Bobbie Becker- Board President, Glendive Affiliate
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
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.
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.
My name is Genevieve Andrus and I live in Missoula where I was born and raised. I am a single mom of an energetic and outgoing 8-year-old. I am also a returning student at the University of Montana working on an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Anthropology. I consider myself a psychiatric survivor. I have struggled with depression, psychosis, anxiety, and suicide and have been involuntarily hospitalized multiple times starting at the age of 16. I consider my experiences with forced psychiatry to have been traumatizing and life altering. I discovered Mind Freedom International and the Icarus Project online in 2005 and benefitted from that online support and advocacy as well as an awareness that I wasn’t alone. I learned that many people had been through experiences like mine and that recovery was possible for anyone no matter what label had been given to them.
I had a hard time connecting this online experience with my day to day struggles and continued to be hospitalized against my will several more times. In 2015 I was connected with a peer advocate in Missoula and was able to truly begin my recovery journey. Gradually and through the help of my doctor and peer advocate I was able to significantly reduce the amount of medication I was taking. I began to feel free again. I was able to start volunteering and go back to work. I started working as a peer supporter myself at Winds of Change. As part of the peer support program at Winds of Change I was able attend several trainings including Intentional Peer Support, Hearing Voices Facilitator training, and Montana’s Peer Network Peer Support 101. In 2017 I went back to school, something I never thought I’d be able to do. Peer support changed my life! I am grateful to give back and be able to serve on the board for MPN.
My name is Greg Arciello, I’m 56 years old and I live in Potomac, Montana (30 miles east of Missoula.) I’m married to Ann. I have two children: my daughter Madeline, 26, lives in New York City and my son Maelan, 25, who lives in Missoula. I’m a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I have been sober since October 2 2016. I’m also a returning citizen, discharging 14 years of sentences in 2006. I owned a business that only hired returning citizens, I retired in 2016. I mentor/support men coming out of pre-release and prison. I attend AA on a regular basis. I love to trail run competitively, hike , fish, read and spend time at our cabin on the Blackfoot River,as well as a few months on the north shore of Oahu.
I am Crystal Laufer. My family on both sides are homesteaders from Montana. I was born in California in 1969 and my parents moved back to Montana in 1973. I have lived in Havre for 46 years.
I have had a learning disability since I was six years old. It was caused from Scarlet Fever. I was bullied in school because of my disability and some time being an adult I still get bullied. I graduated from Havre High School in 1988. My parents always told me to not let my disability stop me from doing anything in life wanted to do.
I got married in 1995 and we have a daughter. I lost my husband in 2016 from cancer. My husband had schizophrenia and my daughter has ADHD and anxiety. Other family members and also friends deal with mental illnesses which is why I got involved with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), to learn more about mental illnesses.
I have been with NAMI HAVRE for about 13 years now. I am involved with the Local Advisory Council and I have been on that board for about 11 years. At the present I am the President of NAMI HAVRE. I have been through family support group training. I have been trained in Mental Health First Aid, and also in Youth Mental Health First Aid, and Family to Family. I have participated in the Suicide Awareness Walk for 4 years in Havre. I have been working as a Home Health Care provider for about 10 years and all my training has been helpful.
My name is Jennifer Fauque and I live East Helena, Montana. I currently am in my Master’s program at the University of Phoenix. I am in the clinical mental health counselor program. I have an AA in human service management and a BS in psychology. I have dealt with challenges for years and then I found home and recovery. I have been fighting stigma for years. I was told to give up my dream of going to college. I have fought hard and I have become a successful student.
I also volunteer at St. Peter’s Regional Medical Center in Helena. I am in the human resource department. My goal in life is to help others that have gone through the struggles of behavioral health issues. I want to give home and show individuals that recovery is possible. I have not been hospitalized in 5 years which hasn’t happened since 1996. If you have a dream or goal, go for it.