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Newly appointed President of United Kingdom and Ireland Marcé Society (UKIMS)

26th January 2022

We are delighted to share a Voices blog by Melita Walker, Head of Mental Health at iHV, as the newly appointed President of the United Kingdom and Ireland Marcé Society (UKIMS).

Melita Walker, Head of Mental Health, iHV

I am delighted to be providing an update as the newly appointed President of the UKIMS regional branch. The Marcé Society has been a source of inspiration to me. The wonderful supportive connections made through the society and the fabulous International and Regional meetings have been invaluable to me throughout my career and I am looking forward to making more connections, thinking through the digital opportunities, and strengthening the diversity of the Society during my term as President.

On Monday this week, I was privileged to Chair my first meeting of the United Kingdom and Ireland Marcé Society (UKIMS). UKIMS is a regional group of the International Marcé Society (IMS) for Perinatal Mental Health, which is an international, interdisciplinary organisation dedicated to supporting research and assistance surrounding prenatal and postpartum mental health for families. The overall mission of the IMS is to sustain an international multi-disciplinary perinatal mental health community to promote research and high-quality clinical care around the world. It aims to promote, facilitate and communicate about research into all aspects of the mental health of parents, infants and their families throughout pregnancy and the first two years after childbirth.

Fundamentally, the Marcé and the iHV have much in common, with both organisations being deeply committed to promoting excellence in practice to improve the health of families. The IMS has been a source of inspiration to the iHV. The connections we have made between the Institute and the Marcé Society have enabled us to make sure that our iHV mental health education, training, resources, responses to policy consultations and events are informed by the very latest cutting-edge research.

With so many parents and infants facing their start as a family with significant additional challenges created by the pandemic, my role as President of UKIMS provides a great opportunity to work with the international community to enable and encourage:

  • practice that is based on the latest advances in research
  • communication and collaboration in research
  • sharing of new research findings
  • publication of research
  • professional and public understanding of the importance of mental health in the perinatal period.

Furthermore, during my term as President of UKIMS, I am committed to: deepening the value of the role of health visiting in perinatal mental health; encouraging and supporting health visitors to be active in research; and strengthening the contribution of health visiting research within the international perinatal community.  I am also looking forward to making new connections, thinking through the digital opportunities, and strengthening the professional diversity of the Society.

The International Marcé Society holds an international meeting every two years. These are lively and vibrant meetings with a high-quality scientific content that brings together researchers and clinicians from around the world. I am particularly excited that my term as President will coincide with Professor Louise Howard’s term as President of the IMS and I am very much looking forward to seeing lots of health visitors and iHV Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Champions at the next Biennial International Marcé Meeting being held in London on 19-21 September 2022!

email: [email protected]

Twitter: @UKIMarce

Melita Walker, Head of Mental Health at iHV