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Saturday, 16 December 2017

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
  • Advocacy

Essential to our work is recognizing and undoing systemic injustices such as racism, sexism, transphobia and psychiatric oppression.

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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

 

COMMUNITY_HAPPENINGS

Uncategorised

 

Greenfield

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After a long search, we’ve finally found a new location at 20 Chapman Street in Greenfield. This was a last minute find and a super quick move is underway; stay tuned for details in case we get delayed in any way.

It is important to remember that the RLC is NOT all about spaces and that our community (including events, classes and more) exists wherever people from our community may go. So, be sure to check our calendar for events and opportunities occurring in the the Greenfield area outside of the center.

HOURS*:
Mondays and Wednesdays 12:30-3:30
Fridays 1pm - 5pm
20 Chapman Street, Greenfield.
* Some meetings, workshops and groups occur outside of regular open hours. Be sure to check the monthly calendar for the most up-to-date information!
You can view the online calendar by clicking here.
 
CONTACT: Emily Mortimer, at: (413) 772-0715.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Or join us on Facebook:
 
The Western Mass RLC moved into their independent center space in July of 2011, having previously shared space next door with the Recover Project. Located on Federal Street near the heart of downtown Greenfield, the space offers access to peer support by phone and in person, access to a resource computer and a lending library, and a variety of workshops, community meetings and other activities. Above all else, it is intended to offer a safe space within which our community can come together, heal, share, support, learn from and strengthen one another.

The Western Mass RLC space was a former comic book store that needed a lot of work when first acquired. However, both the RECOVER Project and RLC came together to paint, lay new floors, make repairs and create a warm and welcoming space that speaks directly to the power of community. 

It is important to remember that the RLC is NOT all about spaces and that our community (including events, classes and more) exists wherever people from our community may go.  So, be sure to check our calendar for events and opportunities occurring in the the Greenfield area outside of the center.

Pittsfield

Plaque Berkshire County RLCWe don't have a center in Berkshire County at the moment, though we're working on it! Meetings for now will continue to take place at various local spots. Check our calendar for current groups and locations by clicking here.

Join us for our Alternatives to Suicide Support Group, Yoga, General Peer Support Group, and Hearing Voices Support Group!

For more information about anything Pittsfield-related, please contact Alan: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Western Mass RLC's Berkshire County Center was first based in donated space at the St. Stephen's Parish before finding an independent spot on North Street next to Pancho's Restaurant in Pittsfield.

View our full monthly calendar by clicking here.

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Springfield

235 Chestnut Street, Springfield
413-372-5652
 
Our center is located right on the first floor, with a fully accessible entrance, so we’re super easy to find. Our hours will be the same as at the old center (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 2pm and Saturday 11am to 3pm), so stop in to check the place out!
 
The center has computers, gym equipment, space to connect with others, chess, and more. Some features are available now (like a shower!), and others, like a food pantry, will be coming in the future. 
 
Bowen Resource & Wellness Center Hours:calendar standing
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9am-2pm
Saturdays 11am - 3pm
 
For more info on classes and other activities, please click here to view our full online calendars.

 
 

Shelly Bowen

The Western Mass RLC's Bowen Resource Center opened in Springfield in May of 2009. Located on the South end of Main Street, it was situated directly between McDonalds and the Housing Advocacy Program (HAP). The center was developed in collaboration with the RLC's sister community, Leadership, Employment, Advocacy and Development (LEAD) and was named after Shelly Bowen, a founding member of the Guiding Council of Western Mass (GCOW) who spoke frequently of having an RLC center based in Springfield before she passed away in 2008. The center offered a variety of supports, including peer support by phone and in person, a computer lab with four computers, a lending library and a variety of workshops, community meetings and other activities. Above all else, it was intended to create a safe space within which our community can come together, heal, share, support, learn from and strengthen one another.

It is important to remember, however, that the RLC is NOT all about spaces and that our community (including events, classes and more) exists wherever people from our community may go. So, be sure to check our calendar for events and opportunities occurring in the the Springfield area outside of the center!

The Western Mass RLC's Bowen Wellness Center was a more recent addition. A former dance studio, this space located at the same address and on the same floor as the Bowen Resource Center, offered cardio and weight training equipment, teacher and video-lead wellness classes and resource information.

 

Contact/Directions

 

GENERAL  /  HOLYOKE  /  SPRINGFIELD  /  GREENFIELD  / AFIYA

      

General Info:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: (413) 539-5941

Toll-free: (866) 641-2853

Fax: (413) 536-5466

 


                            

The RLC's Holyoke Center:

Caledonian Building

187 High Street, Suite 303

Holyoke, MA 0104

Phone: (413) 539-5941

Toll-free: (866) 641-2853

Fax: (413) 536-5466

Resource Center Hours*: Mondays through Thursdays, 12pm to 4pm (Check calendar section for updates/changes to schedule.)

*  Someone who is bilingual in English and Spanish is typically available one day per week; check our calendar section for the latest information..

Accessibility: 

The front entrance of the Caledonian building is accessible with a curb cut, accessible parking spots and automated doors directly in front of the building. An elevator is also available. The front door may be locked after 5pm on weekdays and on weekends. Accessible bathrooms are available on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the building. Individuals are encouraged to avoid using perfumes or products with scents before coming to RLC spaces to increase accessibility for those with chemical sensitivities. The RLC will attempt to schedule interpreters upon request for activities or supports available in this space.

