The Ally
Fall 2017
The Families As Allies Newsletter





October 4, 2017
Hyatt Regency
Washington, DC 

October 19, 2017
@ 6pm 
840 East River Place
Suite 500,  Jackson, MS 
The public is invited and 
public comments are encouraged.
Email questions or comments to   
Fax to 601-355-0919

Monday, Nov. 6th, 2017
5 PM- 7:30 PM 
Bravo! Italian Restaurant
Jackson, MS 


Saturday, November 11th, 2017
Check-in: 8 AM 
Mississippi State Capitol
Jackson, MS
Contact: Sitaniel Wimbley

9:30 AM 
Boswell  Regional Center
1049 Simpson Hwy 149
Magee MS 39111


"Thank you for coming to our aid without hesitation, and on very short notice, when nobody else would."
Family of young child

"Families as Allies
is a great group of people here to help those in need of learning their child's rights and what the parents' rights are in their child's education!"
Father of teenager

"I have learned a lot from this organization. And that makes me want to give back and help other families."
Part-time family partner



Because of your generous support, Families as Allies has touched the lives of many children and families over the past year. Please help us honor this good work and ensure it continues by joining us Monday, November 6th, from 5:00 to 7:30 at the newly renovated Bravo! Italian Restaurant for our Fourth Annual Community Partnership Celebration

This is our major fundraiser of the year so we ask that you give and give generously.  What could be more important than supporting families so that they can support their children?  We want ALL of our children to have the opportunity to reach their potential and succeed.

We are happy to announce and thank our first six sponsors: Regions Bank, Magnolia Health, Southern Poverty Law Center, the Mississippi Psychiatric Association, Profit Smart LLC and Jayne Buttross.

Please contact Joy Hogge if you would like to become a sponsor.

Families as Allies is expanding its parent-to-parent support to families of young children in Jackson, Mississippi, with plans to grow the project to other parts of the state over the next three years.

This project is funded by a $781,309 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan and builds on the foundation created by BuDS, an infant and early childhood mental health collaborative between the City of Jackson, Mississippi Families for Kids, and Families as Allies.

"Nobody knows their children better or loves them more than their families," said Joy Hogge, executive director of Families as Allies. "This project gives parents the opportunity to learn from other parents' real-world ways to support their children. We know that supporting families when children first show signs of emotional challenges helps everyone in the family and saves money over time."

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba of Jackson welcomed the Kellogg Foundation's support for the early childhood initiative. "The City looks forward to continuing its partnership with Families as Allies and to working with them to expand services for families with young children in our city."

Efforts will initially focus on families with young children in Jackson Public Schools and in the City's child development centers. Families will have the opportunity to learn ways to foster healthy development in their children and how to navigate the services and supports that would be most helpful to them, leading to decreased stress for children, parents and teachers and improved academic readiness as children progress through school.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. 


We realize that you won't be able to be in Washington D.C. today and tomorrow, but you can join us  by making your voice heard! Send a comment by email to our Executive Director Joy Hogge and she'll represent your experiences at the National Council for Behavioral Health's annual Public Policy Institute and Hill Day, today and Tuesday, October 2-3 in Washington, D.C.

Hill Day 2017 is the largest behavioral health advocacy event of the year, where hundreds of stakeholders join together in our mission to serve people living with mental illness and addictions by urging Congress to support our work and protect vital funding sources like Medicaid.

Joy is serving as Mississippi's State Captain for Hill Day, and she  will be visiting the offices of all of Mississippi''s U.S. Senators and Congressmen. 

By going, participants across the country will be
able to:
  • Gain special insights into the legislative process, with updates from political journalists and national health care experts
  • Meet with Members of Congress and their staff to speak up for our field's priorities
  • Network with other advocates
  • Have fun!
This year is setting up to be the biggest one yet! This year, the National Council is partnering with 20 other national organizations, including: Addiction Policy Forum, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, Association of Recovery Schools, Clubhouse International, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Faces and Voices of Recovery, Facing Addiction, Family-Focused Treatment Association (FFTA), Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA), Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy, International Bipolar Foundation, Legal Action Center, Mental Health America, NAMI, NAADAC the Association for Addiction Professionals, National Association of Social Workers, Network for Social Work Management, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, Shatterproof, and Young People in Recovery.

