AA: AA stands for Alcoholics Anonymous. From the AA website: Alcoholics Anonymous® is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. For more info on AA (including how to find on-line and in-person meetings), visist the AA website. For information about AA meetings for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing visit the 'Deaf and Hard of Hearing AA 12 Step Meetings' page.
ACE Study: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, conducted through a collaboration with Kaiser Permanente and the Center for Disease Control, was the largest scientific research stufy of its kind (17,000+ persons over the course of 15 years) and served to clearly link the affect of traumatic childhood events with individuals well being over the long term. Ultimately, it was able to demonstrate a correlation between traumatic childhood experiences and heightened incidences of substance abuse, mental health issues, incarceration, medical complications and early death. More can be learned about the ACE study at www.acestudy.org.
AMA: AMA can refer to the American Medical Association (www.ama-assn.org/ama). However, it can be used as an abbreviation for 'Against Medical Advice.' For example, when someone has not been officially committed to a hospital, but they choose to leave even if the doctor's recommendation is that they stay, it may be documented that they are leaving against the doctor's advice or 'Against Medical Advice.'
AOT: AOT stands for 'Assisted Outpatient Treatment.' This is a more pleasant-sounding way of saying 'forced outpatient treatment' or 'forced outpatient commitment.' When someone is under an AOT order, it means that they may be required to participate in any number of court-ordered treatments (medication, therapy, day program, etc.) because the court has decided that to not do so would put them at an increased risk of needing to be hospitalized. Currently, 44 states in America have AOT laws. (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada and Tennessee do not.) For more information on AOT click here.
APA: APA most commonly stands for the American Psychological Association (a professional association for psychologists and psychological research and articles - www.apa.org/) or the American Psychiatric Association (www.psych.org/), the professional organization for psychiatrists.
ASL: ASL stands for American Sign Language, the first language of many individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. It is important to remember that many individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing do not use English as their first language. Because ASL is a totally separate language, it is not directly based on English and so writing or communicating with English may be challenging for those who primarily communicate using ASL. It is also important to note that not all individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing use American Sign Language. Sign language varies from country to country (just like the spoken word does), and some individuals in America use a more general form of gestural communicatin that is different than ASL. In cases where individuals are not comfortable with ASL, an ASL interpreter will not be sufficient and a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) should also be requested.
ATRIUM: ATRIUM stands for 'Addictions and Trauma Recovery Integration Model.' Developed by Dusty Miller for individual survivors of trauma and their allies, ATRIUM is a practical approach to healing intended to intervene at the three levels impacted by trauma: Body, mind and spirit. ATRIUM classes are periodically offered through the Women's Centers of Western Mass, the RLC and other local organizations.
Berkshire RCC / Berkshire Resource Center / RLC's Pittsfield Center: The Berkshire RCC is what the Western Mass RLC originally called the resource center located in Pittsfield. It is now most commonly called the RLC's Pittsfield Center. RCC is no longer used on a regular basis as it became too often confused with RLC. It is currently located at 152 North Street, Suite 230 in Pittsfield. It offers 1:1 peer support, workshops and activities as well as access to resource information, a computer lab, library and more.