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March 16, 2022

The Ally: Heartbreak, Uncertainty and Working Together


This week began with the heartbreaking news that our dear friend and colleague, Jo Turlington, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday. Jo brought sweetness and comfort to all who knew her. May we all find that same sweetness and comfort amid our grief as we treasure our memories of her. I was very touched that Jo's family agreed when we asked if this week's tribute for Women's History Month could be in her honor.

This week we continue to share policy information related to legislation and legal developments in the state. We also share our public comments on the Division of Medicaid's psychiatric residential treatment facilities. We hope this information is helpful as you think through what's most important to you and your family about the type of support you want for your child. If you wish to submit comments on Medicaid's policy, the deadline is this Friday.

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our system of care webinar on MAP Teams. You can review the recording if you missed it. Please join us for the next two webinars in the series: What is a System of Care and What Does Wraparound Mean? on March 17 at 2:00 p.m. and What is a System of Care and How Does the Interagency Coordinating Council for Children and Youth Fit Into It? on March 31 at 2:00 p.m.

Our Virtual Bring Your IEP and Other School Questions is March 17 at noon CDT. Any family with school or IEP questions is very welcome to drop in. No need to register - simply click the link between 12 and 1. Please check out our events section for additional training and support activities.  

There's a lot of uncertainty and unrest in the world right now. Talking to our children about war and dealing with our anxieties about the Ukraine conflict and economic turmoil can be challenging. We've included some resources that we hope will be practical and helpful. 

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[top photo by Anastasia Vityukova via]


Jo Turlington passed away on March 13, 2022. She was one of the best people I have ever known.
There have been several developments in Mississippi lawsuits related to mental health this past week.
Some important bills passed the Mississippi Legislature this week and were signed by the governor, while we’re still watching some others.
The Mississippi Division of Medicaid’s policy for psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs) is open for comment.
In this webinar from Families as Allies Executive Director Joy Hogge explains what a System of Care is and how “Making a Plan” Teams can help families in Mississippi.


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 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.
A status conference regarding the first monitoring report in the U.S. v. Mississippi mental health lawsuit is scheduled for April 4, 2022.


Helps parents understand how economic difficulties can affect their families, in terms of their sense of safety, connectedness, and hope. The fact sheet also helps families find ways to cope during uncertain times.
First and foremost, consider the age and developmental levels of the students.
Many kids may be hearing about the situation in Ukraine. Our instincts may be to avoid talking to them about tough stuff on the news, but if we don’t, they’ll piece it together from other places. Our job is to provide our kids with accurate, age-appropriate information, while reminding them...

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