Save The RLCs

House Restores Full Funding For RLCs

House Restores Full Funding For RLCs By Shira Schoenberg | Follow on Twitter on April 15, 2015 at 3:53 PM STATE BUDGET BOSTON – The House Committee on […]

Ways & Means Hearing

Ways & Means Hearing Social service groups ask lawmakers for more money in 2016 Massachusetts budget By Shira Schoenberg |  Follow on Twitter on April 13, 2015 […]

Where’s The Evidence?

Where’s The Evidence?

Fighting for the RLCs Continued By Sera Davidow       Featured Blogs April 11, 2015 It’s amazing the contortions we go through to prove our worth […]

Greenfield RLC Threatened

Greenfield RLC Threatened

Greenfield mental health outreach program threatened by statewide cut | The Recorder By CHRIS CURTIS (Published in print: Monday, April 6, 2015) Share on facebook […]

Heading To The State House

Heading To The State House

Recovery Learning Communities head to State House to protest proposed budget cut By Anne-Gerard Flynn | Email the author | Follow on Twitter on […]

Protestan Recortes

Protestan Recortes


On The Chopping  Block

On The Chopping Block

WERS Radio News Mental Health Program On the Chopping Block  

Protesters rip Baker cuts

Protesters rip Baker cuts

Wicked Local News Coverage Amesbury, MA By Gintautas Dumcius / State House News Service Posted Apr. 2, 2015 at 4:37 PM Users of mental health […]

April 1st State House Rally

April 1st State House Rally Advocates for Recovery Learning Centers rally against a proposed budget cut at the Statehouse on April 1, 2015. (SHIRA SCHOENBERG / THE REPUBLICAN) Print […]


Both the Senate and the House

have fully funded the RLCs

for Fiscal Year 2016

Please be sure to thank your

State Senator and Representative

for their support.


State House Rally April 1st 2015

On April 1, 2015, two hundred and fifty members and supporters of the six Recovery Learning Communities gathered at the State House from cities and towns throughout Massachusetts. They rallied to save the RLCs. Many carried signs saying “The RLC Saved My Life”. Protesters then visited their Representatives and Senators inside the State House seeking full funding for the Recovery Learning Communities in the 2016 Budget.


oryx bottom right

State House Dome


Carol in Pink



John P

Orek 2


toine and virgil

active signscrowdddd



The Recovery Learning Communities (RLCs) offer peer-to-peer support for individuals impacted by psychiatric diagnosis, trauma, addiction and a variety of other life-disrupting challenges.  RLCs are the only supports funded by the Department of Mental Health that are available immediately and without any red tape (referrals, intake processes, wait lists, etc.).

Last year, an estimated 8,000 people connected with RLCs through resource centers, support groups, hospitals visits and many other community-based activities and public events.  As a result, individuals who may never have even sought help instead moved through thoughts of suicide, avoided hospitalization, worked on substance abuse issues, stayed out of legal trouble, and found jobs and affordable housing. RLCs also saved taxpayer dollars by reducing use of 911, emergency rooms and hospitalization.

The RLCs are already significantly underfunded at $3.4 million (less than 1% of the state’s total budget for community-based adult mental health).  Slashing the RLC budget by half would devastate the RLCs and shut down centers and groups, leaving thousands of Massachusetts residents without access to much-needed supports.  We all need to come together to advocate for the full restoration of the RLC budget and protect the $3.4 million needed to fully fund Recovery Learning Communities.

For a full report on RLC Outcomes go to the full UMASS Study.

prayer beads

15 thoughts on “Save The RLCs

  1. Less than 1% of the state’s total budget for community-based adult mental health? Makes me ponder why the RLC’S are being picked on particularly when this cut won’t make a bit of difference in balancing any budget. Despite the epidemic of recovery rhetoric coming from DMH and providers I fear the pendulum has swung toward more emphasis and money going toward creating systems and policy around staff and public safety. Please let me know how I can help.

    Thank you

  2. I will definitely be making phone calls tomorrow. This can’t continue to occur year after year. We have a voice, let’s use it.

  3. I have been told in the past when writing letters that we should include our full name and address and phone number, for it to be legitimized.