And on Wednesday, October 4th, FREDLA ( Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association)  will also be holding its 2017 annual meeting in Washington D.C. Congressman Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts and Paolo del Vecchio, MSW, the Director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)'s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) will be among the featured speakers.

Thank you for all that you do to advance mental health and addictions care. Please call or email Joy  to make your voice heard!

The nationally accepted definition of family-driven care makes it clear that families should have an equal role in decisions about their own children's care and that families and family run organizations must partner in policy and funding decisions that affect all children.

In order for that to happen, complete transparency and
open sharing of information is essential. The same is true for adult consumers and their care.

As many of you know, Families as Allies has advocated since March 2015 for the State to make public two taxpayer funded reports that describe how to make our mental
health system more responsive and also address the issues for which it is being sued. Those reports were made public over the summer due to a Clarion Ledger lawsuit against
the State. You can read them here: CHILDREN'S REPORT

Families as Allies urges all policy makers, providers, and systems to come together with consumers of services and their families to use these reports to make our system more responsive to the needs of adults and children with mental illness and their families. 

We appreciate recent invitations from AG Jim Hood and
DMH Director Ms. Diana Mikula to participate in discussions about mental health and hope that these will be opportunities to work together on how to implement the recommendations in the TAC reports in a consumer and family driven way.


Conni Wells was appointed with other national experts to guide a new initiative to better serve Americans with serious mental illness.

The Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) was established by the 21 Century Cures Act to improve federal coordination of efforts that address the pressing needs of adults with serious mental illness and children and youth with serious emotional disturbance. 

Individuals with these conditions too often lack access to evidence-based treatment and supports andexperience high rates of suicide, unemployment, homelessness, criminal justice involvement andother negative outcomes.

I take my role as your voice on the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) seriously.

This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to unify our voices and offer solutions to change the way services and supports of offered to families and their children and youth with serious emotional disturbance.

That is why, with the help of the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health and the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Conni is turning to the experts in children's mental health; the families that have lived experience.

Through a series of conference call "town hall meetings" to get your insights, input, and ideas on how to reshape the system of care to make it responsive to the real needs of children with SED and their families. The outcomes of these meetings will be shared with committee members so they can better understand our children's system and how they can assist us.


Join the NAMI Mississippi biggest fundraiser of the year - a stigma-free morning where everyone is welcome. We will have music, a Kid Korner, 5K Walk and a village of vendors.

This year, we are "Giving Our Veterans A Helping Hand" by honoring them at the Mississippi State Capitol. You can help! This is a fun event with a festival atmosphere. We are expecting 300 people for our 5K Walk, Kid Korner and Village of Wellness vendors.

When you walk with NAMI Mississippi, you join the movement to raise awareness of mental illness and raise funds for our mission to help individuals and families right here in our state.

Register today and join us as we improve lives and our communities one step at a time.

Vendor Registration Instuctions:
Please save the receipt of your Eventbrite payment, and mail or bring a copy of it with the required registration form that you can download by clicking HERE.

Walk Registration:

For more info contact NAMI Mississippi:
Sitaniel Wimbley,   601-899-9058

Last year, under Lead Family Partner Henry Moore's leadership, Families as Allies held family town hall meetings around the state to learn about families' experiences with the mental health and education systems. We will be issuing a report on those findings soon.

This year we are expanding those meetings to learn more about how to support families of children with special health care needs, how families experience wraparound services and whether families are able to access supports that help their children stay at home with them.

If you would  like to host a meeting in your area or
find out about this exciting projec t, call Henry at
601-355-0915 or email him at