September  2018
Juvenile Justice Team Continues Its Innovative Diversion Work
New Team Members Contribute to PPAL's Ongoing Efforts

PPAL continues to work towards diversion for juvenile justice involved youth, young adults, and families. Now that summer is over, Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) teams across the state are back and ready to work!

A s PPAL continues to support families, we have exciting news to share:  we are introducing a new Family Support Specialist to the team! Aida Bednaz is joining the Western Region. We are excited to add more services to this area of the state. 

In the Metro Region, PPAL was at the table to begin a discussion about the Georgetown model for dependent youth interviews (DYI). The team initiated mapping all the entry points into the systems to best identify how youth can be diverted away so we can continue to infiltrate deep levels of the juvenile justice system.   In addition, C.O.R.E (Community Option Release Engagement) continues to have success in providing supports for youth reentering their communities and creating better long term out comes for the family as a whole. 

At the JDAI quarterly meeting, we heard updates about the dually involved youth case conference intervention program (piloted in Hampden County).  This session touched on the negative effects trauma can have on brain development of adolescents as a reason to intervene with youth and young adults instead of waiting until adulthood. We also heard from Citizens for Juvenile Justice about new updates on the trauma to prison pipeline. The takeaway from these presentations is that early traumatic experiences can greatly affect brain development, which can be correlated to higher rates of juvenile justice involvement - unless we engage in evidence- and community-based intervention methods that support youth, young adults, and their families.

Multicultural Team Reaches Out to Diverse Communities
From Festivals to Trainings, PPAL Is Committed to Sharing Its Mission

Our Multicultural Outreach Specialist, Diana, has been busy with meetings and events around the Boston area! In August, she tabled for PPAL at the 11 th Annual Boston GreenFest and the World Hepatitis C Awareness event in East Boston. In September, Diana hosted a PPAL table at the Hispanic Heritage Festival in Malden. She is continuing to work with groups like Union Capital Boston in East Boston, WICC in East Boston, The Brookline Center, and Mattapan Community Health Center, as well as other local and community based organizations. We're excited that Diana is meeting so many families and sharing information about PPAL's resources to communities that need them!

PPAL was also able to host a free training this month for parents on transitioning your child from youth to adult services. Meri, Mireya, and Diana were great hosts, and Liz was happy to help out as well! We had a great group who were happy to share space in our small Boston office. Thanks for everyone who came out to learn and foster great conversation! Thanks to Mireya and Diana for translating Meri's great tips and tricks into Spanish! 

Youth MOVE Interns Show Leadership and Growth
18 Interns Participated in the DMH-Funded Program

Although summer is over, we can look back with fond memories, especially our internship program! Youth MOVE received funding from the Department of Mental Health (DMH) for 18 interns to work during the summer. It included work on leadership, facilitation, and life skills.

The Internship Program was a major success for the Youth MOVErs, as well as the Youth MOVE staff. There was a wide array of topics taught such as budgeting, mental health awareness, safe boundaries, and strategic sharing. It was an amazing experience to watch the Youth MOVErs plan and create a budget, as well as use tools and strategies to write and share parts of their journey. The opportunity to watch all of the Youth MOVER interns grow substantially in such a short period of time was very rewarding for all of us at Youth MOVE and PPAL.

We would like to thank Carly Sebastion from DMH, Ken Bates and Betty Bragdon of the Bridge of Central Mass for the space, and all of our many leaders!

Special thanks to our Youth MOVE interns who showed up every day with determination and willingness to learn! We loved having you and hope to see you again soon!

Youth MOVE Calendar
Check Out Our October Fun

Come Work at PPAL!
4 New Job Openings Available Now

Check out the job descriptions here and apply today! We have openings for a Family Navigator in Worcester, Office Manager in Boston, Multicultural Outreach Specialist in Boston, and a Data Specialist in Boston. We are especially looking for individuals with lived experience. 


Blog Alert 

Did you miss our blogs?  Read the latest What Youth Are Saying blog titled " I Am Not My Mental Illness, And Neither Are You " by one of outstandingly talented young adults, Rachel, here. Then check out Lisa Lambert's latest blog titled "Alternative facts, fake truths and mental health: are you kidding me?" 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. 

New Trainings!

We are excited to be offering Parent Advocacy Training in October. Check out the information below!

Parent Advocacy Training
Family Resource Center: 484 Main Street, Suite 460, Worcester, MA

Session 1 - October 26, 2018
Session 2 - November 2, 2018
Session 3 - November 9, 2018
Session 4 - November 16, 2018
Session 5 - November 30, 2018
Session 6 - December 14, 2018
All Sessions are 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Also, check out these Fall dates for our Worcester Family Network Social Support Group.  We hope to see you there! 

Family Networking and Social Support Group
PPAL office in Worcester
1 st and 3 rd Wednesday of each month
5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Upcoming Dates:
October 3, 2018
October 17, 2018
November 7, 2018
November 21, 2018 - No Meeting Thanksgiving Holiday
December 5, 2018
December 19, 2018

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

Did You Miss It?

PPAL is excited to announce the launching of our new YouTube channel! Currently, we have four videos on navigating the transition age with your child, three in English and one in Spanish. We encourage you to check them out  here and subscribe to the channel so you will be the first to know about new videos!

Also, check out Lucy (Youth MOVE Lead Peer Support Specialist) and Jonathan (Youth Coordinator with Youth MOVE) talk about depression and suicide on  Worcester News Tonight. So important to have this conversation, not just during National Suicide Prevention Week.
Reach out and offer help to someone if you can. It takes incredible strength to ask for help yourself. And always remember, you are not alone.

October Monthly Meeting: 
a Community Conversation on Mental Health

Thank you to everyone who came out to the September Statewide on juvenile justice and the intersection of mental health and behavioral health! We had a great presentation and discussion, led by Dr. Robert Kinscherff, Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Associate Professor at William James College.

Join us in October for a community conversation on mental health with Geoff Cushner, LICSW Managing Director & Clinician at Revidas, Worcester. In this community meeting we will discuss how to work with a diagnosis vs. working with symptoms, about trauma/PTSD & other diagnoses, as well as the various treatment options. We encourage you to bring your questions for this exciting community meeting!

We invite you to attend the next PPAL Monthly Meeting on October 9th at Plymouth Church in Framingham if you have lived experience (family members, family partners, family support specialists, parent/caregivers, young adult peers, or others in family support roles). 

Please pre-register by October 5th to be guaranteed a seat and lunch.  
Tuesday, October 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

September Poll Results

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Where should most of the prevention education come from for kids?


Parents and Caregivers.....40%
Social Media.....6.67%

Primary Care Doctors.....0%


Take our October Poll on our website:

World Mental Health Day, on 10/10/18 this year, was started in 1992. What has improved the most around mental health in the last 26 years?





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