Making a difference right at the beginning of life is the cheapest, most effective way of preventing mental ill-health. It promotes the emotional and mental well-being and healthy development of babies who grow into children and adults.

Together with an ever-growing number of experts world-wide, we in GAIMH (we pronounce it “Game”) strive to carry this message out in the work that we do which is aimed at fostering healthy bonding between mothers and babies and babies and their parents. Like our mother organisation, the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH), and our sister organisation, the Western Cape Association for Infant Mental Health (WCAIMH), we focus on growing and disseminating these learnings in what we call the infant mental health field.

Our first-ever national conference, in October 2015, aims to gather 200 professionals across a spectrum of health disciplines together at the University of the Witwatersrand which has agreed to host the event. The conference will showcase the current research and knowledge in infant mental health. It will also introduce the various, specialised infant mental health projects in Johannesburg and around the country.

WAIMH’s central aim is to promote mental health in infants all over the world, taking account of cultural and environmental variations. WAIMH also aims to grow infant mental health science. WAIMH will hold their 15th international mental health conference in Prague, Hungary, next year. See more at www.waimh.org.

WCAIMH held its first national mental health conference in Cape Town in 1995 and hosts monthly scientific meetings at the Child and Family Unit of the Red Cross Hospital.