Saturday, 25 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



Career Initiatives



Career Initatives Grant Applications are NOW available for the 2015-2016 cycle!!!!

Click HERE for the full application in PDF format or HERE if you'd prefer it in Word.

If you are a past grantee who is applying to continue your project, you can also click HERE for the re-application form.


Career Initiatives provides opportunities for people who have personal experience with psychiatric diagnosis, extreme emotional distress, and /or trauma to start their own small businesses, self initiatied projects, or pursue self-employment. Career Initiatives offers individuals the opportunity to apply for seed money to support their endeavors.


Examples of successful Career Initiatives that are now self-sustained include:

An art gallery that provides opportunities to those with psychiatric diagnoses
Tutor Service Dogs
A business that trains service animals in Greenfield.
Eliot Cardinaux, classical/jazz pianist and poet, utilized much of his funds from his Career Initiatives grant to record a new album. His most recent work combines both his poetry and his piano playing within a quartet setting. The results are a wonderful experiment in improvisation and exploration.
Check back soon to hear the finished work and follow Eliot's musical paths!
Until then check out some goodies from Eliot below.
Or check out Eliot performing "Reflections for a Princess" at the Anchor House of Artists:





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