Family Resource Center

The Family Resource Center (FRC) provides education, support, referral services, and treatment to persons or families dealing with a major mental illness.

Family Resource Center

The ProgramSupport GroupsPatient Education/Resources 

The FRC is a service for families and friends who are supporting individuals living with severe and persistent mental health problems.

As the hub of the Institute of Living, the FRC is the incubator for successful program development, professional and staff growth and an advocate with community resources/affiliates.

The FRC offers a variety of services

The FRC offers ongoing support groups, lectures, events and outreach services to families who are dealing with a mental illness or mental health related challenge.

The FRC offers an accessible and user friendly, comprehensive source of information on a variety of disorders, their treatment and what community agencies or resources are available to help families better cope with the impact of the illness on their lives. This information is housed at the Institute of Living and enables family members, consumers and professionals to utilize written, Internet and staff members’ expertise.

The FRC provides training and development to staff who work with families at the Institute of Living to improve their care of patients.The FRC does this by supporting both clinical and non-clinical trainings and through the coordination of academic educational events to both staff and non-staff.

The FRC provides education, consultation and/or treatment to families. When a person suffers from mental illness it affects the entire family. The center supports individuals in acquiring the basic skills necessary for the development of healthy families. The Family Resource Center is dedicated to encouraging, strengthening and empowering family units.

The FRC honors the voice and spirit of individuals with lived experience

The FRC feels strongly and passionately about giving a voice and proper representation to individuals who are living with mental illness in curating the experience of receiving care. The FRC is in strong support of including Peer Specialists and Recovery Support Specialists at all levels of care and believes that this is key to improving patient and family experience. Peer support groups are included among the FRC's various offerings, and the FRC consults individuals with lived experience in the development and planning of its special events and educational opportunities.

Patients and families offer invaluable insight into the strengths of the organization, as well as areas in need of improvement, which is why the IOL’s Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) was established in 2015 by the FRC and hospital leadership. The primary goal of the council is to serve as a forum to promote excellent patient and family-centered care across the IOL’s programs.

If you are a past client or a family member of a past client and would like to apply, you can access the application here.

The FRC sponsors annual events to help fight stigma

The FRC is a local sponsor for outside agencies

  • FRC hosts with a peer model
  • Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (Commons Building)
  • Peer Support Group (Carolina Cottage)
  • Hearing Voices Network (Todd Building)

The FRC hosts academically-oriented events for professionals

  • World Suicide Prevention Day Conference
  • Gender Conference

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Support Groups

Meets every Thursday
4:00 – 5:00 PM
The Institute of Living Family Resource Center
Massachusetts Cottage, 200 Retreat Ave, Hartford
Download the flyer

Meets 2nd Wednesday of every month
(starting Dec. 13, 2023)
7:00 – 8:15 PM
The Institute of Living Family Resource Center
Massachusetts Cottage, 200 Retreat Ave, Hartford
Download the flyer

Meets every other Tuesday
(starting Dec. 19, 2023)
8:30 – 9:30 AM
IOL, in-person
Download the flyer

Contact for information on any of our support groups.

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Patient Education/Resources​​

The Institute of Living's Family Resource Center offers educational resources to our patients including suggested online resources, suggested readings, and a lending library.

Lending Library

The lending library is free to anyone who wishes to borrow from our library. Our policy is that you return the book within 2 weeks. However, if you need to take it out for a longer time, we ask that you call us and let us know. Please contact the Family Resource Center at 860-545-7665 if you would like us to check book availability or arrange a pickup.
View the latest list of books available through the Lending Library

Suggested Readings

The Family Resource Center staff have compiled a list of books that they recommend that deals with all aspects of mental health covering topics such as ADHD, Dementia, Anxiety Disorders, Compulsive Hoarding, Depression, Grief, Substance Abuse, and much more.
View the list of Suggested Readings

Online Resources

The following list of online resources are recommended by the Family Resource Center

Anxiety Disorders

Bipolar Disorder




Health and Wellness


Mental Health

Mental Health Benefits

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Older Adults

Peer Support



Substance Use




Mental Health Benefits

Older Adults

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Family Resource Center

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