January 2020
Introducing  Milla Paumo
Milla Joins PPAL as a Project Coordinator
Please join PPAL in welcoming Milla Paumo as our project coordinator.  Milla started as a full-time employee with PPAL in January. With a Finnish heritage, Milla brings knowledge and experience from multiple non-profits from her home country. Her devotion to better behavioral health services for all comes from her previous work with families, many of whom experienced financial, social or health-related difficulties. She has a passion for research and survey design, as well as volunteering in the community. In her spare time, you will find Milla with her young daughter, taking pictures, and shopping at local local flea markets.

As PPAL's project coordinator, Milla is responsible for designing surveys for families, organizing events, creating materials and updating PPAL's website and social media. If you have any questions about these issues, please feel free to contact Milla via email.

Parent Voices from the Top to the Ground
DYS Includes PPAL in Planning

PPAL attended the strategic planning retreat with the Department of Youth Services (DYS) at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center. As an agency, DYS continues to view both PPAL and parent voice as a priority. It was an exciting day in partnership and ideas as well as an amazing opportunity to plan for the future. Thank you to Commissioner Peter Forbes and Deputy Commissioner Ruth Rovezzi for always pushing your staff to include families.

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) through the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health continues to offer multiple opportunities to include PPAL in their work. PPAL continues to be in the conversation with CIT as the crisis intervention teams work hard to create opportunities to support youth and adults in law enforcement. 

Support Group News
Check Out Our Website for 2020 Group Lists
The n ew support group list for 2020 has been posted to our website. Check it out here.   

We are now including online groups as part of this list, so be sure to look for both in-person and online groups when searching.  If you know a group that should be on this list, please let us know! Email us here.

YOUTH Move Members Blog, Speak at Hospital Staff Meeting
Click to Read - and Comment - on Our Latest Youth Blog

Our young adult blogger, Maxxwell, puts forward a provocative idea. They say that suicide should be considered differently. Life is filled with pain and trauma, and for many or for some, life does not get better. Why attach blame or tell people to live for others?

Read the blog and comment. What do you think about their point of view? 

Youth MOVE Massachusetts Speakers Bureau members were invited to speak at a staff meeting at Taunton State Hospital on January 7. They spoke on several topics, and answered questions from attendees. The subjects included:
  • keeping youth and young adults engaged, 
  • gaining independence
  • what helps and doesn't help when it comes to services for youth and young adults. 

On January 11 th , Youth MOVE also held their first Strategic Sharing Training for the 2020 year at their home office in Worcester, with plans to host more in the coming months. 
Youth MOVE is always actively seeking new members for the Speakers Bureau group! Contact our Youth Development Specialist Chandra Watts  if you are interested or would like to request more information! 

PPAL Shows Continued Growth
Latest Numbers Now Available
Between November and December of 2019,
  • PPAL received 260 calls from families, youth and providers
  • We also received 254 juvenile justice calls
  • 110 people attended our statewide meetings
  • We offered 3 in-service presentations, and 1 workshop
Thank you for your support!
New Benefits with Commercial Insurers!
Behavioral Health Services for Children and Adolescents (BHCA) is now in effect!
PPAL has a new page on our website titled "Insurance Resources."  There, you will find frequently asked questions as well as the key people at each insurance company to contact if you run into difficulties in accessing needed services. Click here  to learn more.  

If you are running into obstacles when trying to access and/or understand the new services and are willing to share your story, PPAL warmly welcomes your feedback. Please email Project Coordinator Milla Paumo to share your experience.

Together with parents and Massachusetts Division of Insurance, PPAL is creating new materials on how to file an appeal when your request for Behavioral Health Services for Children and Adolescents is denied. Stay tuned for this new resource!


January Statewide Meeting: 
A Conversation on Children's Mental Health

Commissioner Joan Mikula and Deputy Commissioner Emily Sherwood from the Department of Mental Health (DMH) joined PPAL for our annual town hall meeting in January. Many topics were discussed, such as a new health care bill that would give nurse practitioners the ability to prescribe medication, new benefits with private insurance to access Behavioral Health Services for Children and Adolescents (BHCA), and emergency department waiting regulations.  They also spoke on reframing the transition age when shifting from child services to adult life. 

Boston leaders collaborate and support PPAL! 

Important voice from strong leaders attended the statewide meeting in January, all of  whom  are system supporters and changers. Danelsi Rosario (left) is leading family support at the Home for the Little Wanderers, Theresa McIntyre (center) is located at DMH, and Zuleka Queen-Postell  (right) is connected to Cambridge public schools. PPAL is excited to collaborate more in Boston for families!

February Statewide Meeting: 
A Conversation about Trauma and Self Care

Please join us in February when our guest speaker, Clinical Director Jacquelyn Kraps from The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute tells us about the importance of good self-care when experiencing trauma.

 "When the Well's Dry: Using Good Self-Care to Stay Trauma-Informed"

We are often completely drained before we realize the toll our current stressors and difficulties from our past have taken on us.  This didactic discussion will explore the impact of stress on the brain and body, as well as untangle the concepts of compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, and burnout as caregivers.  We will look toward a new perspective of trauma stewardship, where we can better tend to others through awareness, self-compassion, and sustainability.  We will reflect on our own resilience and learn ways to enhance it. 

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

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

Tuesday, February 11 , 2020
10 am - 1:00 pm
Plymouth Church, 87 Edgell Road in Framingham

Register here to reserve your spot.

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February 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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