WAIMH ED’s Corner

Photo: WAIMH Executive Director, Kaija Puura

Dear colleagues and friends,

It is with great pride and joy that I can say that we have successfully completed the first ever hybrid WAIMH World Congress in Brisbane. In addition to the wonderful content of the scientific and clinical program, the Local Organizing Committee chaired by Elisabeth Hoehn and Libby Norton, our President Campbell Paul and the ICMS Australasia also organized attractive social events for those congress delegates who were able to attend the congress on site. I think many of us looked at the beautiful videos and photos thinking: “I wish I could be there”. And more good news: if you missed the congress in June, you may still register for the on-demand part of the program and view it until 6th December 2021. I encourage you to go on exploring the rich content of both the scientific and the clinical presentations that are available for you.

After the Brisbane Congress the WAIMH Board of Directors had its biannual meeting, still online due to the pandemic. In the meeting the Board appointed Elisabeth Hoehn to chair the Program Committee for the 18th WAIMH World Congress in Dublin, July 15–19, 2023. The preparations for the WAIMH Dublin Congress 2023 have already begun, and one of the decisions made in the Board meeting was to go for an on-site World Congress. However, we will explore the possibility of having an on-demand part in the Dublin Congress, too, as it received quite a lot of positive feedback from the online delegates of the Brisbane Congress.

The time since the onset of the pandemic has probably made us all realize how important social gatherings and informal meetings and discussions are for us all, particularly for keeping up our sense of belonging to a group of colleagues and friends. This was the main reason why the WAIMH Board decided to start preparing for Dublin with the hope that we can actually meet each other there in person. With the vaccinations it looks like this could be possible as more and more countries return to life without Covid-19 restrictions. Let us keep our fingers crossed!

Another important decision that the Board made was to start collaboration between WAIMH, Sick Kids Toronto, Tampere University and Tampere University Hospital for preparing a webinar series on Infant Mental Health, with Board member Chaya Kulkarni and the WAIMH Executive Director taking the lead. The webinars will start running in the beginning of 2022, and we will post information to our social media once the topics and presenters are confirmed. The webinars are a good way to reach out to members and colleagues from all over the world and communicate basic and new facts on Infant Mental Health. We will try to cover both scientific and clinical perspectives on the topics in each webinar, and also to be mindful of viewpoints of different countries and cultures.

It has been an eventful year so far at the WAIMH Office, but luckily we got a new administrative assistant Neea Aalto who started working with us at the end of January. With the new webinar series and the Dublin Congress preparations I believe we will be busy from now on, but we invite you to be in contact with the Office with your feedback and questions!

With warm wishes to you all,