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.
Michelle Jermunson. I am a recent graduate from Montana State University, Bozeman with a B.S. degree in Applied Psychology. I have been in recovery from depression, alcohol addiction, and compulsive gambling for the past four years. As I began my journey into recovery, I felt a continued wanting for more. I thought over and over “is this it, I wake up every day and hope that I don’t drink, gamble, or have debilitating negative thoughts?” I was unwilling to accept this fate and I went looking for more answers. I began developing my own recovery program with support groups, individual counseling, and education. This program expanded to helping others as a volunteer crisis counselor with The Help Center in Bozeman. My journey has lead me to the recovery model and the knowledge other share my beliefs about recovery. I am grateful for the opportunity to help others through recovery coaching and feel blessed daily that I love the work that I am doing.
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.