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Thursday, May 15, 2014

PPAL 4th Annual Conference May 30th: Great Speakers and Workshops

The Parent/Professional Advocacy League

May 15, 2014
The Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PPAL) will hold its 4th Annual Conference and Celebration for Families and Professionals on May 30, 2014 at the Best Western Royal Plaza & Trade Center in Marlborough, MA from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This promises to be an outstanding event, involving more than 500 attendees and a comprehensive agenda, including workshops, outstanding speakers and a large and diverse Exhibition Hall filled with organizations and companies serving the children’s mental health communities.

This conference will feature amazing speakers with compelling personal stories. The Keynote Speaker is Liza Long, author of the essay "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" and a speaker at TEDx San Antonio in 2013. The Featured Speaker, Jordan Burnham, is a mental health advocate whose compelling story has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN and People magazine.

Guest Speakers

Keynote: Liza Long

Liza Long, aka, the Anarchist Soccer Mom, is a writer, educator, mental health advocate and mother of four amazing children, one of whom has a serious mental illness. She is the author of the essay, I Am Adam Lanza's Mother.

Long, who earned a masters degree in Classics from UCLA, is a writer and editor. Her work has appeared in the Huffington Post, USA Today, Time.com and Boise State University's online journal, The Blue Review. She was a speaker at TEDx San Antonio in 2013. She blogs at www.anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.com,  and you can follow her on Twitter at @anarchistsoccermom.

Her book, "The Price of Silence: A Mom's Perspective on Mental Illness," will be released by Hudson Street Press in August 2014. Liza encourages everyone to speak up for kids and to help us end the stigma of mental illness.

Featured: Jordan Burnham

During his senior year, Jordan Burnham attempted to take his life. Today, Jordan travels around the country sharing his incredible story of survival and emphasizing that seeking help is not a sign of weakness and often leads to a successful recovery.

He shares with students his ongoing physical and mental health recovery process and what they can do to create healthier and more supportive communities

Jordan is a nationally recognized mental health advocate who was one of the “2010 Best of Philly” and received the 2012 Emerging Humanitarian Award winner from the Asomugha Foundation. He has been featured in The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, and USA Today, and he has appeared on ESPN’s E:60 and Outside the Lines, CNN, and Good Morning America. He is a humanitarian award winner from the Asomugha Foundation.

He has been featured in The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, and USA Today, and he has appeared on ESPN’s E:60 and Outside the Lines, CNN, and Good Morning America.


Workshop 1: Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Multi-Cultural Populations

Presenter: Courtney Grey, Director, Trauma Response and Recovery

This workshop will explore the behavioral health risks to individuals, families, schools, and communities impacted by various forms of violence such as: homicide, suicide, accidents, and disasters such as the Boston Marathon incident. It will cover the innovative approaches that overcome issues like stigma and navigate affected individuals to needed services.

Workshop 2: Core Principles of Early Childhood Development

Presenter: Deborah Scannell, Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist, MA Department of Public Health

This presentation will explore physical, cognitive, and social emotional early childhood and why responsive relationships and nurturing environments are necessary for optimal development. What are developmental milestones and how do you talk to parents about difficult issues. Participants will discuss strategies and resources to build adult capacity to support early childhood development.

Workshop 3: Accepting the Challenge - Best Practices for Students with Anxiety

Presenter: Jessica Minahan, M.Ed., BCBANESCA Director of Behavioral Services

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that one in four 13-18 year olds has had an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Without intervention, these children are at risk for poor performance, diminished learning and social/behavior problems in school. Understanding the role anxiety plays in a student's behavior is crucial and using preventative strategies are key to successful intervention.

Effective behavior plans for these students must avoid the reward and punishment-based consequences from traditional behavior plans and focus instead on the sue of preventative stratgtis and on explicitly teaching coping skills, self-monitoring and alternative responses. Easy to implement preventive tools, strategies and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, executive functioning and self-monitoring will be discussed.

Workshop 4: The Power of Choice, Raising Confident & Resilient Youth

Presenter: Judy Giovangelo

Through this inspirational presentation and Judy’s story of life and loss, you will learn:
  • The Power of Choice
  • How to Identify & Embrace the Inner Bully/Critic
  • The Power of Intention in Action
  • How to Shift from Competition (Bully) to Collaboration & Contribution
  • Tools to Reduce Stress and Increase Self Esteem & Confidence
  • Positive Channels for Emotional Expression

Workshop 5: "Keep it Frontal. Don't Go Limbic"

Presenters: Kimberly Fisher, Joseph Shrand, M.D.

Adolescent substance abuse is the number one public health problem in the U.S. What is the real root of teenage addiction? It all starts with the developing brain, one where impulses and feelings outweigh thinking things through. "Keep it Frontal. Don't go Limbic" provides an approach to care for the addicted adolescent that is easy to apply at home, school and in the community. Resources and access to care are presented.

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