Perspectives in Infant Mental Health Biennial Report May 2020

Thank you

Perspectives in Infant Mental Health is a team, connected with the WAIMH community and from which evolves the regular paper/social media posts, full issue publications, and projects. A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to this team over the past two years and to all the paper contributors.

Perspectives editorial team: June 2018-May 2020

June 2018- December 2019: Deborah Weatherston (Editor-in Chief), Maree Foley (Associate Editor) Hi Fitzgerald (Associate Editor), Minna Sorsa (Production Editor), Editorial Board.

January 2019 – September 2019: Maree Foley (Editor-in-Chief), Deborah Weatherston (Associate Editor), Hi Fitzgerald (Associate Editor), Minna Sorsa (Production Editor), Editorial Board.

From October 2019: We began work as a new editorial team and the Fall-Winter (2019) issue represented the collaboration of a newly formed Perspectives in Infant Mental Health Editorial team:

  • Maree Foley (Switzerland) Editor-in-Chief
  • Deborah J. Weatherston (USA) Associate Editor
  • Patricia O’Rourke (Australia) Associate Editor
  • Jody Todd Manly (USA) WAIMH Board Member Associate Editor
  • Salisha Maharaj (South Africa) WAIMH Perspectives Intern
  • Hi Fitzgerald (USA) Consultant Editor
  • Minna Sorsa (Finland) Production Editor

Debbie Weatherston and I switched editorial roles in 2019. Debbie has been and continues to be a work horse, quietly efficient and present in so many ways to the myriad of mini projects and papers we have on the go at any one time. She will officially retire from this role in November 2020. Her impact on the publication as we moved from paper to digital platforms has been enormous as is her ongoing impact on the way we work together as a Perspectives team within the WAIMH community. She is a WAIMH treasure.

Jody Todd Manly has fulfilled the new role of WAIMH EC Board member associate editor. Jody has brought her expertise nested within a compassionate and astute editorial eye, to this role. She has been pivotal in connecting Perspectives with the WAIMH Communication plan.

Patricia O’Rourke joined the team in 2020 and she brings a calm clarity about keeping the infant in mind and ensuring the work meets readers, especially those in front-line service. While ever humble, she has quickly become established as a core and valued team member.

Hi Fitzgerald, has recently retired from Perspectives. The current Perspectives (Spring-Summer 2020) full issue has a special feature on Hi celebrating his impact and contribution to this publication since 1993.

Salisha Maharaj is the current Perspectives Intern Editor. It is a pleasure to work alongside Salisha on our team and she has made a tremendous contribution.

Minna Sorsa works tirelessly in the WAIMH office with Perspectives as just one of the many projects that she juggles. She bears with us as we stretch and grow Perspectives. Her work is very much appreciated.

Sari Miettinen, is not officially a production editor, but is very much part of the Perspectives team. She has recently been pivotal in setting up the COVID-19 WAIMH web page and keeping this updated. Her work is very much appreciated.

Review process and change in the editorial team structure (2019)

Review rationale: In 2019, the Editors, with the WAIMH Board and the Executive Director engaged in a reflective review process concerning the structure of the Perspectives Editorial team and the Perspectives Board. Over the past few years, much had changed with regards to the publication including shifting to an online publication, digitalizing recent and past editions, as well as the production of shorter social media-oriented posts.

Process:  All editorial board members were contacted with regard to current initiatives within Perspectives and we enquired about their capacity to contribute further at this time to Perspectives. Based on the responses we proposed a change of structure to the WAIMH Executive Committee:

  1. To work with a larger editorial team in contrast to the current small editorial team and large Perspectives board. As such, to disband the Perspectives board structure and focus on a globally representative editorial team.
  2. To invite the WAIMH board member who held the communications portfolio to join the Perspectives Editorial team as an Associate Editor.
  3. To continue with the primary roles: Editor-in-Chief; Associate Editor; Consultant Editor; and Production Editor.
  4. To add two new editorial roles: WAIMH Board Associate Editor; and WAIMH Perspectives intern editor.

Upon approval from the WAIMH Executive Committee, all previous Perspectives board members were sent a letter thanking them and outlining the changes that came into effect October 2019.

Full issue publications June 2018 – June 2020

Throughout the past two years the Perspectives team have worked hard to expand the global reach and to include papers from around the world.  We are always looking for ways and relationships to help us to identify new papers for publication from all corners of the globe, including practices, interventions, advocacy, scientific study, infant mental health training and on-going research.

26 (1) Winter 2018 27 (1) Winter 2019 28 (1) Summer 2020
26 (2-3) Summer 2018 27 (2) Summer 2019
26 (4) Fall 2018 27 (3) Fall-Winter 2019

The publication process

With the development of WAIMH social media, submitted papers are reviewed, edited as necessary, and then posted from the WAIMH office, to WAIMH social media platforms. A huge thank you to Minna and Sari. These papers then make up the base of each full issue.

