Our partners at Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PPAL) sit at the table with partners on the Children’s Mental Health Campaign. PPAL is the only family organization at the table to provides the family voice. The Campaign partners have asked PPAL to bring families to listening sessions (Starting next Monday, February 28th – see schedule and links below) so that legislators can hear stories about how COVID has affected their family’s mental wellness at home, at school, and in the community. We want Massachusetts families to pack these virtual rooms and we are hoping you will agree to help us accomplish this!
MassFamilies prepares families to provide substantial consultation to legislators and government agencies – this is a great opportunity to practice their Chapter 171 skills! All family members who register and attend a listening session will be eligible to receive a $25.00 gift card just for being in the room. So if a family member is a reluctant public speaker they can have other family members register to attend and provide moral support.
From the family stories collected during these listening sessions MA legislators will decide how Massachusetts American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds will be spent to address the gaps in services families have experienced.
For example, stories might include experiences with long wait times for clinical support, long waits for neuro-psych testing, missed sessions for counseling in school or in the community, social goals of IEPs not being implemented, the need for more respite, long waits in the ER without treatment, problems getting insurance coverage, the need for more social opportunities after school and/or in the community, etc… This list can include whatever your family’s unique experiences and needs are. If legislators only hear from agencies, guess who will receive the funds? Legislators need to hear from families! 🙂
If we think about our MassFamilies village, there are thousands of us who are connected. We need to use our numbers to make sure that family stories are heard, and that our suggestions are listened to, and respected. Below are a couple of the family-friendly campaign photos that can be shared in emails or on social media and links to more information about the campaign.
Project Website: https://www.childrensmentalhealthcampaign.org/childrens-behavioral-health-covid-19-study/
The webpage lists target areas of Massachusetts, however you do not have to be from a specific area in MA to attend. Please tell families to attend the one that works for their schedule.
Help Us Spread the Word!
Social Media Toolkit: COVID Study Listening Session Social Media Toolkit
Here is a blurb about the Listening Sessions, the schedule, and the links to register:
Please join us to receive a $25.00 gift card. Covid has certainly impacted everyone’s mental health! Please share your experience with childrens’ mental/ behavioral health services during the COVID-19 pandemic!PPAL and the Children’s Mental Health Campaign are hosting Family Listening Sessions in order to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to mental health services for children and families in Massachusetts. The recommendations collected from these Listening Sessions will go directly to Massachusetts policy makers in order to help make services easier to access.
Real-time interpretation services will be available at all parents/caregiver sessions.
Parent and Caregiver Listening Sessions will be held on
Monday, February 28 from 7:00-9:00 pm Interpretation services in Spanish and Arabic Get zoom link/ register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScaDhazUuTkXx33paPQlEUKixwNRk1_WCLtq87Ow3aoAvogKQ/viewform
Friday, March 18 from 9:00-11:00 am Interpretation services in Spanish, Portuguese and American Sign Language (ASL) Get zoom link/ register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScaDhazUuTkXx33paPQlEUKixwNRk1_WCLtq87Ow3aoAvogKQ/viewform
Saturday, March 19 from 10:00-12:00 pm Interpretation services in Spanish and Haitian Creole Get zoom link/ register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScaDhazUuTkXx33paPQlEUKixwNRk1_WCLtq87Ow3aoAvogKQ/viewform
The Spanish language Listening Session is on Wednesday, March 2 from 7:00-9:00pm Get zoom link/ register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfV_wRdbaERJCZJU-44whSYTaq3bmzw8s16MTLNr5A9VA2jhQ/viewform
The Youth Listening Session is on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 4:30pm – 6:30pm Interpretation services in American Sign Language Get zoom link/ register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSejLanrrMVwt_jNVzqO7Kev9dYH83cSFVXwlOw4ll4bxfOloA/viewform
Please contact Pamela Bows, PPAL’s Policy Coordinator. Pamela sits at the table with the Children’s Mental Health Campaign partners, and provides the family voice. Contact Pamela with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.