FC organizational

The Freedom Center's Peer Support Group

Submitted by shana on Sun, 09/21/2014 - 16:32


Right now a small group of core organizers intends to offer more support groups in Northampton in the future. We don't have the resources at the moment to make this viable, and so we are focusing on resources and networking at the moment and hope to offer a monthly support group when all the preparations are in place . Please be in touch if you are interested in Freedom Center community events, volunteering, or otherwise helping.

Summer 2012 Update

Submitted by jiro on Thu, 06/21/2012 - 04:02

The Freedom Center is experiencing paradoxical effects of our success! As peer run services spread in Western Massachusetts, organizers, resources, and support are now flowing to state funded agencies and initiatives across the area, especially the Recovery Learning Community. Area mental health providers are now embracing principles of peer-run services, peer support, and wellness alternatives. As a result of things shifting, organizers still focused on Freedom Center are seeking to obtain enough funding and volunteer support to keep Freedom Center resources active within the community. We welcome the volunteer support of local community members, as well as the financial support and wisdom of those who live outside the Pioneer Valley.

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Freedom Center Update -- Nine Years and Going Strong

Submitted by admin on Sun, 06/12/2011 - 19:59

Freedom Center is going strong!

After more than 9 years of fast-paced activism focus, Freedom Center is going strong -- and evolving. We're  concentrating on our community support and wellness programs these days: support groups, yoga, writing, and acupuncture. We're also continuing to co-sponsor Madness Radio and we collaborate with the Recovery Learning Community and the Statewide Harm Reduction Coalition.You may not see our website always reflecting what's going on (our webmaster has moved to the west coast!), but come to one of our groups and be part of our thriving community!

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Spa Night Friday January 21st 2001

Submitted by admin on Sun, 01/09/2011 - 14:41

Join us for a tantalizing Spa Night! On Friday January 21st from 530-830pm
at the Quaker Friends Meeting House on 43 Center St. in Northampton is an
opportunity for you to come relax while also supporting social justice

Spa night is an opportunity for YOU to get a relaxing and affordable
massage, acupuncture treatment, craniosacral treatment, shamanic reading,
and  more! Tickets start at just $5 and an unlimited pass to get as many
treatments as you want cost %50.

100% of the proceeds will be going to help the Freedom Center, a
peer-led, support and activism community run by and for people labeled

Remembering Dave Burns March 23, 1947-December 14, 2010

Submitted by admin on Tue, 12/21/2010 - 02:14

MEMORIAL-- Tuesday Dec 28 at 2 pm in Williamstown at the First Congregational Church, in the chapel downstairs

Watch the video Dave's sister Mecca made here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mB_I0WwsYG8

Freedom Center celebrates our memories of Dave Burns, one of the original Freedom Center organizers. Dave's activism led to important reforms in the Northampton area mental health system, by exposing and denouncing abuses and pressing for improved treatment. He was a key organizer in local group homes and among mental health consumers in Northampton, who he met on the streets and in low income residences. Dave was also an important link to movement history, because he lived in RD Laing's therapeutic communities in London. He was a great guy and his spirit is very much alive in the work of the Freedom Center.


Will Hall writes, "Dave was a deeply creative and spiritual person who turned his own emotional and psychological struggles into a unique positive stance and attitude towards life. He was one of the founding organizers of Freedom Center and led the shaping of Freedom Center's first successful activist campaign. Dave was a very dear and beloved friend, very bright, very funny, and lived a way of seeing the world that was all his own. He will be deeply missed."

Listen to a great interview with Dave here: http://www.freedom-center.org/radio/10-06DavidBurns.mp3


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Starting Hearing Voices Groups Training at RLC

Submitted by admin on Sat, 10/09/2010 - 21:20

Recovery Learning Community is sponsoring a "Starting Hearing Voices Groups" training with Oryx Cohen, Gail Hornstein, Ron Coleman (UK Hearing Voices Network) and Paul Baker (UK Hearing Voices Network). This is a great opportunity to learn about how to create a hearing voices group in your area and become a hearing voices group facilitator.

Dates for the training are November 12th & 19th and December 3rd & 10th. Download the training application here. For more info, contact


Oryx Cohen

Recovery Learning Community

187 High St., Suite 303

Holyoke, MA 01040

Fax: 413-536-5466 (attn: Oryx)

Email: oryx@westernmassrlc.org

Judi Chamberlin -- Always With Us

Submitted by admin on Mon, 01/18/2010 - 01:54

Thank you Judi Chamberlin for all your inspiration, your years of friendship and support for Freedom Center, and the inspiration you have given the survivor movement.

Judi passed away. She recently wrote:

Freedom Center receives Northampton Community Block Development Grant!

Submitted by lee on Sun, 03/29/2009 - 13:51

Yet again, the city of Northampton has recognized the valuable services that Freedom Center has provided and has given the Freedom Center additional funding to keep our programs going. The city of Northampton awarded the Freedom Center $2,500 towards helping to maintain our weekly writing group, acupuncture clinic, yoga classes, and support group. All of these programs take place in Northampton and are free and open to the public and therefore provide lots of benefit to northampton residents.


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Lee Hurter's Hampshire Thesis On Freedom Center

Submitted by admin on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 21:01

Longtime organizer Lee Hurter wrote her Hampshire College thesis on Freedom Center, including interviews with several Freedom Center organizers. Download and read the thesis at the link below.

National Disability Council Recognizes Freedom Center!

Submitted by admin on Thu, 11/27/2008 - 19:19

The prestigious federal National Council on Disability report Inclusive Livable Communities for People with Psychiatric Disabilities March 17, 2008 included a section on Freedom Center that interviews Oryx!

