Sunday, 21 October 2018



Save the Date: Exploring Psychiatric Drugs: Harm Reduction, Withdrawal, and Mutual Support

Join us for three days of exploring our relationship to psychiatric drugs as individuals and as a community, leading up to the development of an ongoing peer support group on this topic.

Wednesday, September 20 to Friday, September 22, 9:30am to 4:30pm
Holyoke Community College, Kittredge Center, Holyoke, MA

Day 1 - Personal Exploration: A time to explore different aspects of your relationship with psychiatric drugs, including: your beliefs about what they are and how they work, the impacts they’ve had on your life, relationships, and sense of self, and the changes you might be considering moving forward.

Day 2 - Practical Considerations: An opportunity to consider the various factors involved in thinking about and preparing for coming off or reducing psychiatric drugs, including: the impacts of psychiatric drugs on the body and why this matters for reducing or coming off them, possible risks and benefits of withdrawal, common experiences during withdrawal, how to prepare yourself in a way that optimizes your chances of success, and strategies for more effective communication and self-advocacy with prescribers or family members.

Day 3 - Building Local Supports: Thinking about putting together a group for ongoing exploration of this topic, including: hearing from individuals who’ve run psych drug-related groups before, hearing from individuals who have come to different places on use of psych drugs through their own processes, and values and approaches we want to incorporate in any group that would exist in our own community.

This event will be free. Sign up for all three days, or each one separately!

More details (including how to sign up) will follow soon. Click here for a flyer version of this information.


RLC May Newsletter 17

Workshops with Jacqui Dillon

Advanced Hearing Voices Facilitator TrainingJacqui flyer
Wednesday, June 7 & Thursday, June 8,
10am to 4:30pm, Holyoke area, location TBD
This workshop is intended for those who have already completed the 3-day Hearing Voices Group Facilitator training, and/or who otherwise have extensive Hearing Voices group facilitation experience. The workshop will provide an opportunity to meet other facilitators, link up with other groups, and share good practices around setting up and sustaining Hearing voices groups.
The workshop will explore:
  • Projects and Network news
  • Group discussion and dynamics
  • Successes and challenges
  • Featured presentations on advances in innovative approaches
Dealing with Vicarious Trauma: Helping the Helper
Monday, June 12, 10-4:30pm
Holyoke Community College, Kittredge Center, Holyoke, MA
(Sponsored by the WMRLC)
Tuesday, June 13, 10- 4:30pm
Advocates, 1881 Worcester Road, Framingham, MA
(Sponsored by Advocates)
Vicarious trauma is the process of change that happens because you care about other people who have been hurt, and feel committed or responsible to help them. Over time, this process can lead to changes in your psychological, physical, and spiritual well-being.
The workshop will explore:
  • Risk factors in developing vicarious trauma
  • Signs of vicarious trauma
  • Strategies for dealing effectively with the impact of vicarious trauma
  • Beyond vicarious trauma—to vicarious transformation
Who is Jacqui Dillon?: Jacqui is a writer, and international speaker and trainer. She has personal and professional experience, awareness and skills in working with trauma and abuse, dissociation, hearing voices, and healing. She has lectured and published worldwide. She also has one of those great English accents that us Americans seem to so love! Learn more about Jacqui at www.jacquidillon.org

SPECIAL EVENT: Open Dialogue with Mia Kurtti

Thursday, March 16, 7pm to 9pmOpen Dialogue event 2017

@ Holyoke Community College, Kittredge Center

303 Homestead Avenue, Holyoke

We are pleased to share this opportunity to join as a community to learn more about Open Dialogue! We realize it's shorter-than-usual notice, but hope that you'll be able to join us.

Open Dialogue offers an alternative to supporting people experiencing extreme emotional distress or ‘crisis’. It emphasizes dialogue directly with the person in distress along with others in their own social network, avoidance of talking about someone without them present, and a much
broader way of making meaning of what is at the root of the struggle.

Open Dialogue is getting some of the best documented success rates in the world, including outcomes such as marked reductions in the use of psychotropic drugs, hospitalizations, and long term disability.

miaMia is a psychotherapist and psychiatric nurse. She works in the acute crisis clinic in Keropudas Hospital in the western Lapland region of Finland. Extensively trained in Open Dialogue, Mia has been a member of the team that developed Open Dialogue since 2002. She was also featured in Daniel Mackler’s 2014 film ‘Open Dialogue’, now available on Youtube.


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  • The Murphy Bills and Beyond

    In June of 2015, Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania re-introduced the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act" (HR 2646), better known as the Murphy Bill.  A month later, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut introduced a very similar bill in the Senate called the "Mental Health Reform Act of 2015" (S2680).  Both pieces of legislation threatened to dramatically increase the use of force and dismantle many of the more progressive and healing alternatives that have been developed in recent years. As of November 2016 the fate of both bills remained uncertain.

    Meanwhile, another piece of legislation called 21st Century Cures was in development and garnering increasing bipartisan support. A sweeping and expansive healthcare bill, 21st Century Cures was, initially, minimally focused on mental health provisions. Having been stalled in part due to resistance from Senate Democrats' concerns that the bill was dangerously empowering for the pharmaceutical industry, 21st Century Cures also faced an uncertain fate in November. However, the election of President Trump and consequent fears for the bill’s fate prompted a reworking of the bill that also included the absorption of many aspects of HR 2646, “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis.”

    21st Century Cures was passed by the House and Senate on November 30th and December 7th of last year, respectively. On December 13, 21st Century Cures (now including substantial portions drawn directly from HR 2646, "Helping Familties in Mental Health Crisis") was signed into law by President Obama. 



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