1. The ongoing development and refinement of the Perspectives website

Incredible progress has been made by Minna and Sari with regard to the WAIMH Perspectives website and the associated social media platforms.  In addition, all full issues are archived:

  • Past issues of The Signal (1993 – 2011) can be accessed online.
  • Past issues of Perspectives in Infant Mental Health (2012 – current) are available. Past articles are also available online in text format, which in turn can be shared.

2. Regular posts and full issues

We run two parallel publishing processes: Keeping the flow of regular articles/posts; and publishing full issues.

3. Peer reviewed papers

We also introduced the capacity to conduct full blind peer review of selected papers. This was first implemented, with 2 papers in the Fall/Winter issue 2019.

4. Four full issues a year to three full issues per year

In June 2019 we decided to move to a three full issue a year schedule instead of 4 as a way to balance the online and regular publishing process between full issues.

5. Post-Production: Member access only first of full issues

The full issue is emailed and uploaded to a member only section on the WAIMH – Perspectives website. There is a staggered release of the full issue of Perspectives that includes new and previously published papers to members first, after which the full issue becomes open source. In addition, a post full-issue production article posting schedule, is established.

Perspectives Initiatives

1. WAIMH Perspectives intern program

Salisha Maharaj (South Africa) has been and continues to be the Perspectives Intern Editor. Thanks so much to Astrid Berg for introducing us to Salisha.

Initiative background: The idea for offering internships arose from understanding the process of community engagement within the overarching editorial process, and in conjunction, appreciating the journey on route to becoming engaged as a professional with WAIMH.

First, the editorial process involves both technical expertise and relationship building. That is, in addition to sourcing, preparing, and publishing papers, one of the outcomes of the editorial process is engagement with the WAIMH membership as well as allied professionals.

Second, the professional journey of joining the extended WAIMH community is made somewhat easier with global technology. However, this ease is not a substitute for supported relationship building and connection. Many of us arrive at WAIMH as established professionals who are on a pathway to bridge our existing professional base with the inter-disciplinary base of IMH.

As such, the idea of internships arose; internships specifically for people who are currently engaged in an IMH training programme and who are new to the field. The over-arching goal is to leverage Perspectives as base from which to: get to know new members; provide opportunities to engage with the wider IMH community beyond one’s local area; and to also learn and understand from new members about what they are seeing and noticing in our field.

Our aim is to grow this initiative so that interns at any one time represent different regions across the globe. This not only reflects WAIMH’s outreach goals but also supports new members getting to know each other through sharing in the work of WAIMH.

2. WAIMH EC Board member as an Associate Editor

Jody Todd Manly has fulfilled the new role of WAIMH EC Board member associate editor. Her work in this role has been pivotal in connecting Perspectives with the WAIMH Communication plan.

3. WAIMH COVID 19 Webpage

The Perspectives team have worked alongside Kai von Klitzing (WAIMH President) and the WAIMH office, especially Sari, with regard to developing the structure, introductions to site visitors and sourcing the content for the WAIMH COVID 19 website pages. This process is ongoing.

4. Perspectives E-Book Project

A two-part book series based on the past papers in the Signal and Perspectives (March 1993 to current) is in motion. This project is being led by Miri Keren and the team which includes Debbie Weatherston, Maree Foley, Kaija Puura and Antoine Guedeney.

Perspectives and IMHJ

We have developed a fantastic collaboration with Holly Brophy-Herb (IMHJ Editor).  Thanks, so much Holly.

1. IMHJ Article feature in Perspectives

A joint initiative between Perspectives and the IMHJ involves featuring IMHJ articles that especially draw attention to themes in practice with very young children/families. A new column has been established in 2020.  The IMHJ editor selects published papers and then invites authors to consider if they would be like to be part of this initiative. The first paper to be featured in this ongoing series was by Rachel Ransley, Michelle Sleed, Tess Baradon and Peter Fonagy (UK): “‘What support would you find helpful?’ The relationship between treatment expectations, therapeutic engagement, and clinical outcomes in parent–infant psychotherapy”.  

2. IMHJ and Perspectives COVID -19 project

The Perspectives team have collaborated with Holly (IMHJ) in a shared initiative: Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Perspectives will focus on publishing short papers that feature case studies and qualitative studies that capture the voices and lived experiences of infants, young children, families, and practitioners.  These will be published in online special COVID 19 issue in December 2020.

Finally, as we move forward, we welcome submissions from colleagues across our diverse field that challenge the way we think about infants, families, culture, and community, and offer fresh perspectives on policy, research, and practice.


Maree Foley, PhD, Editor-in Chief