Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Welcome to the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community

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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, problems with substances, and other life-interrupting challenges through:

  • Peer-to-peer support & genuine human relationships
  • Alternative Healing Practices
  • Learning Opportunities
  • Advocacy

Essential to our work is recognizing and undoing systemic injustices such as racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, transmisogyny, 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 Recovery Learning Community (RLC) is a peer-run project providing supports to individuals with lived experience.  One of the founding concepts behind the RLC is that human relationships with people are healing, particularly when those people have similar experiences.  And so, above all else, the RLC strives to create forums through which human relationships, community and a regional network of supports can develop.  On a day-to-day basis, that effort may take the form of a community meeting, a support group, a computer workshop and/or simply offering a safe space where people can communicate with others or simply be.  The RLC also acts a clearing house for information about other resources in the community.   

 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.liveunited logo



Workshops with Jacqui Dillon

Advanced Hearing Voices Facilitator TrainingJacqui flyer
Wednesday, June 7 & Thursday, June 8,
10am to 4:30pm, Holyoke area, location TBD
This workshop is intended for those who have already completed the 3-day Hearing Voices Group Facilitator training, and/or who otherwise have extensive Hearing Voices group facilitation experience. The workshop will provide an opportunity to meet other facilitators, link up with other groups, and share good practices around setting up and sustaining Hearing voices groups.
The workshop will explore:
  • Projects and Network news
  • Group discussion and dynamics
  • Successes and challenges
  • Featured presentations on advances in innovative approaches
Dealing with Vicarious Trauma: Helping the Helper
Monday, June 12, 10-4:30pm
Holyoke Community College, Kittredge Center, Holyoke, MA
(Sponsored by the WMRLC)
Tuesday, June 13, 10- 4:30pm
Advocates, 1881 Worcester Road, Framingham, MA
(Sponsored by Advocates)
Vicarious trauma is the process of change that happens because you care about other people who have been hurt, and feel committed or responsible to help them. Over time, this process can lead to changes in your psychological, physical, and spiritual well-being.
The workshop will explore:
  • Risk factors in developing vicarious trauma
  • Signs of vicarious trauma
  • Strategies for dealing effectively with the impact of vicarious trauma
  • Beyond vicarious trauma—to vicarious transformation
Who is Jacqui Dillon?: Jacqui is a writer, and international speaker and trainer. She has personal and professional experience, awareness and skills in working with trauma and abuse, dissociation, hearing voices, and healing. She has lectured and published worldwide. She also has one of those great English accents that us Americans seem to so love! Learn more about Jacqui at www.jacquidillon.org



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