April 2018
Children's Mental Health Week 
Is Almost Here!
Supporting Families, Changing Futures

Children's Mental Health Week (CMHW) will start in less than a week!  Join us from May 6 to May 12 to help us bring awareness to children's mental health. Check out our website to get all the details about the various ways that you can get involved for CMHW 2018.

Let's paint Massachusetts GREEN for May! 

We would love for you to ask the mayor of your city or town to issue a proclamation for Children's Mental Health Week!  Check out our website for the sample proclamation language or email Liz to receive a copy. Then just us know when you receive a proclamation, and we'll add it to our map.

Not only do we have proclamations, we have buildings and bridges going green, too!  If you live in these areas, be sure to check out these buildings and bridges to see them turn green for CMHW:
  • Norman B. Leventhal Park in Post Office Square, Boston will go green May 6 - 12.
  • The Zakim Bridge in Boston will be going green on May 8.
  • City Hall Plaza in Boston will be going green on May 8.
  • The Kenneth Burns Bridge in Worcester will be going green on May 4 and 5.

What else should we light up in green!? Do you have any connections to light up buildings green? Let us know by emailing us!

Where's Your Ribbon?

If you have requested a CHMW toolkit, you should be receiving it soon.  You can still request a toolkit by contacting us via email  ASAP.

Send us a picture with your green ribbon to be featured on our twitter, facebook, or website! Send pictures to Liz, or simply tag PPAL on Facebook or Twitter! Use the hashtag #WheresYourRibbon or #CMHW. Check out the Where's Your Ribbon Facebook group for more pictures! 

Welcome Jamie!
PPAL Hires New Boston Office Manager

Please join PPAL in welcoming Jamie, our new Boston office manager. Jamie moved to the Boston area in 2010 from a small town in Tennessee. After exploring the city and falling in love with its rich history, she put down roots in Boston.  Jamie graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with honors, obtaining a Bachelor of  Arts in Sociology. Her primary focus of study was on the well-being of women and children. One of her papers, titled "Sex Education Is Failing Black Teens," was published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior in 2016. 

When she's not working at PPAL, Jamie spends her time leading Daisy Girl Scout troop 82220. She also loves hiking with her husband Dennis and (almost!) six year old daughter Allie.  Jamie is an avid reader.  She is currently learning how to blow glass, and de-stresses by attending the occasional spin class. 

Welcome Jamie! We're happy to have you on board!

Youth Move Lights It Up Blue and Green
Our Youth Get Ready for Mental Health Month

Spring has started off great for Youth MOVE! 

In March, Matt, one of Youth MOVE's peer specialists, spoke on a panel at the Association of Children's Residential Centers Summit in Cambridge. He spoke about what is helpful and what is harmful in residential care. He did a fantastic job, and we are very proud of the work he is doing! You can get information regarding residential and family involvement at The Building Bridges Initiative

On April 2, Youth MOVE Leaders Lucy, Cameron and Rachel went to the Light it Up Blue Autism Awareness Event at UMass University Campus. They did "out of the box" painting, where the kids at the event painted with spoons, pipe cleaners, and puzzle pieces. No paint brushes needed! It was an amazing event, and our leaders had a blast. We honor all youth that have different abilities and capabilities. We are behind you in all that you do!

YouthMOVE continues to collaborate in the community to add information support and more! Lucy was interviewed, along with the two other co-chairs of the Statewide Youth Advisory Council (SYAC) with the Commissioner. We appreciate the dedication that Commissioner Joan Mikula has in advocating and allowing transition age youth to matter.

The HOPE youth group has been going strong, and has done a bunch of fun activities. We dyed eggs for Easter, had an open art night, and played video and board games together. We are very excited to see new members.  We have a wonderful group that has offered ideas for what needs to happen in order to bust stigmas, as well as support to others! 

YAYA, the young adult group, started up again recently. We planned events for May with our peer leaders and did some art. Our Open Chat has started, and is taking place every Thursday at 7:30. It is a conference call that youth and young adults can call in and get support and discuss various topics with YouthMOVE leaders and their peers. 

Do you have your green shirt, hat and hair ready? Cameron does! Look into the next month of May. Click here for the Central Mass Calendar! Make sure to mark some fun events - especially Express Yourself ! Shout out to Francis for deciding to make the "smoothie night."

At YouthMOVE, we are looking forward to May, because May is Mental Health Month. One of our young adults, Rachel, got the Burns Bridge connecting Worcester to Shrewsbury to light up green in honor of Mental Health Month. It is scheduled to light up green on May 4 and 5. YAYA will be holding a vision board night on May 3. HOPE will be doing lots of fun activities, including karaoke and video games, an ice cream social, and making tee shirts for Express Yourself. We will also be going to the Worcester Town Hall to get a proclamation from the mayor. It's looking like it'll be an exciting month of advocacy and connection!

