Recovery is possible! Spread the word! Stop the stigma!

Montana’s Peer Network is a statewide peer run 501c3 non-profit recovery organization with a mission to lead the expansion and development of recovery-oriented behavioral health services in Montana.

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!

 

Jennifer Fauque – Secretary, Helena Affiliate and youth committee

I received a mental health diagnosis when I was 16 years old and I thought my life was over. I was dealing with major issues in my life due to great amounts of change. My father’s imprisonment and my mother’s death. Even though I was adopted I just struggled facing everyday living. For 2 years I was in residential treatment centers. Nine months after I turned 18 years old, I found myself in the state hospital. I was introduced to the WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning) Program in 2005 and slowly started to see some improvement. In 2009 I moved to Helena and started receiving services from the Center for Mental Health. I have found benefits in programs such as Adult Foster Care and PACT. In 2012 I became a WRAP Facilitator and I have been facilitating workshops ever since. I have been in my current foster care placement for almost 3 years. Through the support of my treatment team, friends, and my peers I have not been hospitalized since 2013. I also enrolled in school at the University of Phoenix in 2013. I obtained an Associate’s degree in Human Service Management in October 2015. I am currently working on My Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. One thing I have learned during my time in recovery is that it is there and people can gain hope. Recovery take work and the want to change what is not working and being able to have the strength to ask for help. It is an honor and a privilege to serve on the MPN Board of Directors.

Matt Furlong – Treasurer, Helena Affiliate

Matt was born and raised in Montana, is an author who is actively involved in community support.  Matt was adopted and has overcome the challenges that many face from finding their identity and self worth.  He is now using his life experiences and training to help others in need; including, Foster Care and Adoption, Family Support, Mental Health Wellness Coaching, Relationship Skill Building, and Addiction Support.

Matt enjoys being a father and husband. He likes to fish, hike, play guitar, and stand by those in need of friendship and support.  He wants to make a positive difference and set an example that is cooperative and restoring. He realized in his own life that self-worth is a common missing element within most people for a time.  He continues to educate himself on The impacts of Trauma, and Trauma Informed Care, Toxic Stress, and Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Matt challenges his community to be the change we hope to see in our world, and stands up for vulnerable people in their time of need. He believes that our time is the most valuable gift we can give to someone else, and in our fast-paced world, we need to slow down to give the personal attention necessary to make a difference that will last.

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.

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

 

Our History

Hope  –  Education  –  Self Advocacy  –  Peer Support  –  Personal Responsibility –  Resiliency

The history of the national recovery movement

 Video – Joseph Rogers

 

The history of the Recovery Movement in Montana

Montana’s Peer Network

2017 – Senate Bill 62 Certification of Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialists passes the 2017 legislature and was signed by Governor Bullock on March 31, 2017.

2016 – MPN presents at the Montana Mental Health Policy Summit, Membership surpasses 630 members across the state, 2nd Annual Recovery Conference in September (Recovery Month), Annual award winners Best Recovery Oriented Services Connie Griffen Recovery Home – Helena, Pat Solan Peer Support Montana State Hospital and Sgt. Jim Anderson Gallatin County Sheriffs Office Ally Award, MPN presents at SAMHSA SCN grantee meeting in Washington DC, 3 year Peer Support Recovery Enhancement Project, The Recovery Coach Outreach Project is featured in the National Council on Behavioral Health magazine, MPN receives a 3 year grant from SAMHSA to train peer supporters statewide

2015 – Completion of Peer Services Toolkit, Signature programs Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies tour Montana and the development of a workbook. Recovery Coach Pilot Project provides community based mobile crisis outreach utilizing peer support and works in conjunction with CIT. Montana Peer Support Task Force achieves its mission and goals, certification for peer supporters rolls out early 2016. Membership reaches the 560 count. First class of peer supporters trained in our signature program Peer Support 101. Hosting first statewide Recovery in Big Sky Country Conference. 2015 Achievement Award winner – Jennifer Fauque, Lifetime in Recovery Award winner – Charlie McCarthy, and Best Recovery Oriented Services Award winner – Winds of Change, Missoula

2014 – Organization reaches the 400 member count, Launches Recovery Coach Pilot Project in Gallatin County to work with CIT to provide peer support in the community, Peer Advocate Program and continues the Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies Project statewide. Executive Director is asked to present at Peerpocolypse in Seaside, Oregon. Peer Support Task Force continues to work towards peer certification and standardization statewide. Peer Support 101 training is developed. 2014 Service Award winner – Sandi Glenn

2011- 2013 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. Many committees were formed, policies and procedures, drafted, along with a new mission for the organization. Most importantly a fresh positive philosophy and a new culture was being built. With representation from many regions of the state we feel we can achieve our goals with a broader view of Montana. We promote all forms of health recovery tools such as SMART Recovery, Recovery Intentaional, 12 step, Wellness Recovery Action Planning, IMR, holistic and many others. We strive to use technology to reach peers across our vast state. As we look to the future, it looks bright and we are hopeful for positive change in Montana.

