January 2019
Introducing Jessica!
PPAL Welcomes Our Newest Multicultural Outreach Specialist

PPAL is pleased to welcome Jessica Barrera to its team as a Multicultural Outreach Specialist in the Boston area.  In the past, she worked as an administrator at a Boston charter school and at a biotech company.  Her passion for PPAL's mission derives from her personal experience with mental health, and from witnessing the lack of support for parents and children within the school system. Jessica is currently continuing her education, majoring in Holistic psychology in with the hope of changing the stigma behind mental health. She also wants to continue learning, teaching, and positively impacting the lives of others. In her free time, Jessica volunteers at East Boston's soup kitchen and enjoys this opportunity to connect with people from her community. 

Welcome Jessica!

PPAL Works to Include Family Voice in the Juvenile Justice System
Working to Improve Outcomes for Youth Throughout the State

PPAL is still working hard to include family voice in the juvenile justice system! In the northeast region, Middlesex has regrouped to work on a Dually Involved Youth (DIY) subcommittee to address the disparities in that population. Natasha Megie-Maddrey will participate to represent parent/family voice on behalf of PPAL.

In MA central region, we will also begin to structure a subcommittee to address the DIY population.  Our team has identified areas where change can be made to lower the number of children entering the juvenile justice system. We are also happy to share that the Worcester diversion pilot has moved forward thanks to the efforts of PPAL's Central MA Manager, Beth Pond, and Family Court Navigator, Carrie Noseworthy.

In the MA western region, we are happy to continue the hard but rewarding work of connecting families to PPAL to receive support and system navigation from our family support specialist, Aida Bednaz.

In Boston metro and southeast regions, PPAL is ready to hold our 2019 steering committees to continue the difficult work of improving outcomes for those families with children involved with the juvenile justice system.  The steering committees will also work to help families avoid deeper entry to the system. 

PPAL Continues to Show Growth!
Latest Numbers Now Available

  • In the fourth quarter of 2018, PPAL received more than 910 calls from families, youth and providers. 231 calls were with families whose children are justice-involved.
  • We had 129 attendees at our monthly statewide meetings.
  • PPAL had in-service presentations at 6 locations and facilitated 13 trainings/workshops

Lisa Lambert Contributes to Handbook of Contemporary Family Psychology 
Chapter Focuses on Family Advocacy

Lisa Lambert, along with lead author Kathleen Ferriera, PhD.,wrote a chapter on family advocacy for the just published APA Handbook of Contemporary Family Psychology.  This three volume handbook lays a foundation for  integrating theory, research, practice, and policy in contemporary family psychology.   The chapter, Family Advocacy In Children's Mental Health Past, Present and Strategies for a Successful Future, outlines the importance of family advocacy and support, defines the stages of family advocacy skills and the importance of family run organizations. The APA Handbook was published in December 2018.

Youth MOVE had a Great Time at the Railers Game!
Thanks to the Railers for a Fantastic Night

On December 22 nd , Youth MOVE attended a Railers game through tickets given to PPAL from the Railers Team. Many youth and families attended the game for a fun night of hockey!
Mateo, the Youth MOVE Development Specialist, was also able to get a generous donation from the Railers Hockey Team. When he collected the check, he dropped the puck, kicking off the game!

Thank you Railers for a generous donation and a really fun night! 

YouthMOVE Calendar
Check Out Our February Events


Blog Alert 

Did you miss our blogs? Read the latest blog by Executive Director, Lisa Lambert, titled " Is it a support, education, leadership, networking, or advocacy group? " about how a support group is so much more than a support group! Also check out the latest What Youth Are Saying blog titled "Rise UP" about finding strength to move forward by one of outstandingly talented young adults, Mateo Anderson here

You can now subscribe to the PPAL blog and never miss a post.  Look for the subscribe information on the blog page. 

Do You Have a Safety Plan for Your Family?

Do you have a crisis plan for when your child has a meltdown? Check out this wonderful article on why they are crucial by Liza Long- mom, writer, and powerful advocate. It even includes a quote from PPAL's Director, Lisa Lambert! 

February Monthly Meeting: 
ADHD Essentials with Brendan Mahan

Thank you to everyone who came out to the January Statewide Town Hall with Department of Mental Health Commissioner Joan Mikula, Deputy Commissioner Emily Sherwood, and Stephanie Brown, Director of the Office of Behavioral Health at MassHealth! We had a great question and answer section as well as heard about what was going on across the state. Thank you to everyone who came out and shared their story!

In February, we are pleased to welcome Brendan Mahan, Med, MS. He will lead a discussion on ADHD including why ADHD is poorly named, lifestyle strategies for managing ADHD, and practical tips for managing ADHD at home and school. 

We invite you to attend the next PPAL Monthly Meeting on February 12th 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 February 8th to be guaranteed a seat and lunch.  
Tuesday, February 12th,  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 statewide@ppal.net to RSVP

Latest Poll Results

January Poll Results

When your child goes into a CBAT bed (Community Based Acute Treatment), what is your biggest concern?

Contact with outside providers doesn't occur.....42.11%

No proper discharge planning.....31.58%

Length of stay is too short....21.05%

Length of stay is too long.....5.26%

Take our February Poll on our website:

The first week of February is Eating Disorder Awareness Week.  Where do you think your children should learn about the dangers and risks of Eating Disorders?



Media (news, social media, movies, etc)

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