished WAIMH Executive Committee. WAIMH members could have their say and Catherine McGuire was elected as a new member, whereas Hisako Watanabe was re-elected to the Executive Committee. Their term is four years, starting in June 2020. The results were presented previously in Perspectives in Infant Mental Health.
The Board Nominating Committee was overseeing the process of selecting a new President, the EC Board made their selection of President-Elect in the meeting. All candidates were presented at the WAIMH website. Emerita Professor Astrid Berg was elected to the role of President-Elect. The President-Elect will serve as WAIMH President 2024-28, and Past-President 2028-2032. Campbell Paul started his Presidency in June 2020, and Kai von Klitzing stepped into the role of Past-President.
New membership software with new opportunities
Considering WAIMH impact it is not always obvious that the Central Office, located in Tampere Finland, are working with such enthusiastic and active volunteers from all over the world. WAIMH is in its core a network of persons, who have a heart for infants and families worldwide. This makes WAIMH a specific association. The new website allows for groups to discuss and share information. If you would want to stand up and start a group eg sharing the same research interest, you could use the WAIMH membership platform for free. It is nowadays possible to either register your membership on a yearly basis or choose to renew automatically.
The central office will be on holidays in July, so there may be delays in responses.
From the Central Office By Minna Sorsa and Sari Miettinen, Tampere, Finland