The Professional Advisory Committee

On Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Calendar information:

September 17th 9:00am – 10:30 am.   Developing 2020 – 2012 PAC Agenda (See information  ( All meetings Zoom. contact: for information)                                       

October       15th.   9:00 – 10:30 am      Emily Sherwood, Deputy Director

                                                                   Child, Youth and Family Services

                                                                   Department of Mental Health                            

November   19th    9:00 – 10:30 am          TBA

December.  17th.      9:00 – 1030 am           TBA

Family focused practice in recovery framework

Peer Family Supports- PAC Panel 2019

FEP presentation for MHPC 7.9.2020

CM Telehealth fam survey_7.6.20

New info on this page!

Mission Statement

The Professional Advisory Committee, PAC, understands child and adolescent mental health as inextricably related to the familial, educational, economic, social and community factors which are the context that can promote or impede a successfully developing child. With this perspective, the PAC is committed to moving toward a critically need to conceptualize and structure the family as the unit to be served, not the child or adolescent. As a function of state mental health planning, the scope of the PAC’s concern, since its inception, is to consider, promote dialogue, and advise on the promotion of strategies and services that address child mental health in any service arena in the Commonwealth that touches lives of families. The PAC is most concerned about the need to target and measure improvements in children’s and adolescents’ quality of life experiences as guidelines for child and adolescent mental health care and that mental health, like physical health, needs promotion, prevention and intervention throughout a youth’s development.

New Material from the Professional Advisory Committee on Children’s Mental Health

What is Family Recovery? 


"A process through which all members of a family with an individual who is living with a mental health or co-occurring condition, increase their functioning, quality of life, and sense of well being so that they are successful and satisfied participants in their family and community environments"

(From: Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, Children’s Certificate in Psychiatric Rehabilitation 2017)



Peer Family Supports for Recovery

Professional Advisory Committee on Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health, PAC

In their own words: Two Women’s Statements at the Parent Support Panel, PAC meeting June 2009


“J.” - Recovery is a Family Experience

“I became ill after birth of my daughter and had a very negative experience in patient.’

“ My son and children would visit but were always asked to leave because everyone on the unit got too upset. This was a huge hindrance to my recovery. I had no support or help relating to my family. Family is a big part of recovery.”

“ At another facility I could see my kids but I was always supervised”

“ I needed to be treated as a parent not just an individual but I was not”

“ Its not just me, its my family. I was very nervous to go home. What was I going to do?

“There were no services to that address this reintegration need”

“ All the social worker would say when I raised this issue is that I would feel better if I took a walk in the woods.”


“M.” The Importance of Peer Support for the Family Experience of Mental Health Conditions

“ I have depression and my darkest moment was when DSS took my granddaughter because I have a son who is undiagnosed. My son does not want to get help. I am involved in recovery, trying to help my son but he refuses.”

“I found that peer support was very important to recovery. I now feel more a part of society. I hope that peer support will help my son and his children.”

‘My son’s current wife is diagnosed with bipolar and she’s pregnant. It’s a big fear. You know what’s coming.”

Family Recovery Statement

Professional Advisory Committee on Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Recovery is an experience that is guided by individual and family’s determination of what is needed. Recovery-oriented care is care that is provided to support the individual’s or family’s self-determined recovery plans.

Recovery with mental health or substance use conditions share multiple common principles and processes. (Davidson, L., and White, W. (2007). Individuals and families build on their strength and recovery capital in their recovery experiences. ((Grandfield, R., and Cloud, W., 1999)

Recovery – oriented services identify and build on the individual and family strengths and recovery capital.  Recovery and recovery-oriented care is guided by individuals’, regardless of age, needs to have a valued life experience in which: ”people pursue their desires to live, love, learn, work and play” (Department of Health and Human Services, Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America, Rockville, Maryland, SAMSHA, 2003). Family relationships and experiences represent a primary area in which people live, love, work, and play as well as a significant source of strengths and recovery capital.

Peer supports are critical navigational aids, linkage promoters, and advocates since most of recovery experience takes place outside of formal behavioral health care where people live, love and work. Family-oriented peer support, therefore, is an element that must be present in recovery-oriented systems of care to promote to the individual’s and the family’s uniquely selected family life experience and to build on the family-based strengths and recovery capital.

Davidson, L., and White, W. (2007) The concept of recovery as an organizing principle for integrating mental health and addiction services, Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 3,(2), 1094-3412).

Grandfield, R., and Cloud, W., (1999) Coming Clean: Overcoming Addiction without Treatment.

 More info soon!

Questions or ideas?