Let's Talk About It Diversity Summit Supports Access to Services
Plans Are in the Works for a Second Summit

The First Diversity Summit, "Let's Talk About It...," was held on April 18th at the St. Joan of Arc Church in Worcester. The event was a collaborative effort organized in the hope of helping to support access to and knowledge of local mental health services, particularly for minority populations.  There was a panel discussion, resource tables with representatives from various organizations and agencies that support and provide mental health services and supports to Central Mass individuals and families of varied cultural backgrounds. Dinner and childcare were also offered. 
It was wonderful to see the diversity that took place in how the attendees of all ages, walks of life and sociocultural levels were sha ring their own experiences, and were interested in the exchange of information and connection with the entire audience. Plans for next year have already started, so stay tuned! 

PPAL Data Shows Steady Use of Services
Latest Numbers Now Available

From January to March, 2018, PPAL continued to provide much-needed support throughout Massachusetts.  According to our data, in this time period:
  • PPAL received more than 550 calls from families, youth and providers.  This does not include juvenile justice calls.
  • Monthly statewide meeting for families and family support providers:  120 attendees (January and March; no February meeting)
  • More than 180 people attended PPAL trainings including juvenile justice trainings, family engagement trainings, Police Pocket Guide and Strategic Sharing. 
  • PPAL held in-service presentations at 5 locations and provided information at resource tables 2 events.

Talk It Out! YouthMOVE and PPAL Survey
Help Us Highlight Youth Voices

Youth and young adults- come Talk It Out! Youth MOVE Massachusetts and PPAL have designed a survey to understand how and where young people get information about mental health, and substance use. Take the short 10-12 minute survey and enter a raffle for a $10 gift card. Two winners will be chosen every week! This survey is for anyone under the age of 26.

We need to show that the youth voice and young adult voice matters! Help us get the word out and allow youth to tell all what it is like.

Take it NOW!

Here at PPAL, We Always Make Time to Have Fun!


Blog Alert 

Did you miss our March blogs?  Read the latest What Youth Are Saying blog titled " Coming Out of Hibernation " by one of outstandingly talented young adults, Lucy, here. Be sure to comment and share!

You can now subscribe to the PPAL blog and never miss a post.  Look for the subscribe information on the blog page. 

Upcoming Trainings

We'd love to see you at our training sessions! Check out the next ones below!

Thursday, June 7
Family Engagement
Lynn, MA

Monday, June 18
Family Engagement
Danvers, MA

Email trainings@ppal.net for more information about these upcoming trainings or to inquire about a training in your area! Hope to see you there! 

May Monthly Meeting

We were happy to have Suzanne Curry, Associate Director of Policy and Government Relations at Health Care for All at April's Monthly Meeting leading a discussion on the MassHealth ACO rollout. A big thank you to Suzanne and everyone who came out for the meeting!

Next month, we are happy to welcome Dr. Janine Rodenhiser-Hill to give a talk about Psychotic Spectrum Illnesses: Recognizing and Responding to Risks. Dr. Rodenhiser-Hill serves as Head of Outreach & Education and is a clinical supervisor at the Clinical Research Center (CRC) & Cedar Clinic. She is also an instructor of Psychology, Dept. of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School located in the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). The purpose of this presentation is to help attendees better understand & recognize psychotic spectrum illness in adolescents & young adults.

We invite you to attend the next PPAL Monthly Meeting on May 8 at Plymouth Church in Framingham if you have lived experience (family members, family partners, family support specialists, parent/caregivers, young adult peers, or others in family support roles).

Please pre-register by May 1 to be guaranteed a seat and lunch.  

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Plymouth Church 87 Edgell Road Framingham, MA 01702
Contact PPAL Statewide at 508-767-9725 or statewide@ppal.net to RSVP.

Latest Poll Results

April Poll Results

Are you finding enough information on the MassHealth ACO roll out?

I don't know what this is.....44.44%

I know about it but need more information.....44.44%

I feel very informed about these changes.....11.11%

I know enough to navigate it.....0%

Take our May Poll on our website:

May 6-12  is Children's Mental Health Week!  Who do you think needs more Children's Mental Health training?

Law Enforcement

Friends and Family

Primary Care Doctor

People in my community

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and important articles!

Parent/Professional Advocacy League| 866-815-8122 | 617-542-7832 | info@ppal.net | w ww.ppal.net