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The World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) is a not-for-profit organization for scientific and educational professionals.

WAIMH's central aim is to promote the mental wellbeing and healthy development of infants throughout the world, taking into account cultural, regional, and environmental variations, and to generate and disseminate scientific knowledge.

More specifically, WAIMH seeks to facilitate:

  • Increased knowledge about mental development and disorder in children from conception to three years of age
  • The dissemination of scientific knowledge about services for care, intervention and prevention of mental disorder, and impairment in infancy
  • The dissemination of evidence-based knowledge about ways to support the developmental transition to parenthood, as well as the healthy aspects of parenting and caregiving environments
  • The international cooperation of professionals concerned with promoting the optimal development of infants, as well as the prevention and treatment of mental disorders in the early years
  • Aspects of research, education, and interventions in the above areas

General Organization, Content Areas, and Activities

WAIMH is a membership association. Individuals from all parts of the world who are willing to promote the achievement of WAIMH's goals, as noted above, are invited to become members of the association.

Content areas that guide members in accomplishing WAIMH's goals include the following:

  • Development of infants and families
  • Psychopathology of infancy and toddlerhood
  • Interventions, both preventive and therapeutic
  • Parent and caregiver education
  • Professional education and knowledge exchange
  • Cultural influences
  • Biological influences
  • Social and public policy.

WAIMH pursues its goals by:

  • Organizing international congresses and regional meetings;
  • Publishing Perspectives in Infant Mental Health (formerly, The Signal),
    a quarterly Professional Publication;
  • Sponsoring the Infant Mental Health Journal;
  • Supporting existing and new regional and/or national affiliates;
  • Maintaining an information repository Web site;
  • Collaborating with other organizations;
  • Establishing task forces, study groups, and committees;
  • Carrying out special projects.

History of WAIMH

WAIMH was founded 1980 as the World Association for Infant Psychiatry (WAIP).
Incorporated 1985 in Washington, DC, USA as the World Association for Infant Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines (WAIPAD).

In 1992 the corporation named changed to World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) as the merger of the World Association for Infant Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines (WAIPAD) and the International Association for Infant Mental Health (IAIMH).