Welcome to the Western Mass Recovering Learning Community
The Western Mass Recovery Learning Community (RLC) creates conditions that support healing and growth for individuals and the community as a whole through learning opportunities, advocacy, peer-to-peer support and the development of regional and national networks. We believe that human relationships are often at the center of what heal people who have experienced extreme emotional distress, trauma, psychiatric diagnoses, addiction and a variety of other challenges in life. We also believe that we are a part of a civil and human rights movement and that real change does not happen on a sustainable level unless everyone is involved in the process and issues like discrimination, poverty, imbalances of power and acceptance of natural diversity are addressed.
The Western Mass Recovery Learning Community (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, four resource centers (Springfield, Greenfield, Holyoke and Pittsfield) 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.
Protest at the Courthouse!
Equipped with posters produced at the Bowen Center and an organizational effort led by the GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance), the RLC's presence was strongly felt at Springfield's Federal Courthouse on the morning of November 6th.
We joined the protest alongside community members from ARISE, Out Now, Stop The Hate And Homophobia Coalition, and the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force, standing in solidarity behind SMUG (the Sexual Minorities of Uganda) in their discovery trial against Scott Lively. For those unfamiliar with the case, Scott Lively is a Springfield native who has travelled abroad to Russia and Uganda, helping lead the movements in anti-gay legislation and even calling for violence against homosexuals. SMUG has brought charges of Crimes against Humanity against Lively and we now know that the trial is set for 2015.
More information on the injustices and the protest are available here:
Trainers: Lisa Forestell, Marty Hadge, Sera Davidow + guest trainers to be announced
An application is required and will be due on Wednesday, December 18th.
Applications are available at our website www.westernmassrlc.org/hearing-voices
Annual Holiday Gathering
Potluck: Clothing Swap: Art Opening
Friday, December 13th, 5:30-8pm
Western Mass RLC’s Greenfield Center
74 Federal Street
Come join us for an evening of great company, food and cheer, including the opening of Carol Star’s work in our Peer Art Series: Life Systems. Donations for the clothing swap can be dropped off anytime during open hours the week of December 9th or call (413)772-0715 to make other arrangements.
Winter Solstice Celebration
Thursday, December 19th, 12-4pm
Western Mass RLC’s Pittsfield Center
152 North Street, Suite 230
Come together with friends and celebrate the spirit of the season as the sun visits its lowest position on our horizon and begins its ascent into the new year. With symbol, gratitude and good food our community will share this lovely and sacred time with one another creating a positive and beautiful wish for our new year! Casual potluck, activities and good conversation promised.
Tuesday, December 24th, 1-4pm
Western Mass RLC’s Holyoke Center
187 High Street, Suite 303
Join our community to for food, festivities, connection and friends!
Gathering & Potluck
Friday, December 20th, 11-1pm
Bowen Resource Center
340 Main Street, Springfield
Join us for festive music, great food, friendship and togetherness!.
First Night Northampton
Tuesday, December 31st, 5pm – Midnight
Join our community to enjoy food, music and festivities while ringing in the New Year!
Space is limited and sign up is required.
For more information, please call 413.539.5941 x 301
For more about First Night Northampton visit www.firstnightnorthampton.org.
The Western Mass RLC has been growing rapidly, and we are excited to share all our work with the national community at Alternatives this year. Unfortunately, the source that has supported us in conference attendance in the past is not able to support us this year, and so we've had to get extra creative!
However, we're pleased to announce that a matching grant has been made possible through the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care. What's the catch? If we raise $0 we get $0! If we raise $500, we get $500 ($1000 total). If we raise $5000, we get $5000 ($10,000 total).
In other words, WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!
All contributions will be fully tax deductible.
Thank you for your support!
What is Alternatives?: Alternatives is the largest annual conference by and for people who identify as psychiatric survivors, in 'recovery,' etc. This year's conference will be held from December 4th to December 7th in Austin Texas. Find our more information here!
These changes include:
Monday through Thursday
(rather than Tuesday through Friday)
open from 12pm to 4pm.
(We will still offer regular meetings, groups and gatherings Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, but we will no longer have general open access before 12 or after 4.)
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
Resource Center open 9am to 2pm
(as opposed to 3)
(Saturdays will continue to be open 11am to 3pm.)
Why these changes?
Holyoke is moving to Monday through Thursday because we wanted to balance out our Bowen Center’s schedule, which includes being open on Fridays. We hope that people in the community will consider making use of both centers depending on the day! We’re also reducing hours at each center slightly because our team is stretched too thin and they need more time to be able to meet and offer mutual support to one another, which just hasn’t been possible much of the time.
It is our hope that – over the long run – both of these shifts will ultimately lead to our being able to offer more to the community overall.