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Check out Parent/Professional Advocacy League's Children's Mental Health Awareness Week Toolkit to make sure you have what you need to go green!

The Prudential Center, Zakim Bridge, Kenneth F. Burns Bridge, Post Office Square, Government Center Station, and South Station go green on Wednesday, May 8th.

SAMHSA started the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in 2006 to a put a national spotlight on the importance of caring for every child’s mental health and to reinforce the message that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development.

We invite you to come advocate for kids' mental health care at the State House on Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. Interested? Contact Courtney Chelo at cchelo@mspcc.org.

Make sure to use these hashtags to promote Children's Mental Health Awareness!




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Helpful links:

CMHC & Boston Children's.

The Children's Mental Health Campaign has received funding from the Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health!

With funding from the Boston Children's Collaboration for Community Health, the Campaign will engage in targeted efforts to operationalize behavioral health equity. With support from experts and partners, we will develop goals, strategies, processes and tools for ensuring that policy priorities, external communications and organizational culture facilitate the promotion of behavioral health equity. CMHC will partner with the Massachusetts Public Health Association to develop policy priorities in these areas. Consultation from the CMHC will also be available to the other funded partners in the Collaboration for Community Health.

Isaac's Story.

Different Kinds of Hurt: Isaac’s Story is a graphic novel that helps children recognize and talk about mental health!

On May 7, 2019, Secretary Marylou Sudders will read Isaac's Story to a group of 2nd graders at the Sarah Greenwood School in Dorchester. Isaac's Story focuses on reducing stigma and building an understanding of mental health well-being with children.

PPAL's New Report: "The Impact of Family Peer Support for Justice Involved Families".
"While family peer support has been studied as a component of wraparound or as a service offered to families involved in the child welfare or mental health systems, little is known of its impact on families whose children are justice involved. Research shows that family peer support increases self-efficacy, boosts knowledge of services and increases skills for families who receive it. Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PPAL) has been providing family peer support to justice involved families for more than five years in Massachusetts and is in a unique position to survey families to determine the impact. As a family-run organization with more than 15 years of conducting family-driven research, PPAL has a successful history of engaging families, including in its studies"
FY 2020 State Budget.

Check out the Campaign's budget priorities to support kids' mental health!

Our Legislative Priorities.
ICYMI: Headlines for You.
"In 2017, Susan learned that she carries a genetic mutation that may elevate her lifetime risk of developing breast cancer to 69 percent. Her doctor explained that individuals who have this mutation in the BRCA2 gene have choices in treatment. Some people opt for a preventive double mastectomy. But Susan could instead choose to undergo increased cancer screenings, which, for her, would mean an annual mammogram and annual MRI scan. Because she had just had her first child, Susan chose increased surveillance — that meant she'd be able to preserve her ability to breastfeed. Both Susan and her husband, who make their home in Broomall, Pa., have insurance provided through their respective employers to help pay for medical treatment. But there's an expensive hitch: These annual scans she'd need would be pricey, and their companies offered only high-deductible health plans."
"If you know someone struggling with despair, depression or thoughts of suicide, you may be wondering how to help. Most Americans say that they understand that suicide is preventable and that they would act to help someone they know who is at risk, according to a national survey conducted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention in 2018. Yet many of us are afraid to do the wrong thing. In fact, you don't have to be a trained professional to help, says Doreen Marshall, a psychologist and vice president of programs at the AFSP."
"When Netflix's 13 Reasons Why was released two years ago, depicting the life of a teenager who decided to take her own life, educators and psychologists warned the program could lead to copycat suicides. Now, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health shows that those concerns may have been warranted. In the month following the show's debut in March 2017, there was a 28.9% increase in suicide among Americans ages 10-17, said the study, published Monday in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The number of suicides was greater than that seen in any single month over the five-year period researchers examined. Over the rest of the year, there were 195 more youth suicides than expected given historical trends."
"BOSTON -- More than 15 percent of Massachusetts high school students identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, according to a new state report that recommends steps policymakers can take to support the LGBTQ youth population. The Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth released its report and recommendations at a State House event Thursday. Sasha Goodfriend, who chairs the commission, said it is “no longer serving a niche group, but rather a growing bloc of youth that are increasingly diverse.”
"The first time Jessica Calise can remember her 9-year-old son Joseph's anxiety spiking was about a year ago, when he had to perform at a school concert. He said his stomach hurt and he might throw up. "We spent the whole performance in the bathroom," she recalls. After that, Joseph struggled whenever he had to do something alone, like showering or sleeping in his bedroom. He would beg his parents to sit outside the bathroom door or let him sleep in their bed. "It's heartbreaking to see your child so upset and feel like he's going to throw up because he's nervous about something that, in my mind, is no big deal," Jessica says."
"Amelia and her roommate had been awake for two days straight. They decided to spray-paint the bathroom hot pink. After that, they laid into building and rebuilding the pens for the nine pit bull puppies they were raising in their two-bedroom apartment. Then the itching started. It felt like pin pricks under the skin of her hands. Amelia was convinced she had scabies, skin lice. She spent hours in front of the mirror checking her skin, picking at her face. She even got a health team to come test the apartment. All they found were a few dust mites."
"There are the Sacklers, the family that controls Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. There are the doctors who ran pill mills, and the rogue pharmacists who churned out opioid orders by the thousands. But the daunting financial muscle that has driven the spread of prescription opioids in the United States comes from the distributors — companies that act as middlemen, trucking medications of all kinds from vast warehouses to hospitals, clinics and drugstores."
"At my baby's six-month appointment a few months back, I got a one-pager from the pediatrician titled "Starting Solid Foods." "It is critical that the baby develop a taste for rice cereal at the beginning, to offset the loss of iron from formula or breast milk," it reads. Cribsheet A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool by Emily Oster Hardcover, 322 pages purchase Sounds serious. Then come the all caps: "THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF FEEDING GIVE RICE CEREAL ONLY." That is followed by advice to introduce pureed vegetables before fruits so the baby doesn't develop a sweet tooth. I obediently went out and bought some sand-textured baby cereal. (Organic, of course.)"
"Experiencing many ACEs, as well as things like racism and community violence, without supportive adults, can cause what’s known as toxic stress. This excessive activation of the stress response system can lead to long lasting wear-and tear on the body and brain."
Beacons from the Hill.
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