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Events & Conferences
Regular meetings, hub events and annual conferences for all those whose work touches on infant mental health

Each year AiMH and the Regional Hubs organise a variety of events for members and non-members. They range from national and regional conferences to local events organised by individual Hubs.

The events address a wide range of interests relevant to the early years and infant mental health provision, and include seminars, clinical workshops and case discussions.

If you know of events relevant to infant mental health, that are not included here, please tell us and other members about it directly in the IMH Events forum.

The WAIMH 2021 World Congress – you can still register after the event!

The World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) 2021 World Congress was held on 22 – 26 June 2021 – but all the content is available online, as recorded presentations and workshops – you can still register here.

All registered attendees have 24/7 access to over 200 hours of WAIMH Congress content for the next 6 months (ie until December 2021). Stimulating and engaging presentations were given by clinicians/researchers from around the world, and renowned speakers in infant mental health, including Joy Osofsky, Alicia Lieberman, Arietta Slade, Campbell Paul, Colwyn Trevarthen, and Louise Newman.

Click here to read more about the Program.

Cost: for non-WAIMH members the online fee is $600 Australian dollars, ie around £327 (reduced fee for members – worth considering).

WAIMH Award for our President, Jane Barlow, Congratulations!

WAIMH Award - Jane Barlow

On Thursday, in the early hours of the morning at the WAIMH Congress held in Brisbane, Australia and virtually around the globe, our President, Professor Jane Barlow received an Award in recognition of all her hard work and dedication to Infant Mental Health.

Jane commented, “Being made this year’s recipient of the WAIMH Award was just the loveliest surprise, and I accepted it on behalf of the AiMH UK team, whose passion and energy for IMH is a constant source of inspiration to me”.

AiMH UK are very proud of this acknowledgement and all the work that Jane has undertaken to move IMH into the forefront of people’s minds and government policy and moving our charity forward over the last 10 years.

Well done and congratulations from all the AiMH UK team and members. See full details on the WAIMH Perspectives website

COMING OUT OF LOCKDOWN

A non-virtual event in Liverpool, Friday 25th June 2021 – 2 till 4pm. Bringing together parent-infant health practitioners in the North West. Please book your tickets on Eventbrite

Only 20 spaces available so book your place now!

This will be an opportunity to:

• Share experiences and reflect on how Covid-19 has affected our relationships with our colleagues, with ourselves and with the families we work with.

• Consider what we have learnt over the past year and think about what we want to take forward into our future practice.

The event will be dependent on COVID-19 restrictions / lifting of group numbers. 

The North West Hub will run further meetings should this prove very popular.

WAIMH 2021 – contributions by AiMH members

Here are some contributions to the Congress by AiMH members. Please contact AiMH if you or colleagues presented, and we can add them here. You can still register for WAIMH 2021!

The Infant, The Parents, And The Psychoanalyst – including a tribute to Dilys Daws

Campbell Paul, President of WAIMH, chaired this event – which included a brief interview with Dilys Daws to mark the 25th anniversary of AiMHuk. Fascinating to hear Dily’s account of the beginnings of AiMHuk.
Friday 25th June, 7.30 – 8.50am.

Running an Infant Mental Health Organisation: Models of Working

Jane Barlow (in her particular WAIMH role in linking up the ‘affiliate’ IMH organisations around the world – AiMHuk is just one) chaired three sessions on the theme of ‘Models of Working’, including:

Piret Visnapuu-Bernadt, Nicole Canin & Jane Barlow: Wednesday 23 June, 10.30 – 11.45

Anna Huber, Jane Barlow, Nichole Paradis & Nicole Milburn: Friday 25 June, 2100 – 2200

Providing a parent-infant therapeutic intervention online: Video Interaction Guidance – empowering parents during COVID-19 (Workshop theme: Antenatal and perinatal practices)

Rachel Pardoe and Jessica Williams presented a pre-recorded workshop:

Kangaroo logo

#IMHAW – #including infants – Report reveals a ‘baby blindspot’

A Report released for #IMHAW by the Parent-Infant Foundation captures the findings of a survey with nearly 300 children and young people’s mental health professionals across the UK. This shows significant gaps in both training and provision for babies and toddlers. Key findings include:

  • Only 36% of respondents reported that, within children and young people’s mental health services in their area, there are mental health services that can work effectively with babies and toddlers aged 0-2.
  • Only 52% of respondents said their local NHS children and young people’s mental health service took referrals for children aged two and under. Many of these respondents told us that, while this was the referral criteria on paper, in reality, the service was not working with young children.
  • Only 9% of respondents felt there was “sufficient provision available for babies and toddlers whose mental health was at risk” in their area.
  • During their pre-qualification training, 26% of respondents had not been trained to work with 0–2-year-olds. 
  • 48% had not had experience of working with this age group during their training.

