PPAL in Print
June 2021
PPAL at 30
Did You Know?
Did you know that...PPAL was part of a group led by Senator Karen Spilka which reformed the Children in Need of Services (CHINS) law? You may know this law by its current name, Children Requiring Assistance (CRA). Before the CHINS law was enacted, when a child was in need of services, their parents often had to go before a judge to ask for the state to take "care and responsibility" of their child. In 2010, PPAL gave Senator Spilka the Champions Award at our Stakeholder''s Meeting.
New Video Highlights How PPAL Makes a Difference
Check Out the Video on YouTube!
Attendees at PPAL’s annual conference early this month were treated to a debut of PPAL’s newest video. Learn how PPAL makes a difference through support, education, outreach, advocacy, and showcasing the family experience. Enjoy our new video here, or click the video player below!
PPAL Hosts Its Annual Conference
Thanks to All Who Participated!
On June 4, PPAL hosted its annual conference and celebration, “Holding Hands in Hard Times.” Held online for the first time this year, the event was attended by hundreds of families and providers. 

The conference kicked off with a welcome by PPAL Executive Director Lisa Lambert, the unveiling of PPAL’s new mission video, and a welcome by Department of Mental Health (DMH) Commissioner Brooke Doyle.

Andrea Berryman Childreth, parent and author of On the Edge: Help and Hope for Parenting Children with Mental Illness, gave the keynote speech at the conference. Andrea’s presentation, entitled “Embracing Shame and Courage to Find Hope and Balance,” was much appreciated by attendees, who were thankful to hear experiences similar to theirs and who felt heard (perhaps for the first time). If you missed it, you can find a recording of the presentation on Andrea’s website, or our YouTube channel

Following the keynote, attendees were able to choose from six morning and five afternoon workshops, including presentations on school avoidance, grandfamilies, Brain XP' s System of H.O.P.E, and much more. Participants were active and learned a lot! You can find the slides from many of our workshops on our website.

The conference also featured several giveaways, and the presentation of PPAL’s annual awardees: Thula Sibanda, Oonagh Brault, Metafold, Madison Whalen, Karin Broadhurst, Raquel Quezada, and Nate Hernandez.

Big thanks to Andrea, our wonderful workshop presenters, and everyone who attended the conference. We can’t wait to see you again next year!
Multicultural Outreach Program Hosts Workshops and More
Reach Out Today for Support
In the past few months, the multicultural outreach program participated in many workshops on racial equality and mental health. We were also able to share information with a program that gifted moms who were living with mental health challenges $300 gift cards on Mother's Day. The multicultural team continues to connect to the system of care committee meetings in Lynn, Dorchester, Roxbury and Chelsea. If you need support in those areas please contact PPAL for family support by going to the website and requesting a connection.

In addition, the multicultural outreach program held a Family Partner workshop, and was excited to host speakers from Cambridge Health Alliance to share their lived experiences and how they became Family Support Specialists. The multicultural team continues to reach out to diverse communities especially in need after the pandemic. Are you an organization that would love to connect with PPAL and have more information on mental health? Please contact us by emailing info@ppal.net and asking for a multicultural outreach specialist.
PPAL Is Hiring!
Current Openings Include Project Coordinator and Family Support Specialists
Looking for a job? PPAL is hiring! We are looking for a Project Coordinator and two Family Support specialists for our Juvenile Justice program. Find out more about the positions here, and come join us at PPAL!
Statewide Conference Discusses the 3-Cs of Mental Health Parenting
Presentation Addresses Storytelling, Building a Community, and More
This month, presenter Deborah Vlock spoke to parents and family at June’s Statewide Meeting, in a presentation titled “Community, Communication, and (Self-)Care; The 3-Cs of Mental-Health Parenting.” Deb is a mom, an author, a blogger and a mental health advocate who discussed her own experience of storytelling, and how it helped her family and others along the way.

She highlighted why telling your mental health parent story is important, how to own your narrative and find your voice, how to find community for parents and kids, and different types of communication needs we have when we talk with our children, family and friends vs. talking to clinicians, educators, and the public.

One parent commented that the most powerful part of the presentation was Deb sharing her own experiences as a parent, as “the sorts of parenting we talk about are hard and she validated this through examples.” Another shared that the presentation reminded them that “caring for kids with mental health challenges is a hard job and it's different from other families and their kids and we need to acknowledge how hard it is and allow ourselves the self care we need.”

