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
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 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.
November 17th, 4:30pm to 6pm
(and quarterly on third Thursdays thereafter)
While we want to wish everyone who is reading this a happy Thanksgiving, we know that Thanksgiving (and the holiday season in general) can be a difficult time for many people. Lack of access to food or a place to gather can make that even more difficult for some, and so we've done our best to collect information about what's available in our local area.
Click on the "Read more" below for some info on free (or pay what you can) Thanksgiving meals around the area - keep checking back here as we collect more information!
At the end of September, we sent out an action alert letting everyone know that Six Flags was set to feature an extremely offensive Halloween exhibit called the ‘Psycho-path Haunted Asylum.’ It was described as follows:
"Experience the all-new PSYCHO-PATH Haunted Asylum coming to Fright Fest 2016. Wander through an abandoned asylum in small groups through tight spaces, darkened corridors and forgotten cells. The inmates of the Asylum have broken loose and will have you screaming in sheer terror as they taunt and torture their newest victims.
Dr. Shockmoore will proudly showcase his latest in deranged experiments as you witness a lobotomy, shock treatment and isolation of his most insane and twisted patients. Will you escape or become Dr. Shockmoore’s latest experiment in his deranged and twisted plan?"
Thank you to everyone who took action and called or e-mailed
Six Flags in Western Mass, and thank you as well to all the people across the country who took similar actions with other Six Flags locations.
It made a difference!
The end result?
Six Flags has CANCELLED their ‘psycho-path’ exhibit,
and replaced it with the following:
“The Forgotten Laboratory: Traverse through this haunted laboratory where scientists are conducting their latest experiments as they gather research and data.”
By now, many of you will have heard that we are closing one of the Western Mass RLC’s spaces—the Pittsfield Center. This was a difficult decision and was based largely on some unexpected turns in our budget related to Chapter 257 (a state-wide process of ‘rate setting’ that began to affect us about a year ago).
The last day of official open hours for our Pittsfield Center will be Thursday, November 3rd.
Please consider taking some time between now and then to stop in and help us say goodbye to the space, and to connect with and thank everyone else who’s played a role in holding and helping to shape our community based in Pittsfield.
On that note, a special thanks to both Cate and Alan who have played such key roles in developing the RLC in our most Western parts of Western Massachusetts. They’ve given so much heart and energy to what we have accomplished. Although they will be leaving their formal roles as Coordinator and Advocate as we close the center, we do anticipate you’ll still be able to find them around town facilitating groups, in community, and helping us learn and think through how we might move forward.
Click "Read more" below to learn more about what went into making this decision.
re-open on Tuesday, November 1!
Saturday 11am to 3pm
* Installing a shower
* Getting ready to host a food pantry (although it won’t be fully ready to go until we’re a bit further down the road)
* Moving some walls and doorways around so that we have a room specifically for meetings and groups, and a new designated kitchen spot.
* Setting up a gender-neutral bathroom in the space.
* Getting new rugs installed throughout the space
- Action Alert: Six Flags to Open 'Asylum' Themed Haunted House
- Community Dialogue: Healing Racism
- Other Race-Related Events You May Want to Consider
- Why Are We Focusing So Much Energy on Racism?
- Community Conversation: Living the Values of Alternatives to Suicide Groups
- Regulations for DMH Complaints - Your Feedback Needed!