February 2018
New Role for Family Support Specialist Consuelo
Consuelo Brings Wide Experience to the Role of Multicultural Outreach Specialist

We are pleased to welcome Consuelo Perez as our Multicultural Outreach Specialist! Previously, Consuelo served as a family support specialist for PPAL.  We are excited for her to take on this new role with us. Her passion is supporting immigrant families in the community, especially parents of children with special needs.  Consuelo has worked with immigrants from various cultural backgrounds for more than 15 years.   As a Latina woman from Peru who immigrated to Massachusetts as a young adult, her education experiences in Peru were very different from her experience of raising her two daughters in Somerville.  She has noticed that family support and community support play a much broader role in child development in Massachusetts.  
"Children come in different sizes and shapes, but all parents share the same expectations for their child's development, no matter their economic position.  As I successfully achieve positive change for my own child's benefit, I am very  determined to help local families do the same."

Kicking the Year off at Youth MOVE!
Tackling Tough Topics and Planning for the Future

2017 was an eventful year for youth MOVE, and 2018 is shaping up to be just as great! Focusing on community, our youth groups had movie nights and got together to share some popcorn and laughs, as well as some good eats. 

We also took this time during the new year to have productive and supportive conversations around important, and sometimes difficult, topics. Our HOPE group learned about the LGBTQIA+ community and the issues they face. We also held an open discussion during the aftermath of the tragic Parkland school shooting and shared our thoughts and feelings on these issues that directly impact our community as young people.

We also brought back our Youth Advisory Group.  Through this group, six young people give us input on what we want Youth MOVE to look like this year! We already have a lot in the works, including a prom for early this summer (details to come)! Finally, a reminder that registration has opened for Success-Fest 3 on March 16, 2018. Come join us on this inspirational day of hope for young adults and allies in mental health recovery at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, MA. Event is free - click here to register!

Check us out to see what else we have planned for what's gearing up to be a fun, positive, and productive 2018!

PPAL Recognized for Excellence
Awards and Grants to Support Our Mission

PPAL was honored to receive two grants and donations this month. The Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital recognized PPAL at their annual Partners in Excellence event. The event acknowledges non-profits who share the goals of the Hospital, are in a positive standing with the local community, and impact the lives of those with mental illness or substance use disorders in a meaningful way. PPAL is honored to receive this prestigious award and accompanying grant. 

PPAL also received a generous donation this month from Avidia Charitable Foundation. The donation is to help with the training and support for families of youth with mental health needs through their mid 20's. Thank you so much to Avidia Charitable Foundation!

Spreading the Love from PPAL!



Blog Alert 

Did you miss our February blogs?  Read the latest What Youth Are Saying blog titled " What It Is Like to Live, But Not Be Alive " by one of outstandingly talented youths, Rachel, here. Then check out "My Grandfather, My Son and the Right Thing" by Lisa Lambert, available 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!

March 7, 2018 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Crisis Planning Guide for Parents
Lancaster, MA

March 8, 2018 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Family Engagement for Providers
Springfield, MA 
Register here.

March 17, 2018 3:00 PM
Understanding Timelines and Differences between IEP & 504 plans
East Boston, MA

March 21, 2018 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Mental Health and the IEP

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! 

February Monthly Meeting

A big thank you to Rachel Matos and Cindy Repella with Voices Against Violence with SMOC. It was a powerful conversation and we appreciate everyone's respectful comments and insightful questions. 

March Monthly Meeting

Next month, we are happy to welcome Brenda Dater, MPH, MSW and Associate Director of Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) and Nancy Parker, Director of Child and Teen Services at AANE. They will be leading a discussion on Asperger/Autism and co-occurring mental health concerns, including practical strategies for working with families who have lived experience with the autism spectrum. 

We welcome you to attend the Statewide Meeting on March 13th at Plymouth Church in Framingham if you have lived experience  (family members, family partners, family support specialists, parent/caregivers, or others in family support roles). 

Please pre-register by March 9th to be guaranteed a seat and lunch.  

Tuesday February 13th, 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

February Poll Results

What is the greatest barrier to mental health treatment for African American youth?

Stigma or fear of being judged: 54.55%

Poor access to services: 27.27%

Bias from providers: 18.18%

Little information about symptoms: 0%

Worry about misdiagnosis: 0%

Take our March Poll on our website:

Would you contact your U.S. Congressional Representative or Senators if access to mental health care services were at risk?

Yes, I already do

Yes, I would

Yes, but I do not know how to

No, I don't want to contact them on mental health issues

No, for other reasons

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