December 2017
Introducing New Staff
PPAL Welcomes Carrie Noseworthy to our Juvenile Justice Team

Carrie Noseworthy
PPAL welcomes Carrie Noseworthy as a new Family Support Specialist for Juvenile Justice. Carrie is the mother of three boys, two of whom have special needs.  Her personal passion as sibling, mother, activist and advocate for social equity have brought her to PPAL.  She recently completed her MPA from Suffolk University, is a former LEND Fellow (Leadership in Education for Neurodevelopmental Disabilities), has earned a Paralegal Certificate, and has a BA from Psychology & Sociology with a Concentration in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Studies. She has conducted autism training for statewide directors at Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership and at individual mobile crisis units, bringing the family perspective and autism training to mental health care providers with the Autism Law Enforcement Coalition (ALEC).  She is also on the Advisory Board for Horace Mann Educational Associate's Autism Resource Central.  Carrie brings her passion for social equity and knowledge of statewide resources for children and families to PPAL.  Whether it is helping to support legislation, conducting training in the field, or working with families to provide support, Carrie takes her integrity and work ethic seriously and is dedicated to empowering families to be the best they can be.  Carrie is also a veteran of the Massachusetts Army National Guard. Welcome to the PPAL team, Carrie!

PPAL Testifies to Increase Access to Children's Mental Health Services in the Community
Executive Director Lisa Lambert Provides Crucial Support to Bills

Recently, PPAL was back at the State Legislature, testifying for House Bill 488, which would increase children's mental health services in the community. Lisa Lambert provided great testimony that discussed the challenges PPAL families face when trying to obtain community and home-based behavioral health care services with commercial insurance. Unfortunately, these services are only available for children with MassHealth through Children's Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI), so families with commercial insurance have to either obtain additional insurance through MassHealth or go without these services. PPAL does not believe that this is fair, and is advocating for a solution to this issue for all families.  Pam Sager, a parent and PPAL board member, joined Lisa to testify. She used her own experiences of having to get MassHealth on top of her already expensive commercial insurance, just to get the services her child needed. Pam said, " Even though I had good private insurance, I had to use state resources to get help for my child."

PPAL was also at the legislature for House Bill 2403/Senate Bill 44 to protect children's mental health services. This bill would place an ombudsman, or someone to help families navigate the system and resolve issues, in the Office of the Child Advocate. This would ensure that families have someone to call when they need help or guidance.  The ombudsman would be able to work across agencies and make recommendations to policy makers, and would be able to address systematic issues across the mental health system. 

PPAL is proud to be a voice at the table for important legislative actions and will continue to fight to make the system better for children's mental health care.

Making the holidays a little bit sweeter with Youth MOVE!
Youth MOVE MA Wraps Up 2017 & Looks Towards a Strong 2018

The holidays at Youth MOVE Massachusetts were fun and festive! 
Lucy joined the Youth MOVE community as the new Interim Youth Coordinator. We wrapped up our PhotoVoice project with a wonderful presentation from Dave at Greenhouse Graphics, featuring the youth who did an amazing job with this art advocacy and awareness project.  We all came together for a home style Thanksgiving feast and an evening full of fun and festivities! A family cookie decorating party in December was a sweet break from that bitter cold, where we met many folks new to Youth MOVE! We also had the privilege of getting to see the Worcester Railers play at the DCU Center.  

Youth MOVE Massachusetts is looking forward to 2018 and the exciting groups and events that will be coming up! The New Year is a time to celebrate and look forward to a positive future. We are always thinking of fun new things we can try and ways to include and engage as many people as possible, so stay tuned for a year of advocacy, community, creativity, and positivity! 

PPAL Received Grants to Continue Its Work
Four Grants Awarded This Quarter

PPAL is proud to be the recipient of several grants this quarter including:
The Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation has awarded PPAL a grant to do multicultural outreach, curate and present PPAL data, and create a marketing plan for PPAL workshops and trainings.

The Maximus Foundation has awarded PPAL a grant to help Youth MOVE create a resource list for youth who have insecure housing, and to help train youth who have experienced homelessness or insecure housing to assist other youth.  

The Greater Worcester Community Foundation has awarded PPAL a grant to support our Worcester office and enhance our family support, outreach, and training in mental health in the Worcester area.

The Avidia Charitable Foundation has awarded PPAL a grant to provide training and support to parents and family members of children/youth with mental health needs in English and Spanish in the North Central Massachusetts area.
We thank all these foundations for their awards that allow us to continue to help families, children, and youth across Massachusetts.

Supporting the Supporters: Second Family Support Group Summit
Coming Together to Learn How to Best Provide Care for Caregivers

On December 1, 2017, we were happy to host our second Family Support Group Summit in Framingham. The attendees were able to share stories and tips on the best way to help the families they work with in a positive and supportive environment. In the afternoon, there were workshops about difficult challenges in group environments and how to use social media to increase engagement in support groups. It was a rewarding day and we thank everyone who came out for it. A special thank you to the Department of Mental Health, especially Heidi Holland. We look forward to our next summit!

Do you run a support group? Would you like to attend our next Family Support Group Summit in June? Please reach out to us at

Culture, Care and Challenges Survey
Last chance to take our Survey!

PPAL is surveying families to capture how
 how stigma, culture, and previous experiences have affected you while accessing care for your child. These results will help us advocate for better care for your family in the future. Please take our survey now and enter a raffle for a $20.00 Amazon gift card. Someone will win every week!  The survey will end the first week in January.

Happy Holidays from PPAL!



Blog Alert 

Did you miss our December blogs?  Read "My Connection to Eeyore- Depression and Friendship" by one of outstandingly talented youths, Rachel, here. Then check out "Breach of Trust, Breach of Privacy" by Lisa Lambert, available  here, and "The Middle Child Against the Hallucinations" by Meri Viano, 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

Make your New Year's Resolution to go to more trainings with PPAL! We have a lot of great ones coming up including:

January 11, 2018- Juvenile Justice 101 (Fitchburg, MA)
January 13, 2018- Strategic Sharing (Central, MA)
February 7, 2018- Mental Health and IEP (Haverhill, MA)

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

December Statewide Meeting

Thank you to Dr. Jana Pressley from JRI Trauma Center for the lecture about vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue! 

January Statewide Meeting
On January 9th, we are excited to welcome back welcome DMH Commissioner Joan Mikulaand Deputy Commissioner Emily Sherwood to our January monthly meeting. The meeting will be a "Town Hall" where everyone can voice their thoughts and ask their questions with a focus on special topics.

We welcome you to attend the Statewide Meeting on January 9th 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 January 3rd to be guaranteed a seat and lunch.  

Tuesday January 9th, 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

December Poll Results

What is the most important factor for family support in the adoption process?
Financial Assistance  50% 

Post/Transition Support   50%  

Legal support and guidance   0%  

Emotional support   0% 

Access to education/resources  0%

Take our January Poll on our website:

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

It happens every day

It is so intense

It's all on me instead of a team

I don't receive enough support

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