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March 9, 2022

The Ally: A Week Filled With Information


We've had a week filled with excellent information. On Wednesday, March 2nd, we met for our policy and leadership discussion. We discussed navigating the Mississippi State Legislature's website, reading bills, and the Division of Medicaid's policy on psychiatric residential treatment centers, which is open for comment. We recorded the meeting for those who wanted to attend but could not do so. March 10th is the deadline for the House and Senate to vote on bills that originated in the other chamber. 

On March 4th, Dr. Michael Hogan, the court-appointed monitor in the mental health lawsuit, published his first report. He describes the lawsuit's background, his approach to monitoring and initial findings. He includes an appendix with more context about Mississippi's mental health system at the end of his report.

This past week, we also had the opportunity to reach out to the directors of children's services at the community mental health centers and other certified providers. We shared information about parent peer support and sent brochures to many of you. Thank you for your feedback and your help to get the word out to parents who might be interested in parent peer support. Please let us know if we didn't contact you or if you would like more brochures, and don't forget to join us for our Parent Peer Support Conversation for Anyone working with Parent Peer Supporters next month on April 8th at 10 a.m. CST. Parent peer supporters, please join us for Supportive Coaching for Parents Supporting Other Parents on March 9th at noon CST

On March 8th, I had the pleasure of interviewing Senator Nicole Boyd as one of the Mississippi women making history that we honor during Women's History Month. I think you will enjoy her thoughts and insights as much as I did.

We all just learned the news that Dr. Dobbs, Public Health Officer for the Mississippi State Department of Health, will be leaving his position in July. We are grateful for his tireless devotion to the state throughout COVID and his ongoing support of Families as Allies and family-centered practice. We wish him the very best.

In March, we're also focusing on what a system of care means and what Mississippi state law says about our system of care for children. Please join us for these webinars:

What is a System of Care and How Do MAP Teams Help Families? on March 10th at 2 p.m. 

What is a System of Care and What Does Wraparound Mean? on March 17th @ 2 p.m. 

What is a System of Care and How Does the Interagency Coordinating Council for Children and Youth Fit Into It? on March 31st at 2 p.m. 

And don't forget to join us for the 2022 Virtual Mental Health & Wellness Day at the Capitol on March 10th from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. CST. Ask your state legislators to join you!

Joy Hogge signature


In honor of Women's History Month, Families as Allies is talking to women in Mississippi who are making a difference for families in the state. In this video, Families as Allies Executive Director Joy Hogge speaks with Mississippi State Senator Nicole Boyd.
Dr. Michael Hogan, the court-appointed Monitor for the U.S. v. Mississippi mental health lawsuit, posted his first monitoring report on Friday, March 4.
After we sent our letter with recommendations for spending these federal dollars, the Department of Mental Health published its plans for the American Rescue Plan funds on its website.
Families as Allies Executive Director Joy Hogge walks through some of the legislative and state agency resources available to families who want to evaluate policy decisions in the Mississippi systems that serve our children.


Join other parents for a monthly meeting and online gathering to coach and support other parents in any system.
This webinar will review evidence-based, culturally responsive programs, followed by a discussion with providers.
Due to COVID-19, the Mental Health and Wellness Day at the Capitol will be held online Thursday, March 10 from 10 – 11 a.m.
Tu autoestima es la primera y más importante de tus relaciones: tiene una relación directa con todas tus relaciones interpersonales.
The Words Matter series engages and opens authentic discussions about the impact of common terminology used in child serving systems.
This webinar explains the infrastructure of Mississippi’s system of care and the laws that tell how it is supposed to function.
Christine Williams will speak on the topic of the shame surrounding mental health on March 10 at the Stronger Hope M.B. Church.
The Taste of Café series gives you a preview of Cafés—Be Strong Families’ internationally known, structured, small group conversations!
The Mississippi Board of Mental Health Meeting will be held on March 17 at 9 AM. The Mississippi Board of Mental Health Meeting will be held on March 17 at 9 AM. at Hudspeth Regional Center 875 MS 475, Whitfield MS 39193.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will transition its 1-800 number to 988, a new, nationwide three-digit number for suicide response.
Discuss the urgency in putting a stop to traumatizing and criminalizing children and focus on positive school discipline approaches.
The Mississippi Board of Mental Health Meeting will be held on March 17 at 9 AM. on Lamar St. in downtown Jackson.
The Mississippi State Board of Education meeting will be held on March 17. Participants may attend live or view the meeting via live stream.
This hour is open for any family member to drop in for all or some of the time to ask questions or get feedback about IEP issues.
This webinar explains the infrastructure of Mississippi’s system of care and the laws that tell how it is supposed to function.
The Peer Support Specialist Professional Supervisor Training is designed for agency administration/management and CPSSP Supervisors.
The MAAC’s mission is “to study, make recommendations and develop a strategic plan on how best to educate and train students with ASD.
The 43rd Juvenile Justice Symposium will be held virtually and in person in Biloxi, MS on March 23 to 25, 2022.
This webinar explains the infrastructure of Mississippi’s system of care and the laws that tell how it is supposed to function.


The state is arguing lawyers with the U.S. Department of Justice should not be able to communicate with staff at local mental health centers.

This Q&A document is intended to provide guidance regarding the IDEA requirements applicable to children with disabilities placed by their parents in private schools, who are not enrolled in the LEA, and for whom the provision of FAPE is not at issue.

What if the barriers to care that underserved groups experience is due to a lack of providers who POC can identify with and trust?
So you’re better able to cope—and help.
Collaborating with parents and caregivers throughout the school year can make the individualized education program meeting more valuable.

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