Webinars on infant mental health available to members and colleagues for free

World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) has started to implement its social media strategy so we will be including brief videos in future postings. We have also started creating webinars on infant mental health which will be available to our members and colleagues for free.

The reason for creating the free webinars stems from WAIMH’s mission to publish and disseminate knowledge from a wide variety of disciplines related to infancy. WAIMH wants to advance the study of infancy and to educate health care professionals who study and/or care for infants. We want to discuss and share questions, problems, issues, information, and theories regarding the mental health of infants, their families, parents and other caregivers.

WAIMH members are invited to join the online webinars for free, and the YouTube videos are available to WAIMH members as a membership privilege. After three months, the webinars are made available openly to anyone wanting to enhance their knowledge in the area of infant mental health.

Keeping Infant Mental Health in Focus in Times of Crisis

A series of webinars has been created by WAIMH Board members, President Campbell Paul, and President-Elect Astrid Berg. This was something that emerged from the global covid-19 pandemic as WAIMH was one of the organizations having to postpone a world congress. WAIMH organized three events in June 2020 together with AAIMH UK and the Infant-Parent Trust UK in collaboration with the Brisbane Local Organizing Committee.

The first webinar aimed to promote awareness of infant mental health both regionally and globally. The themes provided information on increasing the awareness of infant mental health, creating stories to support infants and young children during disruptive events, and the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the ability of key community-based professionals to safeguard infants and young children. The speakers were Gally McKenzie, Elisabeth Hoehn, Sally Hogg and Jane Barlow.

The second webinar discussed the biological, psychological, and social impact of the covid-19 pandemic on young children and their parents, babies’ sleep problems and the effect of lockdown on family life, and looked at service system solutions during the pandemic from Brisbane in Australia and Rome in Italy. The speakers were Kai von Klitzing, Elisabeth Hoehn, Dilys Daws, Miri Keren and Giampaolo Nicolais.

The third webinar discussed the uncertainties of the pandemic, infant-parent psychotherapy by telehealth, helping babies and young children with joyful companionship and musicality, and the preconditions for reflection and supporting infants, young children and families in connection with covid-19. The speakers were Tessa Baradon, Hisako Watanabe, Arietta Slade and Joy Osofsky.

Read more in Perspectives in Infant Mental Health: https://perspectives.waimh.org/2020/08/21/waimh-webinars-keeping-infant-mental-health-in-focus-in-times-of-crisis/

Links to the webinars:

Keeping Infant Mental Health in Focus in Times of Crisis webinar 1: “2020 Vision: Seeing through the eyes of babies”

Keeping Infant Mental Health in Focus in Times of Crisis webinar 2

Keeping Infant Mental Health in Focus in Times of Crisis webinar 3

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Learning from our Pioneers as we Adapt into the Future

In the December 2020 webinar, there was a strong focus on the history of the field in all presentations. Bob Emde and Hisako Watanabe discussed “Explorations in the Emotional World of Infancy: from R. Spitz to R. Emde and Beyond”. Emeritus Professor Robert N. Emde, of the University of Colorado, School of Medicine, is one of the founding members of the WAIMH. He has a CV that lists over 300 publications in the fields of early socio-emotional development, sleep research, infant mental health, diagnostic classification, early moral development, evaluation of early childhood intervention, psychoanalysis, behavioral genetics, and research education.

Dr. Hisako Watanabe is a child psychiatrist who has integrated her western psychoanalytic training into her culturally-grounded infant mental work in Japan. She has created ‘Amae Therapy’, which revives affective mental wellness (Amae) lost in infancy, to foster or retrieve true self and sense of agency within the context of relationship.

The other speakers were Prof. David Oppenheim discussing parental insightfulness into the child’s experience, and Dr. Diane Philipp discussing videoconferencing with the very young.

Link to the webinar:

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Learning from our Pioneers as we Adapt into the Future

Fathers and Infant Mental Health

The February 2021 webinars focused on fathers and were organized by Professor Hiram Fitzgerald. The topics were Fathers and Children’s Social and Behavior Regulation and Fathers and Children’s Mental Health. The presenters discussed emotional availability, children’s social development, children’s executive functioning, paternal alcohol use disorders and early childhood development, psychotherapy with fathers and community based support systems for fathers.

Read more in Perspectives in Infant Mental Health: https://perspectives.waimh.org/2021/01/22/two-webinars-with-the-focus-on-fathers-in-february-2021/

Links to the webinars:

Fathers and Children’s Social and Behavior Regulation (webinar 1)

Fathers and Children’s Mental Health (webinar 2)

Big Thanks

All speakers have contributed to the webinar series for free to advance infant mental health globally. The webinars aim to connect us through virtual space, giving us the opportunity to share information and insights about ongoing matters that affect our infants globally.

WAIMH wants to thank each presenter and the network of collaborators, including Gus Fraser in University of Melbourne, Australia, and Donna Hill and Chaya Kulkarni at the Infant Mental Health Promotion, the SickKids Learning Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.