Parent/Professional Advocacy League
The Massachusetts Family Voice for Children's Mental Health               
   February 2017
PPAL Is Gearing Up for a Busy Spring!
In this issue:
  1. Youth MOVE MA Is Having a Busy February!
  2. Juvenile Justice Continues Conversations Across the State
  3. Saying Goodbye to Anne
  4. Celebrating Black History Month
  5. Strengthening Youth Voices in the Bowdoin Geneva Community
  6. Save the Date! 6th Annual Conference and Celebration
  7. Getting Ready for Children's Mental Health Week
  8. A Successful Statewide Meeting

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Parent/ Professional
Advocacy League
Statewide Office-Boston
15 Court Square
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Boston, MA 02108
Toll Free: (866) 815-8122
Fax: (617) 542-7832
Central Ma Office
40 Southbridge Street
Suite 310
Worcester, MA 01608
Tel: (508) 767-9725
Fax: (508) 767-9727

March Statewide Meeting

Please join us in welcoming education advocate Lynne Rachlis.  Lynne has over 30 years of advocacy experience, with a focus on advocating for children with mental health needs. Lynne's presentation will focus on advocating for children and adolescents with psychiatric disabilities in the school system. 

Register by February 10 via email.

Tuesday, February 14
10:00 am - 2:00 pm 
Plymouth Church Conference Room
Framingham, MA

Poll Results

What is your biggest concern as it relates to juvenile justice?
Racial disparities  25% 
Transition services  25% 
School to prison pipeline  0% 

All of the above  50% 

  Busy Youth MOVE MA Is Having a Busy February!

1.   Youth MOVE Massachusetts is having an awesome and very busy February so far! Earlier this month, we had a great speaker come to YAYA from the Second Chance Animal Shelter and talk with us about adoption and other low-cost services they provide to pet owners. We also got to meet a dog in training named Holly, and our youth got to help her practice her tricks.  For Valentine's Day, we had a great group where we had a taco night led by Maddie. as well as cookie decorating.! It was a blast!
Along with our regularly scheduled youth groups this month, we have a couple of exciting events planned for February vacation. We are hosting "Cocoa and Crafts" on Wednesday, February 22 nd  with Maddie and Dani from 11am-1pm, as well as a Popcorn and Movie Night on Friday, February 24 th , from 5-7:30pm. Be there or be square!
Youth MOVE MA is also excited to share that our start-up event for our SBIRT Youth Leadership Committee went great last month. We will be working towards the prevention and support of youth and young adults with substance abuse challenges, and last meeting we set the group guidelines to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all. Our next monthly meeting kicks off on February 23rd, and we already have a number of great youth and young adults on board. We are also excited to collaborate with PPAL on another LGBTQ Training on February 15 th  in Milford, as well as offering another round of Strategic Sharing for youth and young adults in mid-February as well. Stay tuned for updates on future trainings!  


2.  PPAL continues to reach out to families that are connected because they have a child that is either in detention or is at risk of detention. With our Family Support Specialists throughout the state, we are bringing necessary messages to work with families and youth. PPAL believes in collaboration and partnership to help shift the culture in acceptance and support of youth. Our message is one of hope and belief so that youth, young adults and families do not feel alone, and so that providers receive support in understanding how to work with families and to use language that helps families understand how to achieve goals.
Court rooms are designed to hear legal cases . Our children need to get support prior to the courts. We have judges that believe in children and families, but intervention is often necessary before this stage is reached. 

The Youth Advocacy Division website has helpful information for families involved in the juvenile justice system: 


3. It is with great sadness that we announce that Anne Silver, Director of Operations, has moved on to another position. Anne brought a great deal of expertise and integrity to PPAL, and she will certainly be missed. We were fortunate to have her attend our February Statewide conference so that we could recognize her for her hard work before she left PPAL for her new position. Best of luck, Anne!  

BlackHistoryCelebrating Black History Month

4. We continue to support youth and families of color all year round. To celebrate Black History Month, we have put together a collection of resource sheets and sites to help support families with mental health issues in their families, including those who many not seek help or support due to the stigma that they may face in their community or their own homes.  We continue to support our diversity community of PPAL families, providers and supporters, and look forward to continuing our collaborations and partnerships.  Always remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Please find some of our powerful leaders connected to us - in our staff, on our board and in our own families and youth! We are have the ability to spread this important message.

  BGStrengthening Youth Voices in the Bowdoin Geneva Community

5 Youth MOVE Massachusetts and PPAL have been networking with youth to create an active youth voice in this neighborhood.  Outreach activities include meetings, which are held in the Grove Hall Library in Dorchester.  Youth voice is incredibly important and more active voices are needed.  Upcoming trainings for youth include Strategic Sharing which provides youth with the skills to share their stories effectively and safely.

 SixthSave the Date! 6th Annual Conference & Celebration
6.  We are excited to announce that PPAL's 6th Annual Conference and Celebration will be held on May 19, 2017 at the Best Western in Marlboro.  Our keynote speakers will be Linea and Cinda Johnson, authors of Perfect Chaos:  A Daughter's Struggle to Survive Bipolar and A Mother's Struggle to Save Her.  Watch our website for more details!  Registration coming soon.

  CMHWGetting Ready for Children's Mental Health Week!

7. This year, Children's Mental Health Wee k will be celebrated on May 7-13, 2017, with a theme of "Putting Together Our Hopes and Dreams."  PPAL is g
etting ready for this incredible annual event.  Toolkits are currently being designed and will be ready in late April.  Are you on the list to get one?  Email Erin at for details.

  LynneA Successful Statewide Meeting

8. In March, we PPAL welcomed presenter Lynne Rachlis, who spoke on the topic of advocating for  students with psychiatric disabilities.  Lynne spoke at length about the best strategies to use when parents are facing a Bureau of Special Education Appeal hearing. Much of the presentation was a lively question and answer format including a review of cases heard on appeal and how they apply to parents across the state.  We appreciate the great turnout!