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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

RLC in the News

As a community, we are always looking for opportunities to share the work we're doing, and sometimes we find success in print, on the radio or on television. In this section, we will share some of our successes and increasing awareness of the RLC and all we do!

 

Mad in America Interview with Sera Davidow

MIA Brain LogoMad in America published an interview with our own Sera Davidow in September of 2014.
 
The interview, called "The answer is that there is no (one) answer", covers topics including recent WMRLC film releases, the notion of recovery, and the necessity of moving beyond a medical model of emotional distress.
 
 

Article in the Times Union, November 2014

On November, the Times Union published an article called "Troy event explores alternative views of mental health; Filmmakers provide perspective of people with direct experience", about the RLC, our films, and our mission. It preceded a screening of "Beyond the Medical Model".

To read the full article, click below!

http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Troy-event-explores-alternative-views-of-mental-5905144.php

Article: "$38 billion budget plan released by Massachusetts House committee", from Shira Schoenberg of MassLive

Further illuminating the issue of Governor Baker's proposed budget plan, and the victories achieved by the RLC, MassLive featured an article from Shira Schoenberg. Here's an excerpt:
 
"BOSTON - The House Committee on Ways and Means has a proposed a budget of just under $38 billion for fiscal year 2016, which is $100 million less than the budget proposed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in March.
The House committee's budget would increase spending over the current fiscal year by 2.8 percent. It would make additional investments in local aid and some social services, while spending less than Baker proposed in areas including higher education and county sheriffs.
...
The House Ways and Means budget will now go the full House, where members can amend and debate it. The Senate will then go through its own process of developing a state budget. The two versions will have to be reconciled, then signed by Baker before the June 30 end of the fiscal year."

To read the full article, please click here!

Article from The Recorder

In April, The Recorder ran an article entitled
"Greenfield mental health outreach program threatened by statewide cut".
 
 
Here's an excerpt:

"GREENFIELD — Faced with a proposed 50 percent cut to their state funding, a statewide mental health outreach and peer services program with an office on Federal Street is bracing for the prospect of closing centers, laying off staff, and maybe fading away entirely.

Sera Davidow, Western Mass. Recovery Learning Community director, said the cut in the governor’s budget came as a surprise, even in the current climate.

“It was something that was very unexpected, we really had been told by (the Department of Mental Health) and believed ourselves that we were so small that a cut of this size would really decimate us and not do much for the overall deficit,” Davidow said."

 

"Wicked Local" Article about the RLC

On April 2nd, "Wicked Local" printed an article about the RLC, which you can read by clicking here.

The piece, written by Gintautas Dumcius,  is titled "Protesters rip Baker cuts to recovery services".

Here's an excerpt:

"According to Ruthie Poole, director of advocacy at the Roxbury-based Transformation Center, Gov. Charlie Baker’s fiscal 2016 budget proposal includes $1.7 million for recovery learning communities (RLCs), down from $3.5 million in fiscal year 2015. The Department of Mental Health has not explained the cut to them, Poole said.
“It guts us,” she said.
 
Anne Whitman, chair of Metro Boston and Southeast RLCs, said... “What was important to me was the peer support”. “We help people get jobs, run peer support groups, help with GED [General Educational Development], housing.”
In a statement, Chuck O’Leary of Melrose said the Metro Boston RLC served him three days a week “during the worst depression of my life.” He said being with others recovering from mental health conditions helped him the most. “I felt very accepted, very welcomed and not judged,” O’Leary said.
 
“We support each other through support groups, we socialize with each other and we do get better,” said Justin Brown, director of the Northeast Recovery Learning Community, which serves 52 communities, including Lowell, Malden and Newburyport. “Recovery is real.”
 

MassLive Article about Potential Budget Cuts

Again in April, MassLive ran an article about the budget cutbacks the RLC has been facing.

It includes lots of input from members of the community, as well as a lot of info on how funds get allocated in the first place.

View the full article at MassLive by clicking here.

Here's a brief excerpt from the article, including words from Earl Miller, Ana Keck and James Fortini:

"Earl Miller, who coordinates centers in Springfield and Holyoke, said about half the people who come into the Springfield center are homeless, and others are on probation or parole. The center creates a community.

"For people who are there, losing the center entirely may mean losing their connection with the larger community that supports them," Miller said.

...Ana Keck, 24, of Northampton, connected with a Recovery Learning Community through an alternative to suicide group and said people there helped her think through suicidal thoughts in a way that was different from the medical treatment she received at a hospital. "It was helpful in how I view myself. I'm connected to a broader community," Keck said.

Keck has since started working at centers, and she has found meaning in not being labeled a "sick person," but as someone who can help others. "We're able to mutually support each other," Keck said.

James Fortini, 31, of Northampton, similarly went from attending a suicide alternatives group to working at a respite center. Fortini said he felt like the "traditional system" focused on telling him what he cannot do, while peers at the center helped him accomplish things he wanted to do. "When I grew up, they told me I'd never graduate high school. I've done that," Fortini said."

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