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.
Thank you to everyone who donated to during our on-line Community Gives week (and beyond!). A special thank you and congrats to our prize winners:
$50 Amazon Gift Card: Luke P from Great Barrington, MA
$30 Barnes & Noble Gift Card: Audrey H from Somerville, MA
$100 Spafinder Gift Card: Alison B from South Hadley, MA
$50 Bath & Body Works Gift Card: Phyllis S from Granby, MA
$35 Dunkin Donuts Gift Card: Vanessa H from Shrewsbury, MA
$100 Darden Gift Card: Laura C from Northampton, MA
$50 Target Gift Card: Tom R from Hamden, CT
Writing can be a form of therapeutic expression.
We want you to come join us in a new writing group at the Holyoke Center
(no sign-up necessary).
Mondays in February (2/1, 2/8, 2/15, 2/22, 2/29)
187 High Street, Room 302, Holyoke
Each group starts with a 10 minute free-write where individuals are encouraged to write non-stop about anything and everything that comes to mind, as a sort of cleansing ritual that readies the participant for the challenges ahead.
The rest of the group is a combination of focused writing prompts and sharing among the group.
The prompts range from creative non-fiction, poetry and group-thinks. All participants are encouraged to share their writing, though no one will be forced if they feel uncomfortable. The ultimate goal of the group is to create an environment where participants feel compelled to write, journal, and share their words outside of the group and within the space of their own lives.
Group led by Lauren Singer
for more info call 413-420-1814
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.