Här är Pia Rishoms tacktal vid prisceremonin i Prag juni 2016:
«Dear colleagues and friends. Thank you for the WAIMH award 2016.
Today I am a very happy person, but I must admit that as a Swede I first reacted with embarassement when I got the mail from the WAIMH Board of Directors with their decision. Then I thought of how many I’m sharing this award with – and I decided not to be embarrassed – but be proud for us all. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all WAIMH people who have contributed to integrate infant mental health work in the Nordic countries.
Peter de Chateau, a compassionate and strong advocate for Infant Mental Health, who sadly passed away in 2015, organised the Stockholm WAIPAD congress (that was the name of the organisation then) in 1986. He asked me to assist and I volunteered to host some delegates in my home (- as many others did, I was definitely not the only one). Roseanne Clark and her husband came from Madison, Wisconsin to stay with my family during the congress week – and that was the beginning of a very long friendship – Roseanne thank you for introducing me to the hart and soul of WAIMH. The welcome reception that year was held in the City Hall of Stockholm, – in the beautiful hall where the Nobel dinner is taking place, but 1986 was special because the funeral ceremony of Prime Minister Olof Palme, who was assassinated earlier that year, had taken place in the same hall. The atmosphere at the reception was special, we shared hopes for a better future with people living in peace and harmony – and we all sang together. During that night, Roseanne introduced me to Berry Brazelton, Bob Emde, Kathy Barnard, Jeree Pawl and many others. …Plans were being made.
It was decided that I should apply for a NCCIP fellowship (I did at that time not know what the letters stood for) with Berry Brazelton and Peter de Chateau as my mentors. Berry wanted me to spread the message in the US that treating infant families in a decent way was possible, he wanted me to inform about Maternal and Child health care, Swedish parental leave for both mothers and fathers, and the Scandinavian model of family support.
I got the fellowship and was invited to partake in NCCIP seminar weeks – 1987 and 1988, and afterwards to visit infant mental health clinics all around US. I do not know if I managed to spread the message to the extend that Berry had hoped, but for sure – I was given so much inspiration from my new network that my bags were full of ideas at my return to Sweden. Together with a group of colleagues we decided to set up a Nordic WAIMH affiliation in 1991, to facilitate contacts between infant mental health people in Sweden, Denmark and Norway – all belonging to the same language group.
In Chicago 1992, the Nordic Affiliation of Infant Mental Health, the NFSU, applied for affiliation status with the newly formed WAIMH. I was the first chairperson for three years, we had a democratic system where the board rotated between the three countries (today, with internet access, the board is made up of two members from each country). With a very limited budget, and lots of voluntary work, we organized yearly conferences also rotating between the countries. The idea was to establish local networks, and to encourage Infant Mental Health work. Presentations did not have to be in English, being stressful for many. Nor did they have to be based on academically brilliant studies, clinical efforts and local projects were rewarded. We shared news about books we had read or written, I was the co-author of some, and conveyed ideas we had picked up at conferences. The work of Dan Stern was introduced and both he and his writings became very much loved. His books were translated and he received honourable doctorate degrees in Copenhagen as well as in Stockholm for his contributions.
This year NFSU celebrates its 25-year anniversary; new leaders have taken over – some of them students of the first generation of NFSU members – and others having discovered the field through other channels. Our members are now proudly contributing to WAIMH groups and committees, as well as presenting at world congresses.
Last but not least I want to thank Catarina Furmark who together with Vibeke Moe (both former chair persons of NFSU) have been and still are deeply involved in the continuing success of our affiliation – in collaboration with the present board with Unni Tranaas Vannebo as acting chairperson. I can mention many many names but will not do so – but I want to give special thanks the nominating committee for your lovely words.
The struggle goes on, the present situation in different parts of the world calls for common efforts to offer preventive support to all infant families – and to improve support to those in need of extra help. We have to speak out loud so that everyone can hear: YOU BETTER LISTEN! THE CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE – TAKE CARE OF THEM BECAUSE THEY CARRY THE HOPE FOR A BETTER WORLD.
Thank you again