Medical Notes: Aug. 28, 2023

City of Springfield seeks requests for proposals for the 2024 Shannon Community Safety Initiative Grant Program

SPRINGFIELD – The City of Springfield and Springfield Police Department (SPD) are encouraging local nonprofits, non-government organizations and partner organizations to submit applications for the Shannon Community Safety Initiative (CSI) Program highlighting their best practices and proven programming. The awards are available specifically for the purpose of combatting youth and gang violence in the City of Springfield. Funded by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Shannon Grant provides support to communities to address youth and gang violence, a comprehensive plan to work with multi-disciplinary partners, and a commitment to coordinated prevention and just as important intervention strategies. Funded strategies include social intervention and opportunity provision programs, as well as gang task force personnel costs. This grant funds enforcement and meaningful alternatives to at-risk and gang-involved youth. This funding can provide involved youth with direct services through all local partners. The Shannon program will be available for the grant period of approximately Jan. 1, 2024 through Dec. 31, 2024. Upon notice of award, the City of Springfield and the Springfield Police department may award up to 67% of the overall award, as done in precious years, for proven programming that aligns and supports the Shannon CSI.

The 2024 Shannon CSI Grant is a competitive grant, community-based program. Agencies are eligible to apply for the maximum amount of $100,000, SPD may award full funding, partial funding, or no funding. Preference will be given to applications that (1) propose programs that target geographical areas with demonstrated high levels of youth violence, gang problems, and substance abuse, (2) demonstrate a commitment to neighborhood based strategies, (3) outline a comprehensive plan to work with multidisciplinary partners, (4) provide a written commitment to match grant funds with a 25% contribution from public or private sources. RFP will be due on Sept. 11 by 2 p.m. Announcements of awards will be no later than Dec. 4. Applications for the Shannon CSI Grant Program are available at the Office of Procurement, 36 Court St., Room 307, Springfield, 413-787-6284, or online at

Free talk: Connection between sleep and nutrition

NORTHAMPTON – Yankee Mattress Company will be hosting a free talk on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 1 to 2 p.m. at its store located at 316 King St. Clinical Nutritionist, Ana Maria Moise, will give a talk about the role of nutrition and gut health on sleep quality. She will discuss sleep and metabolism, gut microbes and circadian rhythms, and how to prevent nutrient deficiencies to support restorative sleep. Light refreshments will be provided. Seating is limited, to reserve a spot, visit

Youth Grief Support Program

WILBRAHAM – Rick’s Place provides free, peer grief support groups for youth (ages 5-18) and their caregivers. 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

HOLYOKE – 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.

The MJD Foundation will hold its 10th annual Golf Tournament fundraiser, at the Ludlow Country Club on Monday, Oct. 16. The tournament will kick off with registration commencing at 9 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 10 a.m. The cost per golfer is $150, which includes greens fees, golf cart, lunch, and a buffet dinner. Registration for the golf tournament and becoming a sponsor is accessible through the official registration portal, For more information about the event, sponsorship opportunities, or the work of the MJD Foundation, visit their official website 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.

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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