Making Lemonade

Making Lemonade

The Consortium’s “40th Anniversary Franklin County Block Party” was a smashing success, thanks to Kristel Applebee and her outstanding coordination of a plethora of willing and enthusiastic volunteers from the all of the Franklin County Consortium programs: RECOVER Project, Salasin Project, Support Network for Families, and the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community. On Friday July 25th from 3-7pm, volunteers blocked off Osgood Street in Greenfield, and set up a FREE party, with food, fun and all the fixins for the whole community to enjoy! The lively music put the call out near and far and it wasn’t long before people were dancing in the streets! By the end of the day approximately 200 locals came by to share in the food, fun and fellowship. The old saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” was in full effect with the Franklin County Consortium team. The Consortium was able to celebrate its 40th birthday, by embodying the value of finding wisdom in lived experience and literally making lemons into...
From the Ashes: A Road Race for Recovery

From the Ashes: A Road Race for Recovery

Every Mother’s Day, my sister and her husband join his family and thousands of others as they convene on the fabled Philadelphia Art Museum steps for the annual “Race for the Cure.” My brother-in-law’s entire family walks in memory of their matriarch who tragically succumbed to breast cancer after a long, hard-fought battle, flagged with several triumphant remissions, but which ultimately ended in devastating relapse. In fact each year, hundreds of families and loved ones participate in the “Race for the Cure”, donning all shades of pink, adorned with “I walk in memory of” tributes and the names of those they’ve lost. But the most revered race participants are those who stride down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway proudly wearing the banner of “survivor,” triumphantly reclaiming their health as they walk the walk in their recovery from cancer. Cancer, of course, is a very deadly disease which has affected millions of Americans. But according to the USCB “Scienceline” website, when asked “what is the most deadly disease a person can get?” they said: Well, it depends on how you define “deadliest.” If you mean what kills the most people, the deadliest disease in the US is nicotine addiction. Smoking kills more people than any other disease in America by causing, or helping to cause, heart disease, high blood pressure, several types of cancer. This doesn’t include the countless other people, many very young, whose struggle with addiction has led to death; either by accident, violence, overdose or perhaps the most overlooked death by addiction, suicide. Last Fall, after watching the documentary The Anonymous People, one of the RECOVER Project’s members...
Trauma Informed Practice

Trauma Informed Practice

“Trauma informed practice” has become the new standard for recovery supports as evidenced by SAMHSA’s language and federal and state grant requirements and calls for proposals and conference agendas and accreditation standards and… The language is everywhere but we know calling something “trauma informed” doesn’t necessarily make it so. Often the phrase trauma informed is used when a program, organization or resource center has specific supports to address trauma, often set apart from the day-to-day values and principles witnessed in action. The RECOVER Project and other programs of the Consortium have been recognized nationally as a model of best practice for trauma informed recovery focused supports. To be “trauma informed” is to hold values and principles that guide all aspects of a program, from the physical environment, emotional comfort, and spiritual energy, as well as day to day procedures and policies that impact participants and staff alike. Trauma informed is a way of being in recovery wherein mutual relationships are nurtured with compassion and respect. We recognize that everyone has a story, and we hold the belief that recovery is possible for all. We know that a safe space and supportive relationships are necessary for healing. Nine years ago, one of the first tasks of the newly formed RECOVER Project community was to decide how to be together at the RP and in the greater community. This community of people in recovery reflected on the values and actions that allowed for healing and growth. The RECOVER Project’s Code of Ethics developed from of these early conversations. The core values of safety, respect, compassion, and acceptance are at the heart...