February 2020
Ayesha Cummings Joins PPAL
Please Join Us in  Welcoming  Her to the Team
PPAL is excited to introduce you to Ayesha Cummings! Ayesha started as an Office Assistant at PPAL's Boston office earlier this year. She brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise and passion to our mission.  Prior to joining PPAL, Ayesha has worked in a number of administrative and office roles. She has many talents that will help PPAL get to the next level. She also owns her own business, specializing in hair design. 

Ayesha is a long-time Boston resident and mother of three. She works on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at our Boston office, so if you happen to call us on those days, she will be the one picking up the phone! Welcome to the team, Ayesha!

Upcoming Changes to Behavioral Health Services for Children and Adolescents (BHCA) with Additional Services 
Check Our Website for New Materials on These Changes!

On July 1, 2019, many Massachusetts private health insurance plans began paying for certain Behavioral Health Services for Children and Adolescents (BHCA). Additional behavioral health services (Additional Services) will begin on July 1, 2020. You will need to check with your insurance plan or your employer's human resources department to find out if your health insurance will cover these important services. The contact information for your insurance plan is on your health insurance card. 

PPAL has put together materials to help you to navigate these new changes. Please go to our website at: PPAL/Insurance Resources for more information, Frequently Asked Questions, Service Descriptions, Contact list for Providers and much more. 

Please share this important information with families in need! If you have any questions, please email Project Coordinator Milla Paumo.

Youth MOVE News
A Location Change for Meetings and More
Starting in February, Youth MOVE Massachusetts Speakers Bureau meetings have been held at ZIA, which graciously agreed to share its space. We will continue to meet at 4 Mann Street, in Worcester, on Wednesday's from 4:30-5:45.

We are also looking for two locations to host free Strategic Sharing trainings for youth and young adults: one in the Boston area and one in the Framingham area. Please contact our Youth Development Specialist Chandra Watts for more information.

PPAL Hosts Training on Mental Health and the IEP
The Program Offered Insight into the Individualized Education Program Process

This past month, PPAL hosted a training with parents at Camp Harbor View on mental health and the IEP.  This training brought a lot of insight of how to work with schools when your kids have emotional, behavioral and mental health needs. The parents who attended added a lot to the conversation. PPAL strives to light up ways to partner with schools and create a positive learning experience for all children. This training was funded by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health for parents of transition age youth. Pictured: training facilitators Meri Viano and Joel Khattar.

Hispanic Parent Support in Worcester
Parents Braved the Storm and School Closings to Meet Up
Despite the storm and school closings due to weather, PPAL's Hispanic Parent Cafe was open! A small but mighty group came together to share their lived experiences with child-serving systems, barriers to care in their community, and what trainings and resources would help them parent their children with behavioral health challenges. 

Please join our Support Group Facilitators Summit in March! 
This Free Event Promises to Be Incredibly Valuable
Join PPAL on March 25 for a FREE Support Group Facilitators Summit! At this event, you will discover ways to build your support group, learn from presenters, and get access to other support group leaders for networking, brainstorming, and support.

Location: Natick Library
Date and time: Wednesday March 25 th , at 9:00 am - 2:30 pm
Open to: all non-clinical support group facilitators with groups focused on supporting and helping families and caregivers.

Children's Mental Health Week 2020
This Year's Theme: Vision for Health and Happiness
Children's Mental Health Week is coming up! During one week in May, we will band together to raise awareness on issues around mental health and stigma. Several known landmarks across the state will light up green during the week to highlight the importance of breaking the stigma together as a community. This year's theme is VISION FOR HEALTH AND HAPPINESS.

PPAL will be distributing Children's Mental Health Week Toolkits again this year. If you would like one and you are not on our mailing list, let us know!

We will be gathering events related to mental health for our calendar for the month of May as well. If you already know yours, let Milla know!

Want your city officials to be part of this important week? Reach out to your city council or Mayor and ask them to sign our proclamation. Templates can be requested from Project Coordinator, Milla Paumo.

PPAL thanks you for being part of this memorable week. Let's break stigma together! 

Save the Date for the 2020 PPAL Conference!
Our "Don't Stop Believing" Conference Will Take Place on May 29, 2020

The 9th Annual PPAL Conference will be here soon.

Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available.

Contact conference@ppal.net for details.

DMH Legislative Breakfast
2020 Legislative Breakfast Series Schedule Starts in March
The Department of Mental Health (DMH) will begin its legislative breakfast series in March. The breakfasts are free and open to the public! Registration for all events starts at 9:30 a.m. and the program runs from 10:00 a.m. to approximately 11:00 a.m.  Bring your questions, share your experiences and meet your  legislators!

Western Mass Citizens Legislative Breakfast:  March 6, 2020

Location: Springfield Technical Community College, Scibelli Hall

Central Mass Area Citizens Legislative Breakfast: May 1, 2020

Location: Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, Large Conf. Room, K2-A2

Metro Boston Area Citizens Legislative Breakfast: May 20, 2020

Location: Great Hall, State House

For more information, please visit the state's website.
PPAL Celebrates Valentine's Day 
Parental Well-Being Advocate Creates Supportive Card
PPAL also celebrated Valentine's Day with a cute, supportive card made by Kendra Wilde. 
Kendra is a parental well-being advocate and has established an inspiring social media account called Wild Peace as a resource to bolster parents of kids with behavioral health needs and provide peer support .  Her message is: "you are not alone in this". This Instagram account focuses on self-care tips and parental support.  Later this year, she will begin her podcast series. Follow Wild Peace for Parents on Instagram. Thank you Kendra for creating this lovely and important platform for fellow parents!


Our Latest Blogs

PPAL's Executive Director Lisa Lambert writes that her son had a succession of diagnoses, some overlapping. She calls them the "morphing diagnoses and asks: "How many mood disorder diagnoses does one child need?"

This is a pretty common experience. Is it yours? Read the blog and post a comment! 

February Statewide Meeting: 
A Conversation about Trauma and Self-Care

PPAL's February Statewide Meeting concentrated on self-care and trauma with our guest speaker, Clinical Director, Dr. Jacquelyn Kraps of the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute. Dr. Kraps gave us great tips on how to rewire your brains when going through trauma as well as explaining how long-lasting stress affects our brain's functionality. Thank you, Dr. Kraps, for an extremely informative session! 

March Statewide Meeting: 
Breaking Down Friendship Barriers and Nurturing Children's Social Skills

Please join us for our next Statewide Meeting in March with our guest speaker, Nadine Briggs! 

Nadine Briggs is the Director of Simply Social Kids and managing partner of Social Success Central, LLC. She is also a best-selling author of the How to Make and Keep Friends book series and an accomplished social educator. She has a personal passion for helping kids find true friendships and connectedness. Simply Social Kids provides a sensory-simple, safe, accepting environment for children, teens and young adults to learn friendship skills and improve their optimism and resiliency. 

In March Nadine will tell us more how to break down friendship barriers and nurture children's social skills. 

The event is free, but you must pre-register to be guaranteed a seat.

This meeting is open to  all family members, family partners, family support specialists, parents/ caregivers, and others in family support roles or with lived experience.

Tuesday, March 10 , 2020
10 am - 1:00 pm
Plymouth Church, 87 Edgell Road in Framingham

Register here to reserve your spot.

Latest Poll Results

February Poll Results

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March Poll: 

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

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