Directions: 

From 391 Northbound:

Travel north on 391 to exit 5.  Take a right off of exit 5 onto Main Street in Holyoke.  Travel .9 miles on Main Street and take a left onto Dwight Street.  Travel .3 miles on Dwight Street and take a right onto High Street. 187 High Street will be on your left. (Look for the green awning with a white '187' on it.)

From 91 Southbound:

Travel south on 91 to exit 17. Take a left onto Route 141 (Easthampton Road). Travel 1.1 miles down Route 141 (becomes Dwight Street) and take a left onto High Street.  187 High Street will be on your left.  (Look for the green awning with a white '187' on it.)

By Bus: Please use www.pvta.org or maps.google.com to help you plan your route by bus. Buses travel regularly to and from the Holyoke Center. The bus stop is behind the Holyoke Center on Maple Street at Veterans Park.

Parking: 

Metered parking is available on High Street at two hours at a time.  Long-term parking is available in the parking garage that is on the corner of Dwight Street and Front Street (one block down from High Street on Dwight).  Free on-street parking is also available on several side streets including John and Hampden Streets (after turning onto High Street, take a right onto John or Hampden). 

 


 

The RLC's Springfield (Bowen) Center:
235 Chestnut Street, Springfield

413-372-5652

Our center is located right on the first floor, with a fully accessible entrance, so we’re super easy to find. Our hours will be the same as at the old center (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 2pm and Saturday 11am to 3pm), so stop in to check the place out!
 
The center has computers, gym equipment, space to connect with others, chess, and more. Check our calendar section for upcoming events!

Directions: 

By Bus: Please use www.pvta.org or maps.google.com to help you plan your route by bus.

 


 

The RLC's Greenfield Center:

RLC's Greenfield Resource Center

74 Federal Street

Greenfield, MA 01301

Phone: (413) 772-0715

HOURS*:
 
Mondays and Wednesdays 12:30-3:30, and Fridays 1-5.
at 74 Federal Street, Greenfield.
* Some meetings, workshops and groups occur outside of regular open hours.  Be sure to check the monthly calendar for the most up-to-date information!
You can view the online calendar by clicking here.

(check calendar section for updates/changes to schedule).

By Bus: Please use www.pvta.org or maps.google.com to help you plan your route by bus.

ParkingMetered parking is available all along Federal Street. Free parking is available on Pleasant Street.

 


 

The RLC's Peer-run Respite House, Afiya:  

Afiya

256 Jackson Street

Northampton, MA 01060

(413) 570-2990

PLEASE NOTE:  For the privacy of people staying at Afiya, we request that people NOT just drop by the house.  If you are interested in visiting and/or learning more about Afiya, please call ahead.

Accessibility: 

Afiya offers a wheelchair accessible ramp to enter the house.  Most of the first floor is accessible to people using a wheelchair or who have other issues with mobility.  The first floor bathroom is fully wheelchair accessible, including the shower.  The first floor bedroom is designed to be accessible to both people who are in a wheelchair and people who have chemical sensitivities.  The house uses scent-free cleaning and laundry products.  We encourage people working and staying at Afiya to limit use of scented products.

Directions:

From 91 North:

Travel north on 91 and take exit 19.  Merge onto Damon road for 1.0 mile. Damon Road becomes Bridge Road after the intersection with Route 5. Continue for .2 miles on Bridge Road and then take a left at the lights onto Jackson Street.  Afiya is the scond house on the right.  

From 91 South:

Travel south on 91 to exit 20 and merge onto Routes 5/10 for .4 miles. At the lights at the intersection with Damon and Bridge Road, turn right onto Bridge Road. Travel .2 miles and turn left at the lights onto Jackson Street.  Afiya is the second house on the right. 

By Bus:

Please use www.pvta.org or maps.google.com to help you plan your route by bus. There are multipe bus stops within walking distances of Afiya.

Parking: 

Afiya offers a driveway that is generally able to accommodate the people staying and working there.

 

Calendar

calendar_standing

This calendar contains each of the 5 Western Mass RLC schedules

(Alternately, you can download a printable copy of current and past newsletters and calendars here!

Control your view by checking/unchecking the area listings on the Agenda pull-down menu (top right corner) or change your view by clicking on 'week' or 'month.'

 

 

Classifieds

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  • The Murphy Bills and Beyond

    In June of 2015, Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania re-introduced the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act" (HR 2646), better known as the Murphy Bill.  A month later, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut introduced a very similar bill in the Senate called the "Mental Health Reform Act of 2015" (S2680).  Both pieces of legislation threatened to dramatically increase the use of force and dismantle many of the more progressive and healing alternatives that have been developed in recent years. As of November 2016 the fate of both bills remained uncertain.

    Meanwhile, another piece of legislation called 21st Century Cures was in development and garnering increasing bipartisan support. A sweeping and expansive healthcare bill, 21st Century Cures was, initially, minimally focused on mental health provisions. Having been stalled in part due to resistance from Senate Democrats' concerns that the bill was dangerously empowering for the pharmaceutical industry, 21st Century Cures also faced an uncertain fate in November. However, the election of President Trump and consequent fears for the bill’s fate prompted a reworking of the bill that also included the absorption of many aspects of HR 2646, “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis.”

    21st Century Cures was passed by the House and Senate on November 30th and December 7th of last year, respectively. On December 13, 21st Century Cures (now including substantial portions drawn directly from HR 2646, "Helping Familties in Mental Health Crisis") was signed into law by President Obama. 

     

      

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