Medical Notes: May 29, 2023

Creative writing and art therapy group

SPRINGFIELD – Art and the written word will be used for healing in the Mending Minds: Creative Writing and Art Therapy Group beginning Monday, June 5. Caring Health Center will host weekly, hour long sessions on Monday at 1 p.m. Creative writing prompts and art therapy tools will help communicate thoughts, emotions, and feelings on various topics. To register, please contact the Behavioral Health Department at Caring Health Center at 413-739-1100, ext. 2522.

Youth Grief Support Program

WESTFIELD – Rick’s Place provides free, peer grief support groups for youth (ages 5-18) and their caregivers on Monday evenings at the YMCA of Greater Westfield, 67 Court St. Rick’s Place will also continue their free, peer grief support groups on Tuesday evenings at their Wilbraham site located at 85 Post Office Park. Rick’s Place offers young people and their families a place to remember their loved ones and to avoid the sense of isolation that such losses can produce Rick’s Place was established in 2007, in memory of Rick Thorpe, who died in Tower Two of the World Trade Center on 9/11. This is for young people and their families from all over Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut and offered at no charge. To participate in these free grief support programs provided by Rick’s Place, email or call 413-279-2010.

NAMI online/phone support group

AGAWAM – The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-WM) of Western Massachusetts would like to inform the public that the NAMI Connection Recovery Support Groups have resumed in a virtual format.

Mondays, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Access online with zoom:; access by phone, 646-558-8656, meeting ID: 88206475051.

Wednesdays, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Access online with zoom:; access by phone, 646-558-8656, meeting ID 82690755017. For more information, contact the office or go to

For members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Wednesdays, 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. For more information email:

Shiloh SDA Church and The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-WM) of Western Massachusetts announces a new Family and Friends Support group for black and brown communities. The Black & Brown Family & Friends Support Group meets on the first Thursday of every month. A Zoom link will be provided for participants. For more information, contact the NAMI-WM office at 413-786-9139 or email

A diagnosis is not required to attend any group. Anyone with mental health condition is welcome to attend any group without prior registration.

NAMI – Western Massachusetts Family Support Group

GREENFIELD – The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Western Massachusetts announces that their Family Support Group in Greenfield is resuming in person. The group meets monthly on the last Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Clinical Support Options (CSO), 296 Federal Street, across from Sandri’s Gas Station.

In NAMI Family Support Groups, families join a caring group of individuals helping one another by utilizing their collective lived experiences and learned wisdom. Family members can achieve a renewed sense of hope for their loved one living with mental health challenges. NAMI’s support groups are unique because they follow a structured model, ensuring everyone can be heard and get what they need: free, confidential, and safe; designed for adult loved ones of people with mental health conditions; led by family members of people with mental health conditions; no specific medical therapy or treatment is endorsed. For more information, contact the NAMI-WM office at 413-786-9139 or

MJD Support Group

LUDLOW – The Michael J. Dias Foundation provides education, area resources, peer support, and hope for family members and friends coping with a loved one with a substance use disorder. A support group gathers on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Parish Center, 438 Winsor St. anyone needing support is welcome to attend. Masks are required and guests will be seated six feet apart. If you have any questions, contact Maureen at 413-563-6226.

On Friday, June 9, the Michael J. Dias Foundation announces its upcoming Night of Comedy fundraiser at the Ludlow Country Club, 1 Tony Lema Drive. Doors open at 6 p.m., followed by dinner served promptly at 7 p.m. Following dinner, the comedy show will begin, featuring Roddy Thomas, Mike Murray, and Bob Montgomery. This show will have adult language and content, and is not appropriate for children. Tickets are $50 per person and available online at

Grief support group

CHICOPEE – Saint Rose de Lima Grief Support Group meets every Monday except major holidays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. This free weekly grief support group is for people who have experienced the loss of a spouse, partner, family member or friend. All are welcome. The group meets at Saint Rose de Lima Pastoral Center, 15 Chapel St.

Stroke of Inspiration support group

SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield College Occupational Therapy (OT) Department offers a free weekly support group for people living with stroke and their caregivers. The group meets in a virtual format on Zoom every Thursday from 1 to 2:00 p.m. Facilitated by Kathy Post, Professor Emeritus, with the assistance of 1 or 2 OT graduate students, the group provides opportunities to meet other stroke survivors from western Massachusetts, and to share challenges, successes, questions, and resources. For further information and the link to the meetings, please email Kathy at

Narcotics Anonymous

AGAWAM – To find a local Narcotics Anonymous support group, visit NERNA.ORG or or call 866-NA-HELP-U.

Mindfulness meditation for seniors

GREENFIELD – Greenfield Senior Center will host “Mindfulness Meditation for Seniors,” Thursdays, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., May 25 to June 29. Gentle stretches, deep relaxation, understanding the physiology of stress, offering a path to living with less anxiety and a greater ability to meet the stresses of everyday life with acceptance and equanimity. Early registration is suggested as class size is limited. Cost is $60. You can register in person at the senior center, 35 Pleasant St., with cash or check. GSC membership is required and is free. This class is open to seniors 55+ from all towns. For more information about the class, contact the instructor, Jean Erlbaum at 413-230-1518,

Survivors of Suicide Loss

EAST LONGMEADOW – Survivors of Suicide Loss, a support group for adults who have lost a loved one to suicide, meets on the 3rd Monday of each month (except major holidays or severe weather) at the Forastiere Smith Funeral Home, 220 North Main St. from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This is a peer-facilitated group. The meetings are open, meaning new members are always welcome. The meeting room is set up to allow for recommended social distancing and attendees are required to bring and wear their own mask while in the meeting room. If circumstances allow, some meetings may be held outdoors.

Free Accessible Broadcast readings

SPRINGFIELD – Free 24/7 accessible local news and information is available from Valley Eye Radio for those in the Pioneer Valley no longer able to read independently due to visual and other medical and physical challenges. Contact them at or (413) 747-7337 for details on how to listen from one of their special radios or through their website, smart speakers, cable access channel, or mobile phone.

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