Recovery is Possible!
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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 wellness and recovery oriented behavioral health services in Montana.
We are a network of over 1700 individuals in 78 communities across Montana who are in recovery from mental health or substance use or identify as family member of a child with behavioral health challenges or special health care needs. We provide, education, consultation, training, advocacy, peer support demonstration projects and resources across the state using our own “lived experience” through peer support. We feel peer support should be universally available throughout the healthcare system and that peer support is one of the most effective ways to improve the system of care. We are not a service provider instead we work to develop and expand the peer support workforce, create opportunities for wellness and recovery and connect individuals and families together. We are advocates through personal experience.
MPN/ Strategic Plan is updated on even years. Our current strategic plan includes:
GOAL 1: Be a self-sustaining organization
- Financial diversification
GOAL 2: Support for Operations
- Trainings, consulting, and demonstration projects
GOAL 3: Expand our influence
- Membership, public relations, social media outreach and advocacy initiatives
Goal 4: Increase capacity among board and staff
- Legacy Planning, Mentoring, & Leadership development
GOAL 5: Achieve non-profit excellence
- Set the standard for non-profit recovery organizations
Jim Hajny has served as Montana’s Peer Network’s, Executive Director since its inception in June 2011. He has taken the organization from a fledgling grassroots startup to a statewide recovery network with more than 1600 members statewide. He is an advocate for recovery oriented behavioral health services and driving force behind the development peer support workforce development and training across Montana. Mr. Hajny is a trained Peer Support Specialist, and a recovery trainer, a past chair of the Montana Peer Support Task Force and was appointed by Governor Steve Bullock to the Mental Disability Board of Visitors.
He is also a consultant to behavioral health agencies on peer services and recovery programming both statewide and nationally. On social media he hosts, 5 Good Minutes and podcast Recovery Talks. He is a member of the Montana Behavioral Health Advisory Council, a past board member of the Park County Local Advisory Council on Mental Health and the Central Service Area Authority. He has been in recovery from a mental health and substance abuse diagnosis for over 26 years.
Mandy has been in recovery from substance use and mental health challenges since 2015 and is the parent of children with behavioral health diagnoses. She is a treatment court graduate and passionately served as a BHPSS for treatment court clients in Billings. She has experience in both human resources and organizational leadership. Mandy served on MPN’s Board of Directors for 3 years prior to taking on her current role. She was chair of the CPAAC committee and was instrumental in helping get BHPSS a seat on the Board of Behavioral Health. She is a fierce advocate for removing barriers to behavioral health services and building and enhancing support and services for adults, children, and their families. Mandy was honored in 2022 as one of Billings Best and Brightest 40 under 40.
Mandy is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. She enjoys spending time with her partner, children, grandchildren, family, and friends. Mandy and her partner play softball and both of their younger children are active in sports. They like to spend time outdoors, paddleboarding, fishing, camping, and playing in softball tournaments. Mandy strives to be an example that recovery, change, and success are possible, and to provide hope to those still suffering.
Andi has been in stable recovery from a mental health diagnosis for over 10 years. She has more than 20 years of experience working with non-profit organizations in various roles and has been managing websites, technology, and marketing for most of that time. Andi was the project director for the Bear Paw Kids’ Management Authority Systems of Care grant project for 3 years service youth with mental health diagnoses and has extensive experience working with low income families. She is involved with several local groups including as the Chair of the Hill County Behavioral Health Local Advisory Council and member of the Hill County Suicide Awareness Coalition.
Andi has been with MPN since 2018 and is the co-chair of the Family Support Committee. She was instrumental in the development of the Peer Advocacy and Leadership (PAL) project funded through a SAMHSA Statewide Consumer Networking grant and has assisted with grant writing for MPN.
Drop-in Center Coordinator
Lea Wetzel works with people in recovery, as a CBHPSS, Master Trainer in Cultural Humility, and the American Indian dynamics, as a Drop-in Center Coordinator for MPN. She is the President of the North Central MT Human Trafficking & MMIP Task Force. Lea’s background consists of working with the 8th Judicial Drug & Veteran’s Court programs, in an innovative and tribally inclusive manner. She’s a graduate herself and is dedicated to developing substantial support in multiple ways, in the justice system.
She connects with others in her supportive role and has developed Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) awareness campaigns, to strengthen support systems, and cultural connections. She has reconnected to the beauty and strength of her people as a Blackfeet (Piikani) woman to make a difference and help those in need all while being a loving and caring mother of two.
