Blog Posts

Currents: May 2018


Currents is published monthly by Windhorse Integrative Mental Health of Northampton, 211 North St., Suite 1, Northampton, MA 01060. Executive Director is Victoria Yoshen. For questions, concerns and suggestions about Currents, contact us at

Upcoming Events

mark your calendarMark your calendars for upcoming community gatherings!

Community Events:
Open Mic & Potluck
Friday, May 18th, 5:30-8pm in the Windhorse office.
Check out the flyer for details. And contact us at for more information or to RSVP.

Community Lunch:
Tuesday, June 12th, 12:30-1:30pm in the Windhorse office kitchen.

Community Education:
Wednesday, June 13th, 9-11am with an optional guided meditation 9-9:30am.

For more information, contact us at

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It’s Graduation Season

The Pioneer Valley is saturated in colleges and universities. Believe it or not, there are seven schools of post-secondary education within twenty miles of Northampton, and one of those (Smith College) is right in town. We residents of the Valley are afforded many opportunities thanks to the presence of these colleges, including first-rate libraries, first-class art museums, and a multitude of shows and performances by groups and individuals who likely wouldn’t make a stop in western Mass were it not for the thousands and thousands of students. But… living in an area with so many colleges can have it’s drawbacks. One such drawback is graduation season. Parents, families, and friends flock from far and wide to watch their loved ones receive their diplomas, and this results in an at-times tremendous increase in the amount of traffic, the wait times at restaurants, and similar nuisances. We thought we’d give you a heads up about upcoming graduation weekends, that way you can avoid those areas on those days, or at least plan ahead for the additional traffic and lines.

UMass Amherst
Friday, May 11th to Saturday, May 12th (but we’d recommend avoiding Amherst on Sunday, too.)

Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley
Events take place from Wednesday, May 16th through Sunday, May 20th

Hampshire College, on the Hadley/Amherst line
Events take place from Thursday, May 17th through Sunday, May 20th

Amherst College
Sunday, May 20th

Smith College in Northampton
Sunday, May 20th

Greenfield Community College
Events take place from Friday, June 1st through Saturday, June 2nd

Holyoke Community College
June 2nd in Springfield


Board Meeting Summary from May 8, 2018

To give some context, in between Board meetings the Finance Committee meets (monthly) so there have been ongoing discussions about the financial health of the organization.  Northampton is still losing money and is headed toward break-even and the Board is attending to the needs arising.

All the board members were present except Sally, who had let us know she had a scheduling conflict when we set the meeting.   In ratifying two sets of minutes, there was a discussion about a strategic approach to Northampton’s chronic up and down financial roller coaster ride and a desire for the Board to meet face to face.  They are planning for a September Board meeting in Portland, and I will begin to pin the dates down by the end of May.

Elaine Vance was hired as the Outreach Director for the west coast, but it became clear in her initial days that she needs to act as a National plan and person.  Elaine gave her background as a “mission moment” and then continued to explain her evaluation of what is needed and why and her plan for the rest of 2018.  The Board was impressed and supportive.  Some of her solutions are:  the website is being handed to professionals, Northampton requires a more streamlined admissions approach, both sites need to figure out how to pick up calls when they ring, increasing visits to referring organizations and building those relationships.  Elaine envisions a consistent message across the organization.

We then moved to Directors reports for each site and projections as to census in the coming months.  Given staffing numbers, SLO has a waiting list until they can hire a new TL.  Portland is receiving a new client in mid-May and thus will be full.  During questions, there were requests from board members for additional reports, which Annie and I will produce by mid-May.

The final agenda item was reviewing the salary scales.  Every three years, the Executive Directors update the salary scales for rates, any new job titles, auditing for pay equity.  The biggest changes were making sure we were consistent between the sites and increasing the scales upwards.  Any costs are reflected in the 2018 budget.

Next meetings:
Finance Committee   May 29th  9 am PT/  noon ET
Finance Committee   June 26th at 8 AM PT/ 11 AM ET.

I welcome questions.

Written by Victoria Yoshen, Executive Director of Windhorse IMH Northampton.

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And May flowers bring…

Do you know what May is famous for in these parts? Asparagus! Seriously, it’s a pretty big deal around here. We even have a festival in its honor. And Hadley, a town right next door to Northampton, is known as the Asparagus Capital of the World. Have you tried this veggie we affectionately refer to as “Hadley grass”? If not, now’s your chance. The season is short so get it while you can. It’s delicious simply roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper, but it’s also tasty in everything from pasta to quiche to salads. Check out the following links for some recipe ideas.

