McGRATHPR.com – The founders of To The Moon and Back (TTMAB), an advocacy non-profit dedicated to supporting children born substance exposed and their caregivers, were recently recognized with the Massachusetts Innovators Award by Washington D.C. based Addiction Policy Forum (APF). The award was presented for the organization’s innovations in the opiate crisis in the Commonwealth by APF’s Innovation Now project. TTMAB Founder Theresa Harmon, MSW, LICSW, and her husband, Vice President Andy Harmon, received the award during Innovation Now’s award presentation ceremony and report release at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA.
“We’re seeing innovative programs with new approaches that are bringing renewed optimism to a growing number of people in the Bay State. The Innovations Now initiative recognizes innovators and leaders across different sectors addressing addiction – the leaders who are creating solutions and driving change,” shares APF Founder Jessica Hulsey Nickel. “It’s an honor to recognize the innovators in Massachusetts who are leading the way by their example, and the outstanding work they’re doing to both improve our response to addiction and to save lives.”
Addiction Policy Forum elevates addiction awareness and works to improve national policy through comprehensive response. APF launched Innovation Now as an initiative to reimagine how the nation addresses addiction, showcasing innovative programs and interventions that are actively transforming the field. The award presentation was made while releasing its report “Massachusetts Innovations to Address the Opioid Epidemic”, honoring “7 Innovative Solutions that are Transforming the Prevention and Treatment of Addiction” – the celebrated organizations making strides in the national substance abuse crisis at the state level.
“While so many of our resources have supported prevention – reducing opiate related fatalities, improving access to treatment, improving care and reducing stigma – significantly limited attention and resources are given to the children of the opioid crisis, those born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome,” says Theresa Harmon. “Our hope is that this award will shine a light on the innocent victims of the opioid crisis, the children, and draw greater attention to our non-profit serving the families of the South Shore and beyond.” TTMAB recently expanded from its Plymouth headquarters to launch a new chapter in Fayetteville, West Virginia, offering services to support the families and communities in the state’s rapidly growing population, identified as the highest rate of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) births in the entire country.
TTMAB is energized by its mounting progress as well as the critical work that lies ahead. The organization recently released its resource book “The Caregiver’s Guide To NAS & Beyond” developed for families on the South Shore that are caring for substance exposed children, the first of its kind. A soon to be launched grant will bolster family financial support for uncovered medical expenses such as therapy copays, nutritional supplements, and weighted blankets. A “Beyond NAS Conference” is slated for May 10 at Plymouth’s 1620 Hotel, serving providers and families caring for children with NAS featuring nationally recognized speakers.
Initially launched as a peer-to-peer support group for caregivers in 2017, To The Moon And Back’s leadership immediately recognized the struggle to find appropriate resources and support as a global issue for affected families. Foster and adoptive parents, relative and non-relative caregivers experienced similar long-term consequence of their affected children’s exposure. Seeking to fill the obvious need, TTMAB became a non-profit in April of 2018 to aid in its mission to support children born substance exposed and their families. A quarterly children’s group focuses on teaching kids and families skills to assist in their identified needs through programs like yoga, mindfulness, sensory based activities and karate.
TTMAB engages is supportive legislative goals and organizes expert speakers experienced in children with substance exposure. These educational events for caregivers help inform communities on the latest in research and best practices. Specialized programs provide a safe place to discuss parenting and gain support in caring for substance exposed children with peers. Education programs provide expert training to industry health providers and social services to help guide the care of those affected, as well as recommendations to local and state leaders on the unmet needs of the population and gaps in services for children to thrive beyond Early Intervention programs.
For more information, or to donate, visit 2themoonandback.org, and follow To The Moon and Back on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @tothemoonma.
About To The Moon and Back, Inc.
Founded as a 501(c)(3) Massachusetts-based non-profit in 2018, To The Moon and Back, Inc. (TTMAB) is an advocacy organization founded by Theresa Harmon, MSW, LICSW. The organization is dedicated to supporting children born substance exposed and their caregivers. TTMAB provides twice monthly support groups (for foster and adoptive parents, relative and non-relative caregivers) of children born with substance exposure. The organization serves as a welcoming resource for caregivers to connect with their peers. Expert speakers experienced in children with substance exposure are engaged to educate caregivers and inform communities on the latest in research and best practices for this population. Support programs provide a safe place to discuss parenting and share best practices for caring for children with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or substance exposure with peers. Education programs provide expert speakers and training to industry health providers and social services to help guide the care of those affected. TTMAB is committed to forging one voice as advocates for children.
In alignment with its mission, TTMAB provides advocacy and recommendations to local and state leaders on the unmet needs of the population and gaps in services for children born with exposure as well as their caregivers. The organization is committed to supporting legislation progress that aspires to ensure that children born substance exposed have all the tools needed to thrive. Initially launched as peer-to-peer group at the Plymouth Recovery Center in 2017, TTMAB has now expanded, serving more of the Eastern seaboard with a new chapter in West Virginia. For more information, or to donate, visit 2themoonandback.org, and follow To The Moon and Back on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @tothemoonma.