Welcome to the Western Mass Recovering Learning Community
The Western Mass Recovery Learning Community (RLC) supports healing and empowerment for our broader communities and people who have been impacted by psychiatric diagnosis, trauma, extreme states, homelessness, addiction and other life-interrupting challenges through:
- Peer-to-peer support & genuine human relationships
- Alternative Healing Practices
- Learning Opportunities
Essential to our work is recognizing and undoing systemic injustices such as racism, sexism, transphobia and psychiatric oppression.
The RLC is made up of PEOPLE (not places) and is wherever and however YOU and others from the community may choose to connect. Together, we offer a variety of events, workshops, trainings, advocacy and leadership councils, as well as a peer support line, three resource centers (Springfield, Greenfield, and Holyoke) and a Peer Respite in Northampton. Above all else, we create space for anyone who has a genuine interest in taking part in our community and holding its values to share and find connection, information, ideas and opportunities to make change in their own lives and/or the community around them. Our shared experiences and ‘humanness’ are what unite us. Our stories, collective wisdom and strength are what guide us and our community forward.
The Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community is funded, in part, by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the United Way of Franklin County, and a variety of private foundations and donations.
@ Holyoke Community College, Kittredge Center
303 Homestead Avenue, Holyoke
We are pleased to share this opportunity to join as a community to learn more about Open Dialogue! We realize it's shorter-than-usual notice, but hope that you'll be able to join us.
Open Dialogue is getting some of the best documented success rates in the world, including outcomes such as marked reductions in the use of psychotropic drugs, hospitalizations, and long term disability.
Mia is a psychotherapist and psychiatric nurse. She works in the acute crisis clinic in Keropudas Hospital in the western Lapland region of Finland. Extensively trained in Open Dialogue, Mia has been a member of the team that developed Open Dialogue since 2002. She was also featured in Daniel Mackler’s 2014 film ‘Open Dialogue’, now available on Youtube.
@the Summit View Banquet House,
555 Northampton Street, Holyoke
- Who do you think is offering extraordinary peer support?
- Who's been an especially great ally?
- Who's been an exceptional volunteer?
There has been a recent trend of attempting to diagnose Donald Trump as ‘severely mentally ill’. Some are using it as an opportunity to make fun of him. For example, Andy Borowitz published a ‘satirical’ piece in the New Yorker about Trump hearing voices: "Trump Accuses Media of Not Reporting Voices He Hears in Head". Although meant to be funny, the piece pokes fun at Trump at the expense of people who do actually hear voices, and reinforces negative stereotypes.
But most articles about diagnosing Trump aren’t meant to be funny, including a petition started by a psychologist and demanding his removal from office on that basis. Why is all of this a problem? There are several reasons including (but certainly not limited to):
The suggestion that psychiatric diagnosis means one is unfit to be president is discriminatory. There are many people who’ve been diagnosed, hospitalized, and so on, who are extremely smart, reliable, gifted, loyal people working in jobs where they have a great deal of responsibility and much positive impact.
The suggestion that we need to diagnose someone to see their actions as good or bad is harmful. People are perfectly able to look at what Trump is doing, and decide how they feel about it or evaluate his actions against the law and ethical standards without a diagnosis.
Pointing the finger at a supposed ‘mental illness’ does nothing but further harm already marginalized groups in this country. The people this will ultimately harm the most will not be people with lots of power and money, like Donald Trump, but the rest of us who’ve also been diagnosed and are mostly just trying to survive in this world. For more on this topic see the following two articles:
Trump and the Diagnosis Free-for-All ~ by Sera Davidow.
The Truth about Trump & Psychiatric Diagnosis ~ by Paula J Caplan
and to read the entire article, choose "read more" below
Join Monique Flynn for this new workshop during which you’ll get a chance to explore your life and speak your truth through words and photographs.
- Live in Western Massachusetts
- Have been personally impacted by psychiatric diagnosis, extreme states, trauma and other challenges that have gotten in the way of their ability to explore and achieve their dreams
- Have a clear vision for your business or independent project
- Are self-driven and motivated to reach project goals
- Are not an employee of the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community or the Western Mass Training Consortium, and are not an immediate relative of an employee