The research shows, yet again, that there is a “baby blindspot” in our mental health system and more must be done to ensure that there are appropriate services available to work with babies and their families.

1001 days: a feature documentary about motherhood

A group of extraordinary women fight to transform the lives of mothers and new babies in their beloved township.

As the country grapples with systemic racism and inequality, the fearless and charismatic Thandiwe, Zanele and Khosi doggedly support new mothers, waging a daily battle against poverty, domestic abuse and addiction. Their aim: to help new mothers during the first 1001 days of their babies’ lives, which are the most critical time in any human’s life. And to transform the babies lives and opportunities, as well as those of generations to come.

To find out more and back the campaign visit the Kickstarter page: tinyurl.com/4z4rm84b

Early Years Health Development Review

The early years review – The best start for life: a vision for the 1,001 critical days – has been led by Early Years Health Adviser Andrea Leadsom MP and sets out a vision for best practice across the health system to ensure babies and children can get the best possible start. It was great to see our President, Professor Jane Barlow attend the launch and be a key speaker delivering a presentation on why the 1001 critical days are so critically important.

Please click on the link for the full recording of the launch. Jane’s presentation is 15 minutes into the video.  Click here

‘Babies & Young Children under Lockdown: Attunement and Adaptation’

On 5th March the AiMH UK London Region Hub welcomed 47 participants to its second online event, ‘Babies & Young Children under Lockdown: Attunement and Adaptation. The event was a welcome opportunity for London region infant mental health practitioners to connect with each other. Outgoing London Region Hub lead Sara Rance reviews the event below and invites suggested themes for future hub events from AiMH UK London Hub members.

Engaging Fathers & Working during COVID

Friday 22 January 2021 9.30-12.00

Dr Cerith Waters (Senior Lecturer, Clinical Lead for perinatal services, Cardiff; accredited VIG practitioner) and Rachel Pardoe (Child Psychotherapist, VIG supervisor).

The importance of including fathers in interventions that address emerging problems in the parent-infant relationship: a VIG case example

This online event went very well – over 70 practitioners booked from all over the UK – several working in community services for Dads. Many positive comments in the Zoom Chat and active verbal discussion.

Dr. Cerith Waters shared emotionally moving and effective therapeutic work, using VIG. It was clearly an inspiration for many who attended.

Cerith also presented research data on Fathers mental health during the perinatal period, and he shared the BPS Guidance on Working remotely with parents and infants during pregnancy and postpartum.

Handouts will be emailed to all attendees. Logged in AiMH members can see more information here in the AiMH UK-wide Forum. Please add your comments (whether or not you attended the event).

Watch Infant Sleep Lecture and read Dilys Daws’ new book on Infant Sleep Problems

Dilys Daws with Sarah Sutton’s ‘Parent Infant Psychotherapy for Sleep Problems’ (Routledge 2020) is a wonderful addition to the literature on the subject of infant sleep. This book includes infancy research, a psychoanalytic perspective on infant sleep problems and case studies.

A lecture on ‘What is Normal Infant Sleep? A view from Anthropology’ was given on 11th Nov 2020 by Professor Helen Ball of the Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre and it is still accessible on YouTube, together with the Q & A.

You can find everything we do on our website, the Baby Sleep info Source  where we have resources for parents and healthcare professionals, including downloadable information sheets and an infantsleep app. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Mentalising in the time of COVID‑19:restoring our ability to think about babies

AiMH UK National Conference + IMH Awards.

Friday, 27 November 2020, 10.00-13.00 (online via Zoom)

Speakers: Professor Peter Fonagy, Professor Jane Barlow, Dr. Dana Shai and Tessa Baradon.

The conference provided opportunities to reflect on the traumatising effects of the recent COVID-19 pandemic on parents and infants, and the importance of a mentalising stance to enable families to recover.

If you missed it, we hope to see you at the next AiMH conference, or at one of the Hub events – see the Hub pages.