Next World Congress
15th World Congress
Infant Mental Health in a rapidly changing world: Conflict, adversity, and resilience
Hosted by Israeli and Palestinian Infant Mental Health Associations
Prague May 29 - June 2, 2016
Statement 7th October 2014
Dear WAIMH members, dear Colleagues,
As many of you know, our 2016 conference was planned to take place in Tel Aviv, and organized by a joint Israeli-Palestinian Local Committee, as an active step of WAIMH to provide a template for dialogue between professionals in areas of conflict and turmoil around the world.
Two weeks after the Edinburgh conference, the political situation in Israel and Palestine has quite unexpectedly deteriorated, the long-lasting well-known existing conflict escalated, and a full-blown war broke, with all its disastrous consequences. On July 20th, a letter from the Board of Directors of WAIMH was sent to our members, explaining the rationale of the decision to hold its 15th World Congress in Tel Aviv, a city in the Middle East which is currently afflicted by the hostilities. The intent was then and is now to work together with both local Israeli and Palestinian colleagues on behalf of babies, their rights to a safe and peaceful existence, and their families. Infant mental health specialists from both sides, Israel and Palestine, restated this commitment at the 2014 World Congress in Edinburgh. In their view, coming to Tel Aviv means supporting our Palestinian and Israeli WAIMH members who are jointly standing up for the infants’ rights and essential needs in the middle of political conflict.
As we wrote then, we promised to carefully monitor the safety needs of all conference participants. Following the violent phase of the conflict, we are now in a phase of high uncertainty.
This uncertainty has already engendered feelings of uneasiness and ambivalence among many, including among those who understand the complexity of this deep-rooted conflict. Moreover, on the practical level, we may face a very unpleasant financial situation with last-minute cancellations of flight tickets, accommodation reservations, social events etc…
Therefore, with a strong concern for your sense of safety, together with our strong will to keep the idea of science as a bridge for dialogue and mutual recognition, the Board of WAIMH has unanimously decided to keep the joint Palestinian Israeli Local and Scientific committees but to move the conference from Tel Aviv to Prague.
Prague has been chosen because it is an easy-to-access city for our Palestinian colleagues in terms of visas, and is relatively inexpensive and affordable to our local Israeli and Arab Infant Mental Health professionals.
Last, but not least, the announced theme of the conference was originally "Supporting Babies and Families in a Rapidly Changing World". We feel that in the light of the events that led to the relocation of the conference, the theme needs to be changed into
Infant Mental Health in a rapidly changing world: Conflict, adversity, and resilience.
With the strong personal conviction that we, as mental health professionals, have a special role in times of turmoil and conflicts, as we are facing today in various areas in the world, we invite each of you to come to Prague and to share with us your clinical and research work about Infant Mental Health in various contexts of challenges and opportunities. The overwhelming pace of high-tech developments, that characterizes the 21st century, has added a new dimension to our work which needs to be addressed.
This will indeed be an unusual WAIMH conference, where the Local Committee gathers professionals from two societies in conflict, and has the challenging task of organizing the conference in a country outside of their own. We all share the strong conviction that this is the adequate answer to WAIMH ultimate aim to provide a "transitional space" for spreading scientific knowledge in the field of IMH and promoting clinical reflective skills…
With this deep conviction in our hearts, we personally invite each of you to attend this unusual 15th WAIMH conference in Prague (May 29th - June 2nd, 2016).
Tel Aviv, 7th October, 2014
Miri Keren, M.D. Sam Tyano, M.D. Ghassan Abdallah, Ph.D.
Statement by The WAIMH Board of Directors / 18th July 2014
The World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) shares concern with those around the world about the escalating conflict in the Middle East. The escalation appears to have occurred as a result of the senseless death of children and adolescents seemingly caused by those with apparent political motivations. We understand that there are deep problems caused by long lasting competing interests, needs and violations of different demographic populations in this part of the world. But we condemn in the strongest possible terms that the political conflict is dealt with in terms of costs to minors, especially infants. Infants cannot protect themselves from violence; they suffer without understanding, including the suffering which they experience faced with their parents’ own profound trauma and anxiety. In our view, the suffering of infants in the midst of hostilities, rocket fire and warfare implies a serious violation of infants’ rights.