Current and Past Projects from MPN

Trauma Informed Peer Support training, Advance Psychiatric Directives, Wellness Recovery Action Planning Project, Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies Project, Recovery Coach Outreach Program, Vision of Hope Documentary, Dandelion Documentary, Recovery Coach Pilot Project, Wellafalooza, Peer Support 101 Training

Past Board of Directors – 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.

Montana Peer Network

2009- 2010 Montana Peer Network has worked closely with Mental Health America of Montana, through its National Consumer Technical Assistance Center (NCSTAC) since 2007 in an effort to promote mental health recovery and organize a consumer-run organization in MontanaIn 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.  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 will expand the access to WRAP throughout our vast state.

CALM4us

2007-2009 CALM4us is a consumer-run organization providing opportunities for individuals and communities, fostering hope, encouraging personal responsibility, providing peer support, education, and engaging in advocacy.

A brief synopsis of some our milestones are shown below. We Incorporated as Consumers Asserting Leadership in Montana

  • We Changed the Name and Registered  DBA Consumers Asserting Leadership in Montana – CALM4us
  • CALM4us developed and revised a vision, mission, purpose, and values statement
  • CALM4us established  relationships with national Technical Assistance Centers
  • Represented CALM4us at the Regional SAMHSA meeting in Colorado
  • Represented CALM4us at the Alternatives Conference in 2007, St. Louis Missouri, and  in Buffalo, New York in 2008
  • Represented CALM4us at the NCSTAC (National Consumer Supporter Technical Assistance Center) Sustainability Conference in Albuquerque, NM
  • CALM4us also participated in the Montana Legislative Summit in the spring of 2008
  • CALM4us sponsored, with additional funding from WSAA, a “Community Celebration of Recovery and Wellness” Presenter Stephen Pocklington, Director of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery,  December, 2008
  • Three WRAP Facilitators within our CALM4us membership auditioned for, received training, and earned Certification from the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery as Advanced Level WRAP Facilitators in December, 2008 and now have the capacity and certification to train fellow WRAP Facilitators
  • CALM4us developed a website
  • CALM4us sponsored a WRAP workshop for 17 participants in Helena April, 2009
  • CALM4us has held quarterly face-to-face meetings for leadership team members
  • CALM4us Leadership team members have participated in several conference calls with the National Consumer Supporter Technical Assistance Center

Montana Recovery Educators Association

2006 -2007  Consumer/peer movement officially begins in Montana. First recogized peer organization in Montana. 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

SAMHSA

Park County Local Advisory Council

Town Pump Foundation

Early Childhood Development Project

Summit Independent Living Centers

MPN members

Public at Large

 

More information:

BBH Peer Support Proposed Rules for Peer Support Certification 2017 7 28

Montana’s Peer Network official priority list 

MPN By Laws

MPN 501c3 status letter

Member Survey Summary_73012

1 Comment

  1. Sara Highum

    I really enjoyed meeting and visiting with you at Alternatives in Portland. I think it would be exciting to keep the lines of communication open with us here in North Dakota 🙂 I am wondering if you could send a brochure about your group, peer support in Montana, and the warmline. We do a peer support group on the inpatient psychiatric unit of our mental health unit. Trinity Hospital in Minot treats a lot of consumers from Montana. It would be great to have information to give them about where to turn for help and support when they return to their home communities. I’ll also give my co-worker who does most of the groups this website to print off information as well.

    Here would be the address if you can send anything:

    Mary Thomason, Peer Support Co-Ordinator
    c/o The Harmony Center
    212 East Central Avenue
    Minot, ND 58701

    The Consumer and Family Network of North Dakota is just getting ready to launch our website. If you are interested, I can send you a link when it is up.

    Hope you are having a good holiday season. Again I would like to stay in touch.

    Sara Highum
    Certified Peer Support Specialist
    CFN Board Member

Comments are closed.