January 2018
Family Voice Matters
PPAL  Continues the Strong Partnership with the Department of Youth Services

We are very excited to participate in meetings weekly at the Suffolk Detention Center to build a trusting relationship with the clinical staff and create a relationship dedicated to supporting families. In addition, starting in February, pre-release planning meetings will happen to discuss specific youth whom will be going back home and into the community. These meetings will help providers brainstorm with family and youth to find out what supports are needed as they return to their communities.

In other news, we would like to extend a warm welcome to Natasha Megie-Maddrey to our Northeast region as a Family Support Specialist. Our Essex County team will be facilitating a Seeing RED (Racial and Ethnic Disparities) in February and will invite community providers who serve and interact with youth of color. Our Middlesex office is working on their action plan to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiatives (JDAI) steering committee has divided into smaller groups to work on dual involved youth (DIY) group, youth voice group, "safety net" group, and screening tools group. We continue to meet monthly and report our progress to the team.

In Central Massachusetts, we continue to increase the number of diverted families in the Worcester courts, which makes a difference in the community. Special thanks to the District Attorney's Office, Probation, and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for diverting youth and allowing for healthy supports. Our deepest thanks to Family Support Specialist Carrie Noseworthy for having the passion, empathy and understanding for all families! Worcester is also working on creating a subcommittee for a special population meeting with families of girls who have involvement with juvenile justice to focus on gender equity. We are inviting families who have received support through our organization. 

Our organization and the JDAI team had the opportunity to present to statewide Family Resource Centers (FRC) on our collaboration and how to best support families with juvenile justice involvement by providing training, education and advocacy skills to families and providers.  Special thanks to Commissioner Linda Spears, Jose Montero, and Daniel Lewis, who included both the Family Advisory committee and PPAL. We have received many calls from the FRC and will continue to support this initiative. 

In the Southeast, we attended Brockton boys' holiday extravaganza party to connect with families and offer our support as they navigate the juvenile justice system. We are also happy to share that our Family Support Specialist in Southeast has been invited to sit at court to represent PPAL and offer support to families before and during their appearance in front of the judge.

PPAL Data Shows Steady Use of Services
Latest Numbers Now Available

From September to December 2017, PPAL continued to provide much needed support throughout Massachusetts.  According to our data, in this time period:
  • PPAL received more than 455 calls from families, youth and providers
  • At the monthly statewide meeting for families and family support providers, there was 145 attendees (October, November & December)
  • 80 people attended PPAL trainings

E xploring Co-Occurring Disorders
PPAL Partners with MOAR and The Transformation Center on Policy Paper

We were proud to partner with Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR) and The Transformation Center to create a policy paper on co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders in youth and young adults. Through focus groups and listening sessions with youth and young adults, we created a policy paper that articulates the challenges and identifies areas for future growth around co-occurring disorders. The paper was developed in collaboration with MOAR and the Transformation Center, as well as reviewed and edited by the youth and young adults in YouthMOVE. 

You can view the policy paper "Sticks and Stones: How Language Can Be Used to Promote Recovery for Co-Occurring Mental Health and Addiction Disorder" here.

Stay Warm from PPAL!



Blog Alert 

Did you miss our January blogs?  Read the latest What Youth Are Saying blog titled "Will It Turn from Use to Abuse" by one of outstandingly talented youths, here. Then check out "What is Sick Enough" by guest blogger Emily available here, and "Residential programs, partnering, and loud music" 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

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

We also have a new reoccurring training every third Saturday at 3:00 PM located at the BCYF Paris Street Community Center in East Boston. For more information, please reach out to Consuelo at cperez@ppal.net

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! 

January Monthly Meeting

A big thank you to DMH Commissioner Joan Mikula and Deputy Commissioner Emily Sherwood for coming to our January monthly 'town hall' style meeting. It was a huge success and we thank everyone who came out with their insightful questions and shared their personal experiences. 

February Monthly Meeting

  Next month, we are happy to welcome Rachel Matos and Cindy Repella with Voices Against Violence who will be focusing the discussion on domestic violence. 

We welcome you to attend the Statewide Meeting on February 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 February 6th 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

January Poll Results

What causes you the most burnout or stress when caring for children?

It's all on me instead of a team  33.33%

It happens every day  26.67%

It is so intense  20%

I don't receive enough support  20%

Take our February Poll on our website:

February is Black History Month. We would like to focus on the barriers to care for African American youth and what we can do about them.

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

Little information about symptoms

Bias from providers

Worry about misdiagnosis

Stigma or fear of being judged

Poor access to services

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