Monday, 24 September 2018

Welcome to the Western Mass Recovery 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.


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





Who is Tim Murphy?

Full Name:  Timothy F. Murphy220px 113th Congress Official Photo of Rep. Tim Murphy

Born:  September 11, 1952

Residency:  Born in Ohio, Lives in Pennsylvania

Current Position:  US Representative, Pennsylvania’s 18th District (since 2003)

Party Affiliation:  Republican

Background:  Murphy holds a PhD in psychology, Has worked as an assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, and has co-authored several books (e.g., ’The Angry Child’).  

Why People are Listening To Him: 

  • Because he is seen as a ‘mental health professional’
  • Because people respond to those in power (and he’s been a politician for over a decade)
  • Because people get scared and want someone to have the answers

Why People Might Want to Think Twice About Listening To Him: 

141019 tim murphy ap 605

  • In 2010, Murphy was named among the 22 most corrupt members of Congress by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. (www.crewsmostcorrupt.org
  • According to www.opensecrets.org, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical employees are two of Murphy’s top three campaign funders
  • Murphy has also regularly practiced opportunistic tactics that capitalize on the fear of US citizens, appearing on television to promote his agenda each and every time there is a tragedy in the country (see image to the left where Murphy takes a similar tactic, comparing Ebola to "dealing with terrorism")
  • He has openly attacked and mocked activities in the peer-to-peer community and consistently ignores evidence that does not support his personal agenda


For more about Tim Murphy, see his Wikipedia entry here.



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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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