Archived Reports

PPAL Pop Up Surveys

young daughter kissing mother

PPAL has created series of pop up surveys which are short surveys available for a short time.  Each survey revisits topics important to families.

Stigma: What Families Say
We’ve asked parents questions about stigma in surveys over the years.  Even when we didn’t ask, they told us how stigma has impacted their lives.  This survey revisits past questions about stigma — and asks some new ones.

Read Stigma: What Families Say here

Medications & Choices — Take 2
In 2006, there was a lot of furor about medications and kids.  So PPAL asked the real experts — families — what they thought.  Medications & Choices — Take 2 revisits this topic 10 years later.

Read Medications & Choices — Take 2 here

Speak Out for Access — Take 2
In 2001, PPAL and Health Care for All asked families about their challenges with accessing care. “Speak Out for Access — Take 2” revisits this topic 15 years later.

Read Speak Out for Access — Take 2 here


Using 51As When There Are Child Mental Health Disagreements with Families
Families report that when emergency rooms are full and waits are long, they might be threatened with a 51A (charge of abuse/neglect) if they disagree with a clinician.  In a 2017 survey, PPAL found that that discussing or filing a 51A when a child is in psychiatric crisis occurs across the state.  This can have a lasting impact on future crises.

Read Using 51As When There Are Child Mental Health Disagreements with Families here

Bridging the Divide: The Struggle for Youth and Young Adults with Co-occurring Disorders in Massachusetts
Although research shows that more than 70% of youth and young adults with addiction disorders have a co-occurring mental health disorder, Massachusetts offers limited services for youth and young adults with co-occurring disorders.  PPAL and MOAR (Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery) held 11 listening sessions across Massachusetts to hear from youth and their families what issues they face in seeking services for co-occurring disorders.  Overwhelmingly, youth and young adults and their families reported a lack of available resources and services designed for youth and expressed the need for additional training for service providers, school personnel, families and youth themselves.

Read Bridging the Divide here

Respite Care: What Families Say
In Massachusetts and across the country, children with mental health needs now receive most of their care in their homes and communities. Much has been written about the value of this shift away from out-of-home care. Less attention has been given to how this shift has led to increased burdens on families. PPAL survey 280 families to better understand their need for respite care services, the value they place on these services, and the challenges they face in accessing these services. In, Respite Care: What Families Say families overwhelmingly report that there is a need for appropriate and affordable respite care. Most families have not been able to access respite services.

Download Respite Care-What Families Say

Pointing the Way to Leadership
YouthMOVE Massachusetts has published its first report, Pointing the Way to Leadership. This youth-led group held structured focus groups to find out how youth defined leadership.  In this report, they reflect how their experiences have honed certain traits and how much support has meant to them.  Youth, they tell us, welcome opportunities to grow into the leaders of tomorrow.

Download Youth Report

Linking Medical Home and Children’s Mental Health: Listening to Massachusetts Families
While families whose children have mental health needs face many barriers to care, the medical home model holds great promise for addressing some of those needs.  PPAL surveyed 171 families to better understand their experiences.  In, Linking Medical Home and Children’s Mental Health: Listening to Massachusetts Families parents overwhelmingly reported that they had the primary responsibility both for communication and coordination of their child’s care.  Most had to find specialty mental health services on their own and large numbers reported that they were unwilling to share information with their child’s school.

Download Medical Home Report

Medications and Choices:

The Perspective Of  Families and Youth
This family-driven research study, provides new and compelling information which clarifies how families decide upon the use of psychotropic medication for their child.

Download Medication and Choices report

The Others, a group of teens in Worcester Massachusetts organized through a SAMHSA funded Statewide Family Network grant, was created in response to the expressed need for a social network and social activities for youth dealing with mental health issues. Youth groups such as the OTHERS are an untapped source of energy and creativity to raise awareness of the challenges faced by youth and the capacity to overcome them.

Download  Others report

Overcoming Barriers in Our Community: How are we Doing? is a report of the 2008 survey conducted by the Parent/Professional Advocacy League for the Children’s Mental Health Campaign. This report finds that parents and families are still facing major barriers in obtaining necessary mental health care services for their children, including wait lists, unclear diagnoses, lack of understanding of their child’s mental heatlh needs, and stigma. The report also shows that many parents face significant financial and insurance barriers to care, such as high out of pocket expenses and limited providers in insurance networks.

Download Overcoming Barriers in our Community report

Speak Out for Access: The Experiences of Massachusetts Families in Obtaining Mental Health Care for their Children outlines a survey of over 300 parents conducted in 2002. The survey results describe significant problems with access to care, the sufficiency of information provided to families, and parents’ involvement in treatment.

Download Speak out for Access report

Family Support and Family Involvement: Building Skills, Knowledge and Participation reports on the results of two surveys in 2011.
The first survey was filled out by 90 parent support providers in Massachusetts who clearly stated that lived experience was the underpinning of their competence . The second survey had 232 parent respondents who outlined what they needed to participate in committees and other leadership roles.

Download Family Support and Family Involvement