Recovery is possible! Spread the word! Stop the stigma!
We are a network of 800+ individuals across Montana in recovery from mental health, substance abuse and or addiction struggles. We provide information, education, training, peer support and resources across the state using our own “lived experience” in long term recovery. This is the recovery movement. A national shift from a maintenance model of behavioral health to a recovery model, where every individual has access to care, choices, and the message that “recovery is possible.
We are peer run, by people in recovery. We promote the recovery concepts of hope, self advocacy, education, peer support, personal responsibility and resiliency. We believe that these concepts are universal regardless of what recovery program you may chose. We are a member based organization with a board of directors and staff. We are located in beautiful Livingston, Montana. Let us know if you are going to be in town and would like to stop by give us a call at 406- 551- 1058.Our office is located at 109 East Lewis Street, Livingston, MT 59047
Hope – Education – Self Advocacy – Peer Support – Personal Responsibility – Resiliency
We currently have more than 800+ members in 45 unique communities across Montana as of August 2017. To join the recovery movement in Montana and become and MPN member, click here.
Meet the Staff
Jim Hajny- Executive Director
Jim Hajny is the Executive Director of Montana’s Peer Network, a statewide peer run 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide opportunities for recovery. Jim has been in recovery for 21 years from a dual diagnosis in which he was hospitalized three times and has survived two suicide attempts. He believes recovery is not only possible, but it should be a part of the process when someone is given a diagnosis. “Without the message of hope or recovery we have nothing…and peer support should be part of that message.” Jim is the author of “Into Recovery”, his screen play “Misunderstood” has been performed live on stage and he wrote and directed the documentary “Dandelion”, chronicling early childhood trauma . Jim is also the former program coordinator for Peer Solutions Drop In Center in Livingston, Montana and a trained Peer Supporter. Jim chairs the Montana Peer Support Task Force and serves as a Governor appointee to the Mental Disabilities Board of Visitors.
Alexandra Schwier- Project Director
Alex brings her nonprofit experience from Peace Corps, her passion for advocacy work and her own personal recovery journey to the table to strengthen MPN’s mission and help Montanans in recovery. After being sexually assaulted, Alex wanted to be able to share her experience and help others who were struggling to cope after similar traumas. Alex began working in the Peer Support field as an advocate at the University of Montana’s Student Assault Resource Center (SARC) in 2011 and held the position of Peer Supporter during her Peace Corps service in Albania. As well as being an RPCV—Alex has lived and worked in New York City, Montana and Spain. She has travelled to a total of 30 countries (to complete a bucketlist goal of visiting 30 countries by 30!) but Montana is still where she calls home. Alex grew up in Bozeman and graduated from the University of Montana.
Teresa Gault- Recovery Coach and Outreach Coordinator
My name is Teresa Gault and I live in Bozeman, Montana with my husband and beautiful teenage daughter. We share our home with a miniature schnauzer, two tabby rescue cats, two fat, adorable guinea pigs, two chatty parakeets, and two tanks of freshwater fish. The only sport I enjoy watching is the one my daughter is playing! My life experiences include poverty, depression, anxiety, trauma and alcohol and substance use disorders. I was caught in a cycle where I revolved in and out of the courts, probation, and detention centers. The birth of my daughter and my life experiences have urged me on this journey of discovering who I am, recognizing my value, and realizing my purpose. I have been in recovery for 13 years and started my journey with a 12-step program that opened my world to the life-changing effects of peer support. I am exhilarated to be a part a team with a mission to support others in recovery, plant the seed of hope, and change lives for the better.
Meet the Board
Brent Morris – President, Treasurer, Billings Affiliate committee
Brent is a native of Billings, MT and currently lives in Billings with his wife of 23 years and their dog Bailey. Brent attended country school grades 1st through 8th, and followed graduating from Billings West High in 1985. Brent was a student at Eastern Montana College for 2 years, with concentrations on addiction, mental health, and gerontology. Brent’s work history is filled with 12 years retail, 5 years auto dismantler, 5 years construction labor, 10 years human services. Brent is currently working at Living Independently for Today and Tomorrow, LIFTT, as a Peer/Transitions Coordinator. Brent had the role as a Care Coordinator for 2.5 years with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, SAMHSA, Access to Recovery, ATR grant. The grant was managed by the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Counsel, providing addiction and mental health recovery supports to Tribes in Montana and Wyoming.
Brent has been involved in the Yellowstone County LAC since 2008, Eastern Service Area Authority, ESAA, as a board of director’s member for 2 years, Montana’s Peer Network board of director for 2 years. Brent is a past member of Disability Rights Montana board of directors. Brent’s also involved with Montana Association for the Blind and National Federation for the Blind.
Brent’s life is driven through his recovery with daily actions navigating depression and anxiety. Brent is living with a genetic, progressive eye disease, a charge of vehicular manslaughter results from DUI of alcohol. Brent has a passion for giving Peer support and being an advocate to empower others to live the life they choose. Brent’s lived experience reflects suicide, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.Brent enjoys working on old cars, lifting weights, and walks on the beach. Brent’s life is completed by a relationship with God which makes coping with each day’s battles possible. Yes, there is hope!
