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 has been in recovery for 24 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 founder and program coordinator for Peer Solutions Drop In Center in Livingston, Montana. Jim has worked as a peer supporter for 10 years sharing his recovery with others. He chaired the Montana Peer Support Task Force for 4 years and served 2 years as a Governor appointee to the Mental Disabilities Board of Visitors.
Andi Daniel – Social Media Coordinator
Andi brings several years of experience in non-profit work including Head Start and Early Head Start, employment and training programs, economic development programs, and mental health. She holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Montana State University-Bozeman and has extensive education and training in mental health, child development, and family systems. Andi has been in stable recovery from Bipolar Disorder for several years and has a passion for helping others navigate systems and start and maintain their recovery.
Ashley Mclean – Peer Supporter
Ashley Mclean has been in recovery for 7 years. On May 14, 2011, she found out that a new way of life was possible. She grew up in Reno, Nevada and moved to Montana in 2005. She has a beautiful daughter and a wonderful husband who have supported her recovery. Sometimes begrudgingly. She says that because she has to put her recovery first. Over the years she found balance with both her recovery and family. Ashley has had many great teachers along the way who supported her through the good and bad spots in life. Today she has hope, serenity, and compassion for others. Both those on this path with her and those just finding it. “I love my life today and recovery made that possible. Over time with practice it just keeps getting better.”
Nick Martin – Peer Supporter
Nick Martin has been in recovery from depression and anxiety for almost 3 years now. The moment that changed his life forever was when he lost his wife to suicide. Nick decided that some things needed to change in the mental health field. He felt that it needed a different approach. He joined the Local Advisory Council for suicide prevention in Butte. It was there that he found out about peer support. Nick decided that he never wanted anyone to feel alone through their struggles, much like he and his wife felt. He went out on his own providing peer support to people who reached out to him. Peer support has become his passion. He became a certified Behavioral Peer Support Specialist. He continues to live and preach by his motto, “We are all in this together.”
Katie Sorenson – Peer Services Coordinator
Katie Sorenson has been in recovery from co-occurring disorders for 6 years. Her recovery journey started in 2005 and has been peppered with adversity. Her greatest achievements have been on the other side of her most painful setbacks. She believes her greatest strength in recovery is her ability to see the value in her struggles. She feels the most important thing she can give to another person is hope that if you can just hold on, for one more day, one more hour, one more minute, you can recover. Katie believes recovery is about gaining access to opportunities and her passion to help others do so is fueled by her own struggle. Katie obtained her Bachelor’s of Social Work degree from the University of Montana, Missoula, where she resides. Her experience in a chemical dependency treatment program and work at the homeless shelter reinforced her conviction in her purpose at Montana’s Peer Network. She is grateful to be a part of the team.
Meet the Board
Brent Morris – President, Treasurer, Billings Affiliate committee
My name is Brent Morris and I live in South Central Montana with my wife and dog. I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety all of my life while living with an inherited genetic eye disease. The eye disease is progressive and what little sight I have will diminish to total blindness. I have placed tools in my toolbox such as empowering my recovery through faith in God and Montana’s Peer Network. My road to my recovery has tight turns and road blocks but knowing there is hope allows me to continue. Parts of my life have included planning suicide and not wanting to fight any longer. Being able to share and network with peers is a piece of my life’s foundation, building my whole life. My life turned to a new chapter and it brought barriers after being at fault in an auto accident and taking someone’s life. I was driving while under the influence of alcohol. My recovery journey seemed to be going backwards but faith in God and support from peers helped me to be content with who I am. Montana’s Peer Network has opened doors to “power tools” in my toolbox for holistic health. I work at an Independent Living Center and am involved in coordinating peer support. I am also on boards advocating for Behavioral Health supports in Montana.
Dee Romine- Vice President, Butte Affiliate
I was born in Deer Lodge, MT I moved to Butte in 3rd grade and grew up there. I graduated from Butte Central Catholic High School, where I was very involved in church and outreach programs, as well as volunteer work. During that time, I was in a program called Civil Air Patrol, which was an auxiliary of the Air Force. After high school I moved to Helena 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 health 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 peers to connect with each other and support each other.I ran this group for two more years and now it continues. 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. Those who participate get a free t-shirt every year through the money raised by me and supported by many. I 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 service sand told a version of my story in front of the Chief Executive of Butte, MT and county commissioners to form the local advisory council in Silverbow County (BSBMHLAC)I’m a member of the BSBMHLAC as a board member with lived experience. 2019 will be the end of my four year term.I was also the rep to the Western Service Area Authority for two years. I run a weekly affiliate group for Montana’s Peer Network in Butte, helped run monthly groups at Montana State Hospital for MPN, and was part of the committee that received the funding for Montana’s Peer Network’s Recovery Coach Outreach Project in Butte,started in 2018. Onward and upward. Recovery is possible!!
