We are a network of individuals who are on the path of recovery.
We identify as being in recovery from mental health, substance abuse and or addiction struggles. Together we share information, provide peer support, advocate with a united voice and improve the system. We come from places all across Montana, with different stories and experiences but together we make a difference. This is the Recovery Movement in Montana.
Realizing Recovery Webinars
Every third Wednesday at noon
These webinars are designed for anyone in recovery, not just the Peer Support Workforce. No matter where we are in our recovery, we can still learn new pathways, wellness tools, and strategies to help us maintain recovery.
Check out our events calendar for topics.
Recovery Talks Podcasts
Weekly podcasts on various topics relevant to people in recovery, the peer support workforce, and anyone interested in learning more about recovery.
MPN has several videos available for free including trainings, how-tos, 5 Good Minutes Serie,. & Recovery Stories
Standing up for what we believe is right, having a voice, making choices in recovery, and sharing our own recovery story are some of the things that make up advocacy and self-advocacy.
Let’s start with self-advocacy which refers to an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate, or assert his/her own interests, desires, needs, or rights. It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions (Van Reusen et al., 1994).
Knowing yourself and your strengths, needs, and interests is the first step toward advocating for your rights. Once we begin to find our way on the path of recovery, we may want to begin to advocate for ourselves with those around us—peer supporters, friends, family, service providers, and doctors. These conversations may be difficult, but having them is vital to your recovery. Remember, you are the expert on yourself.
It may be that prior to getting on the path to recovery, others were making decisions for you or acting in what they believed to be your best interest. Now may be the time for you to let others know what you believe to be in your best interest. You may find yourself in the process of taking control and making decisions affecting your life and perhaps others’ lives. This process of self-determination means making informed choices, problem solving, setting and attaining goals—essentially being a self-advocate.
Advocacy or advocating for others may be something you are interested in doing. Advocating for another person isn’t about acting in a person’s perceived best interest, but it is standing with a person to ensure they are able to articulate and obtain what they want or need. Perhaps you may consider speaking up and advocating for various changes in the services in your community.
Here are a few examples of advocacy:
- Speak to your legislature or a special committee.
- Get involved with an advocacy group or organization.
- Share your recovery story to support others in recovery.
- Whether advocating for yourself, for others, for your community, or as part of an organization, advocacy is very self-empowering. You can make a real difference in your life, the lives of others, and even the community.
- Reach out to Montana’s Peer Network and share your recovery story on one of our “Recovery Talks” podcasts.
Peer Advocacy and Leadership Project
In October 2019, MPN embarked on the next phase in statewide networking with the Peer Advocacy and Leadership (PAL) Project funded through SAMHSA Statewide Consumer Network Grant program (grant number 1H79SM081947-01). The PAL Project is designed to improve consumer/peer participation and voice in the mental health system through leadership development, advocacy, increased participation and training. We have seen that Local Advisory Councils (LAC’s) and Service Area Authorities (SAA’s) often struggle to meet the requirement that their membership have at least 51% consumers and family members. MPN would like to help these organizations increase their membership and train new leaders and advocates.
MPN is working on an updated version of the trainings that were developed under this grant. Check back for more information.
Peer Advocacy and Leadership Passport Podcast
Peer Advocacy and Leadership Year 2 Podcast
Realizing Recovery Blog
Practices, Principles, and Purpose of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a big part of a healing journey. It takes a lot of acceptance to be able to forgive and to acknowledge there is a need to understand that whatever it is that is holding one back, or is causing inner conflicts, is not always ours to own. We do not have to completely understand the reasoning behind one’s negative doing to us, we don’t ever have to forget, but being able to forgive, can allow healing and growth to continue.
My Journey to Forgiveness
What is the true meaning of forgiveness? Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
What an amazing subject to talk about. This will be my first time getting share with you on the topic of forgiveness. I would like to start off with saying if recovery is possible, so is forgiveness. I believe that it is hard to have one without the other. As I was growing up I had examples of forgiveness in my life.
Putting Principles into Practice
In the beginning of my recovery journey my life was about bringing myself to a balanced state of mind so that I could begin to build a life of purpose. Early recovery was about discovering who I was through a healing process that brought me inwards towards many wounds that I felt would be my demise. Through this emotional roller coaster ride, I learned that after the scariest moments of remembering past hurt came equally enlightening moments of truth that helped me face my past and build a life beyond recovery.
Living a life to develop the best results in growth and healing, I have learned to be open and mindful of multiple pathways recovery entails. Beyond the inpatient, outpatient, justice programming, and whatever else was “expected” of me, I have dipped into reconnecting to my traditional, American Indian ways.
Early on in my recovery, I was very focused on myself, and that was necessary. I spent countless hours in treatment, in therapy, and in 12 step meetings.
Leap of Faith
Relationships have served as a mirror into my heart, showing me where I need to grow and giving me the inspiration to overcome my greatest fears. Relationships reflect my internal frame of reference, the dominant conditioning that insists on being safe. I unknowingly used relationships to justify an abandonment wound I held since childhood.
Well, this will be my fourth time I have written on this topic while at MPN. Lets see what my heart puts down on paper. I believe that relationships are what gives each of our lives purpose.
Forms of Advocacy
There are many different forms of advocacy, let me take you on my journey with advocacy. My recovery began in 2007 however I was being advocated for as early as 2003.
What is Advocacy
Advocacy is and activity by an individual or group aiming to influence rules, laws, and processes to bring a change wanted by the individual or group. the new Montana Legislative session begins today in Helena with our voted Representatives. This session will work with new laws passed and amendments made to existing laws also changes to funding for services provided for people in Montana. Montanas Peer Network offers opportunity to learn how to professionally ask and advocate for changes you feel are needed to empower recovery oriented behavioral health services in our state.