Public Safety, Behavioral Health & Community Responses to Drug Overdoses

The Opioid Task Force’s Public Safety & Justice Committee is extending an invitation to a community conversation about Public Safety, Behavioral Health & Community Responses to Drug Overdoses, scheduled for Monday, February 4, 2019, 1 PM – 2:30 PM at the Franklin Justice Center, 43 Hope Street, Greenfield, MA. Light snacks will be available. No RSVP’s are required.

Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper and Officer Adam Van Buskirk will talk about their Drug Addiction and Recovery Team (DART). Cherry Sullivan and Michele Farry of Hampshire Hope will also be on hand to discuss DART efforts in Hampshire County. This meeting is open to the public.  More about the Northampton DART Program can be found here.

We hope this meeting will help determine how we can connect to existing or emerging efforts, such as CIT, recovery coaching, harm reduction street outreach, bridge clinic, etc., to strengthen our region-wide response to drug overdoses or crisis incidents to save lives.

Meditation Center Courses for 5-College Community

The Vipassana Meditation Center (VMC) of Shelburne MA offers 10-day residential, silent meditation courses twice monthly at no charge to the public on an unsolicited, voluntary, pay-it-forward, donation basis. VMC, in partnership with UMass Amherst, is reserving ten spaces for any Pioneer Valley Massachusetts Five College students, faculty and staff for each of its March 13th 2019 and August 7th 2019 courses. Typically, VMC course retreats are full with a waitlist for three to six months in advance.

Vipassana means “to see things as they really are” and is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that gradually dissolves negativities resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion. Rediscovered by the Buddha more than 2,600 years ago and taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills, the practice is taught in a non-sectarian manner. For more information on Vipassana, please visit

To apply for either of the courses, please visit, select either the March 13th 2019 or August 7th 2019 course applications and please remember to identify yourself as a Five College student, faculty or staff member in the application under Additional Notes. If you have any questions, please contact Jonathan Crowley