Ginny Carnes- Treasurer, Great Falls Affiliate
Hello, my name is Virginia Carnes but I go by Ginny. I grew up moving all over the US and Germany because my dad was in the Army. I noticed a difference in my life around the age of 13 when all I wanted to do was run away from home or take my own life. I was getting in trouble with the law a lot when I was 21 years old. This continued until 1992 when I moved to Montana after a long stay in a private hospital for the mentally ill. I continue to get in trouble with the law. I had learned a lot about how to take care of myself but was unable to unlock my wellness toolbox until my doctor found a new medication for me. From that day on, I was able to access my toolbox and have been fairly stable since then. I because a Peer Support Specialist in 2011, working with my peers for a mental health center. Now I volunteer for NAMT doing Peer-to-Peer classes and “In Our Own Voice” presentations. I have spoken at a Crisis Intervention Team training which was a room full of law enforcement officers. I am also on the Cascade County Mental Health Advisory Council.
Hello my name is Bobbie Becker and I live in Glendive Montana. I graduated from Dawson County High School (DCHS) in 1989 and attended Dawson Community College. I have two sons; Stephen lives in Missoula and Micah is a senior at DCHS and is getting ready to graduate in May.
Many people don’t know I have anxiety; I take medicine and use coping and grounding skills daily. I need people to understand it is very, very real and we need less criticism and judgment and more love and support. I’ve learned that recovery is about becoming better equipped to deal with setbacks. There’s no such thing as “fixed” or “all better now.” It’s a daily struggle so I have learned in my recovery to create a healing environment through yoga, essentials oils, candles, smudging and meditation which helps me bring a sense of peace, hope and joy to my life.
That is why I am very passionate about peer supports and recovery. I have worked at Living Independently for Today and Tomorrow (LIFTT) for the past 14 years. I help people of all ages and disabilities know their rights and responsibilities while helping them learn how to access services and resources available to them. I participate and provide input at the Glendive Advisory Council and sit on the Eastern Service Area Authority Board to provide a consumer voice and perspective on ways to improve our public mental health services, identify gaps and help reduce the stigma surrounding mental and substance use disorders. “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud” ~ Maya Angelou
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.
Strategic Plan and Priorities
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 mission is to provide recovery opportunities across Montana. We work to achieve this mission through the following:
- Wellness Recovery Action Planning WRAP opportunities including workshops, support groups, facilitator training and mentoring throughout Montana
- By organizing a strong equally represented peer network throughout Montana
- Actively supporting Peer Support Specialist Training and Certification in Montana
- Advocacy and education for improved mental health services in Montana including
- Peer directed services
- Suicide Prevention
- Trauma Informed Care
- High-fidelity Wraparound services for the children’s system
- Supported Housing
- Promotion of wellness and recovery through education, podcasts, newsletter, conference calls, education, training and support groups. In particular the promotion of 5 key recovery concepts – hope, education, self- advocacy, peer support, personal responsibility
- Promote the clear message “Recovery is possible.”
- MPN receives funding from MT Mental Health Trust to begin Recovery Coaching program in Butte
- SAMHSA Statewide Consumer Network Grant and Recovery Opioid Project continue
- MPN begins consulting with Eastern Montana Community Mental Health to implement Recovery Coaching Project
- Membership passes 900 members
- Over 800 members across the state
- Staff expands to 5
- MPN receives a 2-year grant to implement peer support programming as part of the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grant
- Senate Bill 62 certification of Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialists passes the state legislature 149-1 and is signed into law March 30, 2017. The law goes into effect October 31, 2017
- Executive Director Jim Hajny receives the NAMI “Hero” Award
- SAMHSA grant and Recovery Coach Outreach Project in Bozeman 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
[one_half]Montana Mental Health Trust
Addictive and Mental Disorder Division MT
Gallatin County, Montana
Children’s Mental Health Bureau MT
Park County Local Advisory Council[/one_half]
Town Pump Foundation
Early Childhood Development Project
Summit Independent Living Centers
Public at Large