406.551.1058
info@mtpeernetwork.org

About Us

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 over 1500 individuals in 78 communities across Montana who are 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. Our main office is located in beautiful Livingston, Montana but our staff are located across the state.

The consumer/peer movement officially began in Montana in 2006. Originally name Calm4us, Montana’s Peer Network became the first recognized peer organization in Montana. The main focus was to implement Wellness Recovery Action Planning workshops started by four WRAP facilitators. We worked closely with Mental Health America of Montana, through its National Consumer Technical Assistance Center (NCSTAC) to create the organization that exists today.

Our Staff

Jim Hajny

Executive Director

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 Nunes

Assistant Director

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 Daniel

Technology Coordinator

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.

 

Bill Deavel

Peer Support Coordinator

Bill has been in recovery for fifteen years. He has been a peer support specialist for nine years. The gift of recovery has allowed him to have a family. He has been a part of the recovery community in Butt,e Montana since 2013.

Bill has worked for MPN since 2019. He was part of a demonstration project at Montana Chemical Dependency Center to show the effectiveness of peer support services. He has been building the mentoring program since 2020. Bill is currently the chair of the Butte-Silver Bow Local Advisory Council. Bill is continuing to build his skill through trainings. He loves to serve and support others in their journey of recovery. 

 

Lea Wetzel

Drop-in Center Coordinator

Lea Wetzel is a CBHPSS, Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Trainer, Warrior Down Talking Circle Facilitator, a Peer Supporter for the 8th Judicial Veterans’ Court, Drop-in Center Coordinator, and a Podcast Interviewer all under Montana’s Peer Network. She’s a leader and a voice with connecting and educating, and representing all our state tribal Peer Supporters. She is also the Vice President of the North Central Montana Missing Murdered Indigenous People’s Task Force. She takes pride in being a survivor and a Piikani woman in recovery, within the movement of generational healing, with her own journey of reconnecting to her Indigenous ways and beliefs.  Her testimony was published, in Correcting Treatment in Corrections, a book developed by employees of Riverside Women’s Trauma Treatment Center, a past D.O.C. facility. Lea was justice system involved for 15 years before graduating from the 8th Judicial Drug Court Program. She’s determined to do what she can to help others, and channels that through being a member of our Criminal Justice Sub-Committee.

She is a full-time mother of two beautiful children and enjoys the outdoors and spending time with her family and loved ones. She says that every day is a chance to honor her Brother Scott’s legacy, by continuing to be in recovery and finishing what he sought out to do, which was being a voice for all our relatives wanting a better life and healing. She’s got a passion to help others of all spectrums, as well as for her people, and we are very honored to have Lea with us here at MPN.

Nikki Russell

RCORP CBHPSS

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.”

Beth Ayers

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.

Organization Timeline

2012

  • Wellness and Recovery telephonic support group offered
  • MPN joins the National Coalition on Mental Health Recovery
  • WRAP workshops are offered throughout the state
  • Holistic recovery workshop offered
  • Mental Health TV and recovery podcasts are launched

Employment Opportunities

 

Part-time Family Peer Supporter

A Family Peer Supporter is a parent or caregiver with lived experience raising a child with special healthcare needs and/or behavioral health challenges. Needs to have experience navigating children’s health systems in Montana. A Family Peer Supporter works with families who are currently raising a child with a special healthcare need and/or behavioral health challenges. They provide emotional support, help navigating systems, and connection to community supports.

Montana’s Peer Network is hiring a part-time Family Peer Supporter to work at the Children’s Clinic in Billings up to 20 hours/week at $20/hour. Benefits include paid holidays, flexible work schedule, and ongoing training and continuing education.

Submission deadline February 10, 2023.

Download the Job Description and application instructions.