Asparagus and Ricotta Pizza, from The Washington Post

Ten Awesome Asparagus Recipes, from The Garden of Eating

Crispy Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, from

If you’re interested in learning more about the Asparagus Festival, check out this link. This year’s events take place on Saturday, June 2nd from 10am to 6pm on the Hadley Town Common. You’ll find vendors, food booths, craft beer, and live music. And don’t miss out on the Hadley Grass ice cream from Flayvors of Cook Farm. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it! You may be pleasantly surprised. (But if you’re not feeling adventurous, there will be other ice cream flavors available and everything from Cook Farm is lip-smackingly good.)

But, wait! There’s more! The joys of May are not limited to asparagus. As the warm temperatures become more steady, farmers will start to harvest more and more goodies from the ground. Check out the CISA’s (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) website for a harvest schedule. The CISA website is also a great resource for locating farmers’ markets in the area, farms where you can pick your own fruits/veggies, and restaurants that are known to use and feature local produce.

Finally, we thought we’d let you know about The Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair, which is happening on May 26th and 27th at the Cummington Fairgrounds. If you’re a fiber enthusiast, or you’re just looking for a fun way to spend a day, this fair has everything from live demonstrations to competitions, vendor booths, kids’ workshops, and a potluck supper and ice cream social. There is no charge for admission to the fair but they do charge $10 per car to park.

Do you know of any can’t-miss events in the coming months? If so, please share them with us and the community in the comments section.

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Ticks Are Out and About

After an early spring of brief “made you look!” days of warmth followed by long stretches of wretched cold, it felt like the warm weather we’ve been so eagerly awaiting would never stay for good. But our patience has paid off and it looks like we have some beautiful weather ahead of us. Sadly, we aren’t the only ones rejoicing with the climb in temperature. Ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting critters are coming out of hiding too. With tick-borne and mosquito-borne illnesses on the rise, it’s important to keep yourself well protected when outside, even if you’re only in your yard. Prevention using proper clothing and effective sprays is the best way to keep yourself from being bitten by an infected insect and contracting an illness, such as Lyme Disease. Click here for a New York Times article on how to protect yourself from insect bites, or click here and here for information from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) about staying safe from ticks and mosquitoes. And don’t forget to always do a tick check (on you and your pets!) whenever you come in from spending time outdoors.

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New Groups to Try

We wanted to give you a heads up about new groups that have started or will be starting here at Windhorse, as well as new information on current groups and upcoming events.

The Pronoun Practice Group meets every Wednesday in the office library from 12 to 12:30pm, and it is open to the entire Windhorse community. The group focuses on speaking mindfully, learning to see and speak beyond gender lines, and demonstrating our respect for one another through the use of affirming pronouns. Check out the flyer for more information.

The Hiking Group will be restarting on Friday, May 25th. It will meet every Friday from 1 to 3pm. Please join us as we take advantage of this beautiful time of year, spend some time in the great outdoors, and reap the many mental and physical benefits of hiking. Participants should meet at the office and from there the group will travel to a selected hike in the area. Check out the flyer for more information.

Please note that the weekly Peer Social Gathering will be changing times. Starting on Friday, May 25th the group will meet from 3 to 4:30pm. Join us as we gather together, socialize, and converse in a casual and accepting environment.

And last but not least, please join us for our Open Mic & Potluck community event! It will happen on Friday, May 18th from 5:30 to 8pm at the office. Everybody is welcome to perform or share their creative offering. Singing, music, comedy, poetry, and more are all encouraged! Check out the flyer for more information.

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New to the Windhorse Library

Keys to the Kingdom: Reflections on Music and the Mind by Kathleen L. Housley

Keys to the Kingdom: Reflections on Music and the Mind charts the course of an unusual odyssey. For nearly a decade, Kathleen Housley played piano with Katrina Withey, a gifted musician partially paralyzed from a stroke. To understand those times in their playing when disabilities disappeared in a shimmer of grace, Housley wrote brief reflections, turning to neuroscience and history for deeper insight. Some are as complex as a fugue. Others are as simple as a finger exercise on the C scale. Yet sounding throughout the reflections is a sublime theme – the importance of friendship.
– from the back cover

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  • Hanifah left her position as Marketing Manager to move to Atlanta.
  • Hannah’s and Suzanne’s internships ended.

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