Welcome to the 2023 conference

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Photo: Anne Kristine Bergem Text: The board of the Nordic Marcé Society in Helsinki

“There´s no such thing as an infant”

By Anne Kristine Bergem

“I once said: There is no such thing as an infant’ meaning, of course, that wherever one finds an infant one finds maternal care, and without maternal care there would be no infant.”
Those words were spoken by pediatrician D.W. Winnicott (1896-1971) many years ago. In 2022, although health care in the Nordic countries remains focused on individual patients, reminding each other about the family-focused perspective continue to be necessary.

During the first week of May, the old and the new board of Nordic Marcé Society met in Helsinki, Finland. Preparing for the 2023 conference was on the agenda. Next year, the conference, held every other year, will be in Uppsala, Sweden, and for the first time, arranged together with the Nordic Association for Infant and Mental Health (NSFU).

The NFSU is a non-profit association for clinicians and researchers in infant and young child mental health — in English, «Infant Mental Health». The association is the Nordic branch of the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH). The WAIMH’s goals are to promote mental health and good development in infants and young children worldwide, to consider cultural, regional, and environmental differences, and to develop and disseminate research-based knowledge about those important developmental periods in life.

The idea for the joint venture between the NFSU and Nordic Marcé started many years ago, even though nobody remembers exactly when and where. The members in both organizations have talked for several years about strengthening their collaboration. Although the differences between the organizations initially were considered as obstacles to their cooperation —NFSU concentrates on infants and Nordic Marcé on mothers — they are now viewed as strengths. In the 2023 conference, the hope is that the participants will experience the contributions of both organizations as supplementing each other towards the goal of recognizing the family-focused perspective in health-care.

Another benefit of the joint venture is that participants will not have to choose between two conferences but can attend to the joint one, gain a broader perspective and learn from experts and researchers in both fields.

For those of you who wish to save the dates for the joint conference, the event will take place on the 25-27 October 2023. Thus far, several topics have been listed as being of interest at the conference, as updated on the Nordic Marce’s webpage and/or Facebook page. The preliminary program reserves Wednesday 25 October for the NFSU, Thursday 26 October for common topics for both organizations and Friday 27 October for the Nordic Marcé.

After two years of travel restrictions and digital conferences, physical attendance will give the attendees the opportunity to meet, get inspired and discuss with colleagues from the Nordic countries!

Read more about the organizers:

https://nfsu.org/

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and https://nordicmarce.org/