December 2020
Pets, Parenting & Positivity
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Want to add some positivity to your Instagram feed? How about advice on raising children with mental health needs and tips on preserving your own sanity while doing so? Get to know the PPAL staff and how we make it through the day by following us on Instagram here. Cute pets and holidays survival tips guaranteed!

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Reaching Out In Tough Times
PPAL Hosts "Ask the Advocate" in Spanish and English

Over the past year, parents have had many concerns about virtual learning and how IEP accommodations can be implemented during the pandemic. On November 30 and December 17, PPAL hosted two experts to provide some answers: Laura Perez of Massachusetts Advocates for Children and Cynthia Moore of Advocate Tip of the Day. In collaboration with the Central and North Central Massachusetts area, we were able to offer these two important opportunities. We appreciate the Central Mass area Department of Mental health for their ongoing support.

Parents wanted to know what compensatory services are and how they could obtain them for their children. They also wanted advice on how to advocate for the services they felt their children needed.  As experts in the field of advocacy, Laura and Cynthia offered practical solutions and resources for parents, as well as tried-and-true advice to achieve the services that are needed for children to be successful.  

Parents appreciated the presentations. Reviews included "I now feel confident attending my son's IEP next week because I have a plan," "It was amazing,"  and "Thank you PPAL for hosting this event!"

Your Community Needs You!
Join Us to Learn More about Becoming a Family Partner
Are you the parent or caregiver of a child with special needs? Have you learned through experience how to get your children what they need? Then you already have the skills to become a Family Partner!

Want to learn more? Join PPAL's Dalene Basden for:

Walk In My Shoes: One Parent's Journey to Becoming a Family Partner

Virtual Information Session, Monday, January 11, 10-11:30 am

All are welcome, especially parents and caregivers from diverse communities and those who speak multiple languages. We encourage any parent or family member to come hear what it would be like to hold a job in the field of being a family partner. The community needs you! 

All participants will be entered in a raffle for Amazon gift cards!

For more information and to join the session, email Terry.

PPAL Goes (Facebook) Live!
Follow Us on Facebook to Get the Latest News & Updates

PPAL has gone live - Facebook Live, that is! Join us on Facebook to hear from PPAL's own Lisa Lambert, Dalene Basden, and Joel Khattar on how PPAL can help, what to expect from a parent support group, and much more. Follow us on Facebook to never miss a new video, or check out our YouTube channel for archived videos.

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PPAL Connects Families to 
Journalist for National Story
Local Families Contribute Their Experience with ER Waits

Since March, with routines disrupted, school and psychiatric services delivered remotely, and parents concerned about the pandemic and its repercussions, Massachusetts' children have been under more pressure than ever before. As more and more children and youth need psychiatric services, particularly in a hospital setting, parents are finding that the resources their kids need simply aren't there. Often their only option if they want to find care is to wait in an emergency room, sometimes for more than a week, hoping for a psychiatric bed to open up.

PPAL's Lisa Lambert provided background and recruited families to talk about their experiences for this important story, which appeared on the Associated Press website on December 5 and in the Boston Globe on December 6. Check it out here.

December Statewide Meeting: Help for Self-Harm and Suicidal Thoughts
Learning More about How to Help Loved Ones in Crisis
In December, PPAL had an important conversation with Annemarie Matullis from Impacted Families and Megan Matos from MassSupport, a program of Riverside. Annemarie and Megan spoke with over 70 families on the importance of recognizing and getting support for youth, adults and family members who are engaging in self-injury or who have suicidal thoughts. Annemarie brought over 40 years of experience, conversation, and helpful tips on what we need to do as parents to support our children. Megan discussed the connection that MassSupport can make during the hours of 8am-8pm to talk to anyone experiencing stress due to Covid-19. Significantly, there is no intake or waitlist process as a barrier to access to this important support.

For future assistance, you can contact MassSupport, or any of the organizations recommended by Annemarie at this link.

January 2021 Statewide Meeting! Sign Up to Talk with the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health!
PPAL is very excited to announce the statewide kick off in a town hall conversation with Commissioner Brooke Doyle of the Department of Mental Health, along with Deputy Commissioner of Child and Adolescent Services, Emily Sherwood. This meeting will take place on January 12, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Families, parents, and youth/young adults are all invited to discuss what is needed most when a child is in crisis, treatment during COVID, and support for caregivers. 

If you are interested in signing up and you are a family member with lived experience please sign up here.

Upcoming Trainings: Mental Health and the IEP, and Crisis Resources
Save the Date for These Important Trainings

PPAL is excited to host a Mental Health and IEP training for professionals and parents in the Worcester/North County area. These programs will take place over three days:
January 25, February 1 and February 8, from 10:00- 11:30am. For more information, please
email us. A RSVP will be required in order to get the zoom link and agenda. If you sign up for this program, we ask you to commit to attending all three sessions. As part of the program, you will receive unique specialized information to support families you work with and/or your own family.

Funding for this training is supported by the Department of Mental Health in Central Mass.

PPAL is excited to offer a workshop on Crisis on Jan 28th from 6:30pm-8:30pm. This will be held for anyone that identifies themselves as parents/caregivers and/or family members. We will discuss the 911 indicator form, 24/7 resources that would be available and more! To get more information and to RSVP, please email us.

Thank You, Sarah!
PPAL Wishes Sarah Luck as She Completes Her Internship

PPAL bids a fond farewell to Sarah Beaton, our student intern. While at PPAL, Sarah focused on our youth surveys, analyzing the survey results and drafting infographics.

Sarah will soon graduate from Bridgewater State University with a degree in Public Health. In January Sarah will begin a new job supporting families whose children receive speech and therapeutic services.
We wish her the best of luck. Stay in touch, Sarah!

Parent/Professional Advocacy League| 866-815-8122 | 617-542-7832 | |

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