Recently, Lea has been recognized for her work and awarded the 2022 Montana Board of Crime Control, Innovated Community Improvement Award. She’s a recipient of the Return to the Heart Foundation Traditional Helpers and Healers and plans to continue to build strength in the CBHPSS workforce and is honored to continue her journey with her team at Montana’s Peer Network.
Nikki has been on her recovery journey for over seven years. Her motto in life is “fall down seven times, get up eight.” She is not claiming anything close to perfection but living an authentic life of imperfection. Nikki received her certification for Behavioral Health Peer Support in 2020 and is currently working towards her Bachelors in Addiction Counseling. Recovery has afforded her the courage to claim her dreams, the willingness to fail, and compassion for others.
Nikki’s passion in life is helping people heal, watching the lights come on in people eyes and hearts as a result of learning techniques to help them navigate life. Self-care and support systems has been her saving grace, reigniting creativity and connections within the recovery community of Butte, with spirituality being the corner stone.
Nikki is an active member of the recovery community in Butte and believes that service work is where the magic of recovery lives, you can find her at AA meetings, where she proudly represents her group as the General Service Representative (GSR), Silver Bow Behavioral Health Local Advisory Counsel where she holds the Vice Chair, and Good Medicine, a spiritual group that offers Native traditional ceremony to heal the soul.
Nikki is living her best life, being a fitting example to her daughter and is proclaiming, “With recovery, it is never too late to make your dreams come true, and yes I peed my pants, a little.”
Family Peer Support Lead
Beth was born and raised in Billings, MT and lives with her husband Rex, son Trent, dog Tillie, and cat CeCe. Her daughter lives in Washington state. She enjoys walking her dog at the river, eating family dinner with her mom every Sunday, watching Blue Bloods, playing Catan with her family, traveling, going to church, and being with friends.
Raising a child with behavioral health challenges has humbled Beth, strengthened her faith, and taught her to love more deeply. It has given her a greater acceptance and understanding of others, especially those different from herself. The road has not been easy, but the fight has been worth it. It has ignited a passion for behavioral health advocacy and Family Peer Support.
Family Peer Supporter
Erin Faulkner’s journey through the healthcare system began as a young child and continues to this day, both as a patient and a parent. Erin and her daughter have a connective tissue disorder that has led them to multiple specialists throughout the state. Both Erin and her daughter have navigated the system through supports from medical providers, early intervention programs and social media.
Erin’s education includes undergraduate degrees in Deaf Education and Elementary Education and a graduate degree in Human Service Administration. After several career changes in her twenties (and early thirties), Erin spent 14 years working with families with children with medical, mental health and intellectual challenges as both a Family Support Specialist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Erin has been married for 23 years and lives with her husband on a small chicken farm in Ulm outside of Great Falls. Her favorite activities include hanging out with her daughter when she is home from college, watching Packer football and playing all kinds of games.
Family Peer Supporter
Kayla has lived experiences raising a child diagnosed with developmental disabilities while having her own diagnosis and is in recovery from mental health challenges.
Kayla is in a relationship with Mitch and is a proud mom to two boys who are ten and seven and just as proud to be a bonus mom to a girl aged six. Kayla understands, through her own feelings of helplessness, being scared, and lost in the unknown of what was happening with her child’s regression, she now can offer emotional support to those going through similar journeys. She has felt like she failed at being a mom many times, couldn’t keep up, and didn't know where or who to turn to that could just “understand." She believes that while it’s valuable to feel your feelings, is it important to move onto processing, and setting out to be the best advocate for your child. Through her own research, persistence, and utilization of the resources she found, she has been able to find the things that work for her son, Bryce.
Being a Family Peer Supporter has changed her life and she loves connecting with like-minded people going through the same situations life has thrown her way. She finds daily that while working with peers, it is just as healing and helpful to her own parenting journey. She is a passionate and open-minded person, with the hope to help just one individual she meets.
While life hasn’t always been very fair, Kayla feels fortunate to be able to use Bryce’s and their story and success in her own mental health journey, to encourage others through their recovery process.
Current and Past Funders
- MPN receives SAMHSA grant award for Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies; a peer approach
- MPN begins to promote standards and training for peer supporters
- A documentary entitled Dandelion is produced on the impact of early childhood trauma
- 5 day WRAP Facilitator Training sponsored by MPN
- Wellafalooza is sponsored in Billings
- Membership surpasses 300
The organization's 990 tax returns, tax exempt status documentation, donor contributions and decision-making process are available by request. Please email the Executive Director email@example.com
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