WAIMH ED’s Corner

Photo: WAIMH Executive Director, Kaija Puura

Dear colleagues and friends,

The year 2022 has started and it seems that this year may not be any easier than the last. In addition to the still ongoing pandemic, we now have in Europe the biggest refugee crisis since World War II with 2.5 million people having fled from Ukraine to Poland and other countries. Most of the refugees are women and children, and there are also children who are alone without their parents. Violent conflicts are still ongoing in many parts of the world, and the number of infants, children and families in need of care, support and mental health services remains large. To raise public awareness of children’s needs in these difficult times, WAIMH has teamed up with IACAPAP, the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions, the World Association for Infant Mental Health, the World Psychiatric Association Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section and the International Society for Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology, to sponsor World Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Day on April 23rd, initiated to acknowledge the mental health needs of infants, children and adolescents.

Our webinar series LAYING THE PATH FOR LIFELONG WELLNESS — INFANT AND EARLY MENTAL HEALTH, with its 15 webinars produced in collaboration with Sick Kids Toronto, WAIMH and Tampere University, is progressing at full speed, and several webinars are already launched and ready for viewing. The speakers include some of the pioneers and experts of infant and early mental health practices, such as Dr. Alicia Lieberman, Dr. Charles Zeanah, Dr. Arietta Slade, Dr. Hiram Fitzgerald, Dr. Joy Osofsky, Dr. Diane Phillip, Dr. Sheri Madigan and many more. We are all really excited about the opportunity the webinar series offers to attendees all over the world, and as you may remember, WAIMH members will get a discount on the registration fee. WAIMH Affiliates can also purchase a group license for their members.

The preparations for the 18th WAIMH World Congress 15–19th July, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland have also progressed and the call for papers will be out soon. The Office staff is working together with the Local Organizing Committee chairs Catherine McGuire and Audrey Lonergan and the professional congress organizer InConference concerning the practicalities and management of the World Congress. You can take a peek at the website at www.waimh2023.org. The Program Committee chaired by Dr Elisabeth Hoehn is preparing the scientific content of the Congress, and we will soon be able to present the plenary speakers to all of you. We do hope that we will be able to have a full in-person congress in Dublin, but at the same time we are also preparing an online part of the Congress. Naturally we will be able to change the Congress to a full online event if need be. We have learned a lot in these past few years!

I am also really happy to be able to tell you that the WAIMH eBook project has progressed well under the leadership of our former WAIMH President Miri Keren. Other participants in the WAIMH eBook project include Maree Foley, Deborah Weatherston, Patricia O´Rourke and Kaija Puura. The first volume of the WAIMH eBook is currently being edited by Hi Fitzgerald and will be released soon. The WAIMH eBook is based on articles on different themes from issues of Signal and Perspectives in Infant Mental Health that the eBook group has chosen to form chapters of the eBook. The members of the eBook group have written short synopses of the chosen articles and enhanced the chapters with introduction and conclusion sections. We hope that this way you can make better use of Perspectives and enjoy reading papers by many great names in WAIMH history.

With warm wishes to you all,