It's a GIRL!

Submitted by admin on Wed, 09/24/2008 - 12:47

In celebration of Freedom Center's seventh anniversary Oryx and Kristen had a baby girl! Katiya Elizabeth Cohen... Congratulatons to the happy couple and the adorable new Freedom Center member.

Email Lists

Submitted by admin on Wed, 02/21/2007 - 03:34

Read our open discussion list (FC-Discuss) here for all kinds of forwarded emails, news items, announcements, and discussions:



We have one not-very-active list these days (most people are on the RLC list now)

To subscribe, send an email to fc-discuss-subscribe@lists.riseup.net.


Submitted by shana on Sun, 09/21/2014 - 17:57
The Freedom Center is transforming! Please see our update post for info.

The Freedom Center is a support and activism community run by and for people labeled with severe 'mental disorders.' We call for compassion, human rights, self-determination, and holistic options. We create alternatives to the mental health system's widespread despair, abuse, fraudulent science and dangerous treatments. We are based in pro-choice harm reduction philosophy regarding medical treatments, and include people taking or not talking medications.

Freedom Center, Arise for Social Justice, Out Now Oppose PostPartum Depression Screening Program

Submitted by lee on Sat, 01/23/2010 - 22:19

Dear MotherWoman,
We are writing to address our concern about your legislation on postpartum depression screenings. We propose that Motherwoman drop this legislation because we believe in the long-run it will do more harm than good.

Under the George Bush Jr administration there was an initiative called
“The New Freedom Initiative” which proposed mandatory mental health

Freedom Center, Arise for Social Justice, OutNow Question PostPartum Screening Program

Submitted by lee on Thu, 01/21/2010 - 20:28

Dear MotherWoman,
We are writing to address our concern about your legislation on postpartum depression screenings. We propose that Motherwoman drop this legislation because we believe in the long-run it will do more harm than good.

Freedom Center and USNUSP collaborate on "Human Rights for ALL" Tour

Submitted by admin on Tue, 08/18/2009 - 17:13

I'm Leah Harris, co-coordinator of the U.S. Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (USNUSP), a newly-formed network seeking to use the language, framework, and principles of international human rights to end violations against users and survivors of psychiatry and to promote voluntary and compassionate alternatives to the traditional mental health system.

Gail Hornstein Audio Interviews about Agnes's Jacket Book

Submitted by admin on Tue, 05/05/2009 - 08:25

Listen to Gail Hornstein's radio interviews -- one on the local National Public Radio affiliate, WFCR and the other with Deborah Harper of psychjourney.com.




Hearing Voices Groups In the Western MA Area

Submitted by admin on Thu, 03/19/2009 - 13:17

Freedom Center helped start Hearing Voices groups in the Western Massachusetts area and beyond - to find out more information, contact the Recovery Learning Community, which is actively involved with organizing Hearing Voices groups in the area. Thanks!


Hearing Voices groups are popular and fairly widespread in Europe, specially England. Hearing Voices groups do not pathologize the experience of hearing voices or experiencing other altered states, instead they ask the voice hearer: What do the voices mean to you? Join us for the first Hearing Voices group east of Wisconsin and share and get support from others with similar experiences! *Co-sponsored by the Center for Human
Development, RLC and the Freedom Center

Gail Hornstein's Book Featuring Freedom Center, at Odyssey Bookshop March 26 7 pm

Submitted by admin on Thu, 03/05/2009 - 13:47

Congratulations Gail!


Agnes’s Jacket
A Psychologist’s Search for the Meanings of Madness
Gail A. Hornstein


Join The Community Power Kickoff - DATE CHANGE March 28th

Submitted by admin on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 10:34

Freedom Center organizer Caty Simon is attending the Community Activation Network's Community Power Kickoff to represent us and would like other Freedom Center members & people interested in the mad movement to join her. The event is on DATE CHANGE March 28th at Hampshire College. 12-6PM--you'll be
directed by signs as soon as you get there showing you specifically where to go.

Here's a quick summary of the event.

Get Involved With Our Spring Speakout w/ Leah Harris!

Submitted by caty on Fri, 01/23/2009 - 11:38

Freedom Center is organizing a spring Speak Out and we want your help! Join slam poet and mental health activist Leah Harris from DC, Caty Simon, Lee Hurter and others. We need speakers and volunteers for this upcoming event -- get in touch with caty(at)freedom-center(dot)org.

Make a Holiday Donation To Freedom Center!

Submitted by admin on Fri, 12/12/2008 - 13:44

Dear friends:

Freedom Center is celebrating our seventh year as Northampton's peer-run mental health alternative. Everything we do is volunteer-run and on a shoestring budget. We need you to participate! Your donation will be one of the most cost-effective ways to make a difference this holiday season.

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FC Presents at Herb Convergence

Submitted by admin on Sun, 10/05/2008 - 13:59

FC Organizer Mollie Hurter writes about the Northeast Herbal Convergence:


Party September 20th! FC Lucky Seven 'PsychoSocial' Anniversary

Submitted by admin on Sun, 09/21/2008 - 00:52

Freedom Center is seven years old!

To celebrate our birthday, and the honor of being recognized by Forbes,  Freedom Center will host a special event to screen the video at its "Lucky 7 Psychosocial" party on

September 20th at 6 pm

World War II Club

50 Conz St., Northampton, MA.

Forbes Magazine Features Freedom Center - New Video Released

Submitted by admin on Fri, 08/29/2008 - 13:45

The Gazette also did a story about the Forbes article.

Leading Business Magazine Forbes Honors Local Advocates in International Fundraiser; Anniversary Celebration Planned