The Board of Directors of WAIMH made a decision in 2012 to hold its 15th World Congress in Tel Aviv, a city in the Middle East which is currently afflicted by the hostilities. The intent was then and is now to work together with both local Israeli and Palestinian colleagues on behalf of babies, their rights to a safe and peaceful existence, and their families. Infant mental health specialists from both sides, Israel and Palestine, restated this commitment at the 2014 World Congress in Edinburgh. In their view, coming to Tel Aviv means supporting our Palestinian and Israeli WAIMH members who are jointly standing up for the infants’ rights and essential needs in the middle of political conflict.
We have decided to stay with our decision even in currently difficult times. Nobody knows how the situation will be in two years’ time. We all hope that moderate and peaceful forces on both sides will prevail and that the 15th World Congress can be held in peace and security. We will carefully monitor the safety needs of all conference participants and will move the congress to another city if the safety of the participants cannot be ensured by May 2016. However at this moment in time, we stay with our decision and continue to offer our heartfelt support for our Israeli and Palestinian friends who prepare for the 2016 Tel Aviv conference with great enthusiasm as a symbol for hope and peace and we look forward to an exciting and productive Congress with colleagues from all corners of the world.
Past World Congress
14th World Congress
Babies: Their Contributions
Hosted by AIMH UK
Edinburgh 14 - 18 June, 2014
Edinburgh International Convention Centre
Abstract submission is closed.
See the Congress website.
The congress presentations are available online in the Infant Mental Health Journal Supplement.
The 2014 Awards will be presented during the World Congress in Edinburgh.
Past World Congress
13th World Congress
Babies in Mind - the Minds of Babies:
A View from Africa
The Cape Town Congress program on the WAIMH website. Look here.
The Program Book can be uploaded from our web-page.
All abstracts are available in an Infant Mental Health Journal Supplement.
Infant Mental Health Journal Selects Paul Spicer, Ph.D. as New Editor-in-Chief
It is with great pleasure that the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH) and the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) announce the selection of Paul Spicer, Ph.D. to be the next Editor-in-Chief of the Infant Mental Health Journal (IMHJ). Dr. Spicer is a professor at the University of Oklahoma, USA and, as an anthropologist, shares a broad and interdisciplinary knowledge base from which to understand research, policy, clinical work, and practice in the field of infant mental health. He brings enthusiasm for collaboration with professionals across disciplines and from around the world. He understands the editorial tasks required and has expressed his intent to solicit special issues to move the infant mental health field forward in new directions with support from the editorial board. Dr. Spicer will be warmly and formally introduced at the 2014 WAIMH Congress in June.
MI-AIMH and WAIMH wish to express their deepest appreciation for Hiram Fitzgerald's work as Editor-in-Chief of the Infant Mental Health Journal (IMHJ). Under his leadership, following Joy Osofsky's 25-year tenure as Editor, the IMHJ has continued to grow and thrive. Hi will continue as the Editor through December, 2014. Beginning in October, 2014, oversight of the review process for new manuscript submissions will shift to Dr. Spicer.
FOR MEMBERSHIP AND JOURNAL SUBSCRIPTION CLICK HERE
As a member of the WAIMH community, we know that you share in our mission to promote and support nurturing relationships for all infants. Given our common goals, we believe that our journal, Infant Mental Health Journal (IMHJ), is an important resource for you.
Available online and in print, IMHJ publishes peer-reviewed research articles, program descriptions/evaluations, clinical studies, and book reviews that focus on infant social-emotional development, caregiver-infant interactions, contextual and cultural influences on infant and family development, and all conditions that place infants and/or their families at risk for less than optimal development. The Journal is dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to the optimal development of infants and their families, and therefore, welcomes submissions from all disciplinary perspectives, for example, psychology, pediatrics, social work, early childhood, special education, early intervention, and psychiatry. Click here to check out a free online sample issue of the journal.
Perspectives in Infant Mental Health (formerly, The Signal), the quarterly Professional Publication of WAIMH, gives members an opportunity to share research of interest, provides a forum for the exchange of news and views from around the world, serves as a nexus for the establishment of a communication network and informs members of upcoming events and conferences.
A free Open Access Publication at www.waimh.org with no printing costs for authors.
IMH Congresses and Training 2013
Infant Mental Health
Defining infant mental health as the ability to develop physically, cognitively, and socially in a manner which allows them to master the primary emotional tasks of early childhood without serious disruption caused by harmful life events. Because infants grow in a context of nurturing environments, infant mental health involves the psychological balance of the infant-family system.
WAIMH Handbook of Infant Mental Health, vol 1, p. 25
Leipzig Congress 2010
The final version of the abstracts from WAIMH Leipzig Congress Infant Mental Health Journal supplement.