    Brian Dempsey, Chairman of Ways and Means Committee
    is very important to contact if from Merrimack Valley
    He is at Haverhill City Hall the Third Thursday of the month
    Third floor conference room, 8 am – 9 am for Haverhill constituents and constituent issues

    To schedule office hours at Boston State House or Haverhill City Hall
    Please call Karen in his office to schedule appointments at 617-722-2990 or
    Please call Aide to Brian Dempsey, Jason Keene at 617-722-2990 to discuss putting back the RLC’s statewide to their full funding of 3.4 million.

  4. We need EVERYONE to contact their legislators to let them know how important their RLC is in their own lives. The personal stories make the difference!

    We can restore the funding, but we need EVERYONE’s help!

    Keep up the good work all!

  5. We must keep peer support alive! Every individual needs to have strong means of support. Every avenue of support must exsist and always be available everyday and every hour of the day someone out there needs Support!! A True genuine form of support in a judgment free environment!!!!

  6. I am a member of the DMH Site Board in Lynn and am involved in the planning of the DMH sponsored Community Conversation taking place at NSCC on April 9th.
    It is my understanding that this event, and similar ones being held throughout the state, are in response to an Executive Order from President Obama to take steps to educate the community, eliminate the prejudice, and remove the stigma associated with mental illness.
    Since this is EXACTLY what the RLC does on a daily basis, the Governor’s proposed budget cuts are in direct conflict with this Presidential Order.
    Therefore I suggest that we also make an effort to contact our U.S. Congressmen and Senators to bring the appropriate pressures to bear on the Governor. I would think that taking actions in defiance of Presidential Orders might have some negative consequences vis-à-vis the State’s federal funding.
    I would also suggest that the Governor and/or his staff attend one of these Community Conversations, to perhaps better understand the issues surrounding mental health care.

  7. I have been diagnosed with mental illness and without the help of my support groups I would not be where I am today. I was not able to work and put on disability for the past 4 years. Today, I am fully recovered and I am working in a law firm and no longer receive disabilty benefits. Any budget cut in the mental health system would be a tragedy for all that suffer mental illness and for everyone that does not. I have learned through my experience that mental illness is not fully understood by people that are not affected by it. I have seen people suffering with mental illness are ignored, feared and not taken seriously by the rest of the community. Organizations such as the RLC are the backbone to recovery and they should not suffer fianancily. I am proof of the miracles that come from these organizations.

  8. I wrote the media four emails asking why they advertise the people with medical
    issues.Weeks in advanced so they can gather,sponors and donors.And the Boston
    media doesn’t show the same respect to N.A.M.I. events.I never had a response
    to the emails.

  9. I have benefited and continue to improve from the caring, excellent,and very professional help I have received from especially Janel Tan, who oversees Nami and RLC at 35 Medford St. Somerville, MA. I have also observed the great improvement of people with varied mental illness issues. I feel that cutting the already low budget is very inappropriate, insensitive and extremely devastating to these extremely vital services.

  10. Good showing today at the Statehouse to fight off cuts to the RLC statewide. Several members met with legislators to tell their stories. The DMH 50% cut to their funding is foolish and unfounded. The fact is that RLC’s divert psychiatric survivors from emergency room and inpatient hospitals every day and keep them in the community where they belong at a tremendous savings to taxpayers. I urge each of the RLC’s to turn out huge numbers at the upcoming Ways and Means budget hearings throughout the state. This battle must be won!

  11. It was great to join so many advocates at the statehouse April 1st. We have come together across differences, because we have a common cause. The forces of institutionalization are massing across the country. Lets stay true to our truth, Recovery is Real and we are the evidence!

  12. While I was unable to attend the April 1st Rally at the State House, I wanted to thank all the 250 people who did attend the rally to express their support for Mass RLC’s, as your support and presence has made a definite impact already. I sent out emails to three Representatives and one Senator of my district a few weeks back. And, just two days after the April 1st Rally, I finally received my first response back from one of the Representatives, Paul J.Donato, who says he is a supporter of the RLC’s! For all the email letters that I sent to legislators, I did personalize them and spoke from my own experience, which I think does make a difference. However, simply sending letters and making calls to express your support for the Mass RLC’s helps and everyone’s support and contribution matters. To all the supporters and members of the six Recovery Learning Communities, great job & keep up the great work!

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