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.
Save the Dates!
In past years, we have hosted Alternative Perspectives Series that have been largely film-based. This time round, we’re starting out with a series of live presentations and sending them to the most commonly neglected spot in Western Mass: The Berkshires!
The Alternative Perspectives Series is designed to bring together people from all parts of our community (those who provide services and those who have received them, peer supporters, family and friends, students, and the broader community). The hope is that they will have time and space to consider new ideas, and talk about how they might apply to their community.
The series will kick off in March and run into next fall.
Each session will be free and open to the public.
We will also plan to offer Continuing Education Credits.
There are several job openings for peer roles currently posted in the Western Mass area. At present, the RLC is hiring for per diem support particularly in Holyoke and Springfield. See the following ad for details:
Per-diem advocates, Western Mass RLC: The Western Mass RLC is currently accepting applications for individuals interested in working in a per diem (as needed) capacity to support our centers in Holyoke and Springfield. Responsibilities may include facilitating groups, holding space and offering mutual support, sharing resource information, and so on.
No prior peer-to-peer support experience required, although some exposure to relevant values, approaches, and/or training is very useful. Personal experience with trauma, psychiatric diagnosis, and/or use of mental health services is required.
"Broken Promises, Shattered Lives: The Truth About Problem Gambling" is a short film that addresses the significant psychological and social impacts of gambling through the narratives of three individuals whose lives were profoundly affected by what they identify as problem addiction.
The film also explores messages of hope and recovery from the devastation problem gambling can cause - an increasingly relevant issue to Springfield, Massachusetts as we approach the opening of MGM Casino in downtown Springfield. Join us for the free screening and discussion with Director Adam Chambers and contributors to the film.
Addiction issues and struggles with substance abuse are huge in our community right now. If you’re someone who’s struggling and looking for support, check out one of these options:
Winding Road Support Group: Thursdays, 1p-2p @ the RLC’s Holyoke Center, 187 High Street, Suite 303. Join members of the community as we gather in a supportive, non-judgmental way to discuss and share around issues regarding addictions, healing, and coping along life’s path. All are welcome.
In Springfield, although we do not currently offer RLC-sponsored groups specifically related to addiction and substance use, there are both Narcotics Anonymous and Adult Children of Alcoholics groups in the area.
In Greenfield, be sure to check out the RECOVER Project at 74 Federal Street (just a few doors down from the RLC’s Greenfield Center). RECOVER Project is a peer-to-peer community focused on addiction issues and offers a number of related supports including a Dual Recovery meeting (call them for details at 413-774-5489).
Want to get trained to use Narcan? Narcan is a potentially life-saving drug that can help stop a narcotics overdose from becoming fatal. Anyone can be trained to use Narcan through a simple, short training. In our area, Tapestry Health offers this training for free. Call them at 413.586.2016 to learn where you can go for this training and a free dose of Narcan to carry with you. Help be a part of saving someone’s life!
Holiday Potluck: Friday, December 18th, 4 to 6pm, @ the RLC’s Greenfield Center, 74 Federal Street:
Join the community for connection and nourishment at the darkest time of the year. The RLC Greenfield Center team will be bringing a roast turkey, roasted root vegetables, and other delicious foods. Bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages. You may also bring a song, piece of art, or poem to share. Or, just bring yourself! All are welcome.
Holiday Dessert Potluck: Thursday, December 24th, 1 to 4pm, @ the RLC’s Holyoke Center, 187 High Street, Suite 303:
Fruits, sweets, nuts, hot chocolate, coffee, tea and good cheer will be shared today in a relaxed atmosphere with our community. Come by and say hello. Bring a dessert item to share if you are able. (The Bowen Center in Springfield will be closed on this date so that everyone can join in on the festivities in Holyoke!)
New Years Eve Movie and Light Refreshments: Thursday December 31st , 3 to 6pm, @ the RLC’s Pittsfield Center, 152 North Street, Suite 230:
Spend time with other community members to celebrate the years end. Call the center at 413.236.5888 for more details!
First Night Celebration: Thursday, December 31st @ First Night, Northampton: See page 3 of our full newsletter for details!
PLEASE NOTE: Our December holiday gatherings are not meant to support any one holiday tradition over another. All are welcome, and encouraged to share your traditions with others in the community!