In 2005, the Department of Mental Health developed a plan to establish local consumer operated centers that would build upon established partnerships. Called Recovery Learning Communities, or RLCs, these local hubs of information and support are now operating in all five DMH Areas. It's a new type of model, one that relies on the momentum of the consumer movement and the strong partnership among consumer leaders and DMH that continues to grow.

What is a Recovery Learning Community?

RLCs are consumer-run networks of self help/peer support, information and referral, advocacy and training activities. Training in recovery concepts and tools, advocacy forums and social and recreational events are all part of what goes on in a Recovery Learning Community.

What Does a Recovery Learning Community Do?

First and foremost, RLCs create significant culture change that shifts the focus on symptom management to a focus on promoting recovery, resilience and wellness. RLCs also support consumers to take charge of their own recovery process. Emerging evidence shows that peer services and Peer Specialists speed a person's recovery, a key component of RLCs.

Who can use an RLC?

The doors are open to all individuals with a serious mental illness. RLCs work collaboratively with mental health providers, other human service agencies and the community at large to forward the mission of community integration and respect for people with mental health conditions. RLC activities are designed to appeal to the range of people in the community, including people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds and people of all co-occurring disabilities. RLCs are for everyone.

Below are the five DMH RLCs:

Central Area

Central Mass RLC/Kiva Center
209 Shrewsbury Street
Worcester, MA 01604
Phone: 508-751-9600
Fax: 508-751-9601
Director: Brenda Vezina

West Area

Western Mass. RLC
Western Massachusetts Training Consortium
187 High Street, Suite 303
Holyoke, MA 01040
Phone: 413 539-5941
Toll free 866-641-2853
Fax: 413 536-5466
Director: Sera Davidow,

Northeast-Suburban Area

Northeast RLC
Northeast Independent Living Program
20 Ballard Road
Lawrence, MA 01843
Phone: 978-687-4288 (V/TTY)
Fax: 978-689-4488
Director: June Cowen,

Metro Boston RLC
Solomon Carter Fuller Center
85 E. Newton Street, Ground Floor
Boston, MA 02118
Phone: 617-305-9976
Director: Paul Styczko

Southeast RLC
60 Hodges Ave. Gifford Bldg. Office 127
Taunton, MA, 02780
Phone: 508 977-3127
fax: 508 977-3752
Director: Frances Sokoll, M.Ed,


RLC Resources

This information is provided by the Department of Mental Health