March 2018
Making Changes for All Youth in Partnership with Many!
Juvenile Justice Update

On March 9, the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) met for its first quarterly meeting of 2018. All regions have now formed sub-committees and are moving forward to create work plans to make changes on issues such as length of stay (LOS), case processing, dual involved youth (DIY), and diversion programs in the courts. All JDAI teams and regions are excited to hear what others areas, such as Suffolk, Hampden, and Worcester, are doing with their programs.  The JDAI teams are looking into the possibility of replicating their work.
In other news, the northeast juvenile detention facility assessment is close to finishing.  The plan is to meet and share reports at the end of March, and then to present all recommendations by mid-April. PPAL has begun working more closely with all detention centers and attended the northeast family engagement event last month. PPAL is also planning to attend the Central Massachusetts family engagement program on March 31, and visit all other centers over the next few months in an effort to connect with families and strengthen the relationships with Department of Youth Services staff.
Last month, PPAL began facilitating CORE meetings in Suffolk. Our team is now supporting 4 families, and outcomes are looking good. We are appreciative of the great work Dalene Basden is doing in her role for PPAL as our Family Support Specialist.  We agree that without Dalene, our ability to reach out to families would be more limited. Thanks for all your continued hard work, Dalene!

Making Inroads in Our Community
Multicultural Update

PPAL continues to outreach to diverse communities in innovative ways. Consuelo, our multicultural outreach specialist, is spending time in East Boston and Chelsea in order to reach out to different community groups and collaboratives She is talking to families and family partners about PPAL and PPAL's resources. Consuelo is also speaking to her friends and contacts in the Asian American community to spread the word about our resources. 

Consuelo and PPAL have attended many events in recent weeks, including manning a table at the Federation for Children with Special Needs, Latino parent groups in East Boston, and the Latino Women's Conference at the Statehouse. We love seeing PPAL families out in the community and meeting new people. If you see the PPAL table somewhere, please stop and say hi! We would like to offer a special thank you to Liz, Marlenny, Consuelo, and Ann Marie for being available to people all day in Boston!

Congratulations to Consuelo!
PPAL's Multicultural Outreach Specialist Wins  Award for Advocacy

This month, Consuelo was awarded the 2018 Community Partnership Award for Parent Advocate by the Federation for Children with Special Needs! The Federation of Children with Special Needs gives community partnership awards each year to acknowledge unsung heroes who have made a substantial impact for children with special needs. The recipients of these awards contribute not only to families of children with special needs, but also to communities.  In her role as PPAL's multicultural outreach specialist, Consuelo has made significant progress in ensuring that ALL children and youth with mental health issues and their families have access to the care and resources.  Her compassionate way of explaining the systems and commonwealth to many allows her to form a true connection to parents. On behalf of all families with children with special health care needs and mental health/behavioral health, Consuelo patiently answers questions, builds trust and most of all teaches the world everyday. We are so proud that Consuelo was the recipient of this award! Congratulations! Felicitaciones!

Lisa Shares PPAL's Work at Florida Conference
Highlights Include Workshop on Use of Data to Influence Policy

In early March, Lisa Lambert was a presenter at the 31st Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health. Lisa joined with other family organizations from North Carolina and Idaho in a workshop showcasing how family-run organizations in these three states use data to influence policy and practice.  Lisa also co-presented with Emily Sherwood, DMH Deputy Commissioner, in a second workshop which highlighted the results of a PPAL survey on how culture and disparities impact families of color seeking mental health services for their children in Massachusetts.  Later in the spring, a report of the results will be published. We congratulate Lisa on two great workshops and representing the work PPAL does on a national platform!

Supporting Futures, Changing Families
Join Us for Children's Mental Health Week

Children's Mental Health Week is coming up! Join us May 6- May 12 to bring awareness to children's mental health! 

Send us your events: Even though Children's Mental Health Week is only 7 days, we celebrate all month and we know you do, too! Please send us your May events so they can be included in PPAL's calendar and the toolkits. Be sure to include a description, a time/date, location, and other details. Events may include support group speakers, community events, outings, dinners, and other activities. Email by March 31 with your events!

Proclamations:   We would love for you to ask the mayor of your city or town to issue a proclamation for Children's Mental Health Week! Email  for sample language.

Toolkits: Every year PPAL sends out hundreds of toolkits that include materials about Children's Mental Health Week. If you want a toolkit, email with your address!

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!

Happy Spring from PPAL!



Blog Alert 

Did you miss our March blogs?  Read the latest What Youth Are Saying blog titled " Change Isn't Always For the Worst " by one of outstandingly talented young adults, Kai, here. Then check out "A Letter to Anyone Considering an Inpatient Stay" by our amazing young adult writer, Rachel, available here, and "Children, Suicide, and Race" 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!

Tuesday, May 1
Family Engagement
Springfield, MA

Thursday, June 7
Family Engagement
Lynn, MA

Monday, June 18
Family Engagement
Danvers, MA

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

March Monthly Meeting

Unfortunately, our March Monthly Meeting was cancelled due to weather. We are working to reschedule Brenda Dater and Nancy Parker from the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE). They will be rescheduled in the fall of 2018.

April Monthly Meeting

Next month, we are happy to welcome Suzanne Curry, Associate Director of Policy and Government Relations at Health Care for All. She will be giving a talk on MassHealth ACOs: What You Need to Know. Her presentation will cover on the overview of eligibility for MasHealth coverage types, new health plan options available through MassHealth, including Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), finding out who is impacted and what does it mean, and tips on how to navigate the MassHealth changes and where to get assistance. 

We welcome you to attend the Statewide Meeting on April 10th 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 April 3rd to be guaranteed a seat and lunch.  

Tuesday April 10th, 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 to RSVP.

Latest Poll Results

March Poll Results

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

Yes, I already do......50%

Yes, I would.....31.82%

Yes, but I do not know how to.....18.18%

No, I don't want to contact them on mental health issues.....0%

No, for other reasons.....0%

Take our April Poll on our website:

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

I don't know what this is

I know about it but need more information

I know enough to navigate it

I feel very informed about these changes

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