Dee Romine- Vice President
I was born in Deer Lodge,Mt. Then move to Butte,Mt in 3rd grade and grew up there. Graduated from Butte Central Catholic High school, where I was very involved in church and outreach programs ,volunteer work. During that time I was in a program called Civil Air Patrol,which was an auxiliary of the Airforce. After high school I moved to Helen, Mt and went to Maddio Cosmetology school of hair and nails, and graduated after a year. I was a Cosmetologist for many years,but after the birth of my son in 2005 I became allergic to color and perms,so I went back to school and became a massage therapist. At the age of 29 I had my first mental heath crisis,and my journey began. After a lot of self work. In 2014 I started volunteering in the kitchen at the day hall program here in butte,and this is something that continues for other clients. I started a group as a client in 2014 called Open Social Group ,for clients to connect with each other and support each other,and I run this group to this day. In 2015,2016 I did a “Stomp Out The Stigma Walk” to boost the hope in my fellow peers. We were all on the local news.They also get a free t-shirt every year money fundraiser done by me and supported by many. Also worked as a Peer Support Specialist at the crisis house here in Butte. I’ve spoken in front of legislators on behalf of improving mental health services,also told a version of my story in front of the Chief Executive of Butte Mt And county commissioners to form the BSBMHLAC,and I was on the radio. I’m a member of the BSBMHLAC as a board member with lived experience,and I’m also the rep to the Western Service Area Authority. And my journey continues.
Past Board of Directors: Jennifer Fauque, Matt Furlong, Gary Travis, Sandi Glenn, Matthew Stewart, Lillian Fowler, Michael Caruso, Charley Johnson, Kerry Brown, Liz Silliman, Robin Johnson, Tracy Stone, Kerri Wood, Kay O’holm-Montague and Mike Parker – We thank you for your past service.
2-Year Strategic Plan Summary
GOAL 1: Be a self-sustaining organization: financial diversification
GOAL 2: Establish and support signature programs
GOAL 3: Expand our influence : Advocacy and public relations
GOAL 4: Build capacity among Board members and staff: legacy planning
Hope – Education – Self Advocacy – Peer Support – Personal Responsibility – Resiliency
The history of the national recovery movement
Video – Joseph Rogers
- MPN receives funding to begin Recovery Coaching programs in Butte and Eastern Montana
- SAMHSA grant and Recovery Opioid Project grant continue
- Over 800 members across the state
- MPN receives a 2-year grant to implement peer support programming as part of the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grant
- SAMHSA grant and Recovery Coach Outreach Project continue
- 6 PS101 trainings, 3 employer/provider trainings, 9 trauma trainings, 1 intro to recovery training, 2 clinical supervisor trainings and 6 webinars offered
- Montana reaches 100 peer supporters in the workforce for the first time
- Over 630 MPN members across the state
- MPN receives a 3-year SAMHSA Peer Support Recovery Enhancement Project grant to train peer supporters state-wide
- The Recovery Coach Outreach Project is featured in the National Council on Behavioral Health magazine
- 4 PS101 trainings and 11 Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies events offered
- Over 560 members across the state
- Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies workbook developed
- Recovery Coach Pilot Project provides community based mobile crisis outreach in Gallatin County utilizing peer support and working in conjunction with CIT Montana
- MPN holds the first Peer Support 101 training in Helena and 19 Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies events offered
- MPN reaches the 400 member count
- Recovery Coach Pilot Project in Gallatin County launched (3 pilot projects are funded by the Montana Mental Health Trust to move peer support out of centers and placing it in the community. Winds of Change, Consumer Direct and MPN all hire peer supporters)
- Peer Support 101 training is developed
- 7 Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies events offered
- The latest incarnation of Montana’s statewide peer run organization was officially incorporated in December 2011 with non profit 501c3 status achieved. The entire organization was re-constituted and the old organization dissolved. With new leadership, a new board of directors and new by-laws Montana’s Peer Network was born. New recruitment, executive director hired, healthy budget and we began to forge a new future.
- In October 2009, Montana Peer Network held a meeting of the steering committee and others, where our thoughts and energy centered around fostering teamwork, strategic planning, membership, and building other needed committees to strengthen our network .
- In November of 2009 in Helena MPN held its inaugural WRAP Facilitator Training. Eleven participants were selected from across the state to attend a 5 – Day Intensive WRAP Facilitator Training. These newly trained facilitators expanded the access to WRAP throughout our vast state.
- In August of 2008, Montana Peer Network moved toward a leadership team – steering committee approach as our team was operating on a limited scale and all input at our meeting was deemed valid to the growth of our organization and the inclusion of individuals. Since that time, Montana Peer Network has continued the strategic planning process through meetings, conference calls and emails etc.
- Montana Peer Network worked closely with Mental Health America of Montana, through its National Consumer Technical Assistance Center (NCSTAC), to organize a consumer-run organization in Montana in an effort to promote mental health recovery
- The consumer/peer movement officially began in Montana.
- Became the first recognized peer organization in Montana (originally named CALM4us). The main focus was Wellness Recovery Action Planning workshops started by four WRAP facilitators
Past and Current Funders of MPN
Montana Mental Health Trust
Addictive and Mental Disorder Division MT
Gallatin County, Montana
Children’s Mental Health Bureau MT
Park County Local Advisory Council
Town Pump Foundation
Early Childhood Development Project
Summit Independent Living Centers
Public at Large