Bonnie Daligga is off to Ireland for one year in Dublin to develop IMH services in a northern neighborhood through partnership with MI-AIMH and IRISH colleagues/IMH specialists, Catherine Maguire, MA, IMH-E® and Rochelle Matacz, MA, IMH-E®. The note below is from Bonnie:
Hello to my IMH and MI-AIMH colleagues!
I am about to leave for a year in Dublin where I will assist with developing infant mental health services in a community in a northern neighborhood where an organization named youngballymun has been providing wonderful supportive programs for children and their families, but are wishing to be able to offer more intensive focus on infants, toddlers and their parents. This remarkable opportunity has unfolded over the past eight months, beginning with an IMH training visit by Debbie Weatherston to youngballymun and other community service providers there. Debbie’s legendary supports to two women who initiated IMH services in County Cork have been noted and whetted the appetite for expanding the availability of IMH programming to Dublin and around Ireland.
hat a great honor and privilege it is to be asked to represent MI-AIMH in this project! I am humbled by being tapped for this new challenge across the Atlantic, in such a beautiful and interesting location as Ireland. With some of my family roots in County Cork, I am also thrilled to have this chance to get to know where my great-grandmother was born and lived as a young child, before her solo trip to Michigan’s Copper Country. Her story has always intrigued and amazed me and I hope to learn more about our family heritage.
My excitement of this year-long challenge has been building since the idea germinated, and it is much like being a new parent or a new IMH clinician as I confront not just great anticipation but also some fear and anxiety and lots of wondering, all of which are involved in making such a big move into the unknown, with new relationships awaiting and so much to learn. I will work very hard to provide appropriate support and guidance so that we are successful at establishing the beginning of supportive services for infants and parents in the youngballymun community, grounded in the principles and strategies that we have developed for well-sustained IMH programs across the state.
I am so proud of the strength and superior quality of our collective IMH services and of MI-AIMH’s commitment to the professional development of our workforce. I will do my very best to represent you by joining with youngballymun professionals and families in sharing our respective experiences to best shape the programs that will nurture their babies and parents well. I look forward to beginning on August 16 and to sharing more with you about my experiences when I attend the MI-AIMH Conference in May. I also look forward to hearing about the continued development of MI-AIMH’s strategic actions that are changing the trajectory for many young multi-challenged families with infants and toddlers.
Warm wishes to each of you, Bonnie