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.