Juvenile Justice Stays Busy
Check Our Website for Upcoming Events!
PPAL’s Juvenile Justice Program has had a jam-packed summer so far! Attending the Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Board (JJPAD)’s most recent meeting, PPAL discussed Family Resource Centers (FRCs) and the Mental Health Advocacy Program (MHAP) for kids. We went over the Hope model and ACES training as well. We also discussed a Diversion Learning Lab, which is coming soon! 

Our Juvenile Justice program has also been busy with the Title I Needs Assessment program, an educational program for youth who are in the care of the Department of Youth Services (DYS). In April, the program was given a grant to allow DYS students to receive tutoring on the weekend. It has made a big change with our youths who were willing to be a part of the sessions. There are 3 regions doing extra support with education: Metro, Southeast and West. In addition to this great program, PPAL has more ideas and plans to help move our youth forward.

PPAL received Covid relief funds to support families that need extra help in Lynn, Chelsea, Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan. Through this funding, we are excited to offer a series on discipline, CRA diversion and more! Keep a close eye on our events section on the website to see what is coming up to support your family and children.
Public Radio Series Focuses on Children's Mental Health During the Pandemic
Listen to WBUR to Hear from PPAL Families
The pandemic has upended life for many young people, exacerbating mental health issues for those already struggling, and bringing up new emotions for others. A new series on WBUR explores how kids are faring now and what challenges lie ahead. A number of PPAL families contributed their stories to the series. Listen here to hear their voices and learn more about the impact of the pandemic on children’s mental health.
Parent Support Groups Host Guests
Groups Also Highlight Youth Artwork
PPAL’s Family Support Groups continue to actively engage with parents and caregivers throughout Massachusetts - including with speakers for our meetings. Our April 7th presenter, "Bob," is a PPAL Dad, a published author, and an accomplished & entertaining speaker. Bob shared his family's journey supporting his daughter with her mental health challenges. 

PPAL also hosted a Family Network Social on May 27. At this event, Jennifer Malcolm Brown, Director of the Child Trauma Training Center at UMASS Medical Center, spoke on trauma and how it affects adaptive functioning. She also shared information and resources about the LINK-KID Program at UMASS and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.  

At a meeting on June 2, MaryAnn Davis, PhD., Director of iSPARC and the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research, shared information and outcomes based on research by UMASS Medical School and Boston University about their PASS Study: Peer Academic Coaching for College Students with Mental Health Conditions. She also shared some tools that are available on their website to help support students who are struggling with their mental health while trying to obtain their college education. 

On May 5th, the PPAL Parents of Transition Age Youth Group hosted the YouthMove/KIVA-Via Center's 2nd Annual Virtual Art Show, which was well attended. This year's theme, the Pulse of the Pandemic, elicited several pieces of artwork that were submitted by people with lived experience. Their many outstanding talents showcased emotional photos, drawings, paintings, creative writing and videos. 
In addition to hosting guest speakers, PPAL’s family support groups continue to highlight peer support & information sharing. Find our group listing on our calendar and visit one today! 

PPAL is very appreciative of the support of The Central Massachusetts DMH to provide families with park passes, iPads, and a series for special education and school connections. If you are from the Central Mass area look for the important and space-limited events coming soon! ASL interpreters will be available.  

Want more info? Email us at Parentsupportgroup@ppal.net.  
New Tipsheets Now Available!
Download Our Latest Tipsheets on Our Website
Visit our website to view, download, and print our two newest tipsheets.

Why should I become a community health worker? Parents and caregivers of children with special needs already have the experience they need to become one! Learn more about the process in our tipsheet Become a Community Health Worker!
Your family’s mental health story has power! With it, you can reach out for help, connect with families who have been through similar experiences, and build community. Find out how with the tipsheet Sharing Your Family’s Mental Health Story
Find Us on Facebook Live!
Watch Every Wednesday at 2 p.m.!
Don’t forget to look for us on Facebook live, every Wednesday at 2pm! Tune in, or watch past videos on our Facebook page.

No Statewide Conference in July!
Join Us on August 10 for the Next Conference
Just a friendly reminder to our families that we take a break from our monthly statewide conference in July. Please stay tuned for the topic of our next conference, held on August 10!
Parent/Professional Advocacy League