Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies: a peer approach is a signature program from Montana’s Peer Network that provides education around the importance of whole health wellness, trauma informed care and peer support. We do this by providing interactive workshops, webinars and through the use of social media. Our workshops are led by individuals in recovery from a mental health diagnosis who bring their own unique perspective to wellness. Together with attendees they will explore the mind body connection and the importance of overall wellbeing for successful recovery.

Give us a call if you would like more information or to find out how to book us for your location. Call 406-551-1058 or email.

The  Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies workbook is available to purchase for $20 from Montana’s Peer Network online store:




Learn more about the Health Minds Healthy Bodies areas of focus:

8 Dimensions of Wellness

8 Dimensions Of Wellness_701x474

The 8 dimensions of wellness are:










Standing up for what we believe is right, having a voice, making choices in recovery, and sharing our own recovery story are some of the things that make up advocacy and self-advocacy.

Let’s start with self-advocacy which refers to an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate, or assert his/her own interests, desires, needs, or rights. It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions (Van Reusen et al., 1994).

Knowing yourself and your strengths, needs, and interests is the first step toward advocating for your rights. Once we begin to find our way on the path of recovery, we may want to begin to advocate for ourselves with those around us—peer supporters, friends, family, service providers, and doctors.  These conversations may be difficult, but having them is vital to your recovery. Remember, you are the expert on yourself.

It may be that prior to getting on  the path to recovery, others were making decisions for you or acting in what they believed to be your best interest. Now may be the time for you to let others know what you believe to be in your best interest. You may find yourself in the process of taking control and making decisions affecting your life and perhaps others’ lives. This process of self-determination means making informed choices, problem solving, setting and attaining goals—essentially being a self-advocate.

Advocacy or advocating for others may be something you are interested in doing. Advocating for another person isn’t about acting in a person’s perceived best interest, but it is standing with a person to ensure they are able to articulate and obtain what they want or need. Perhaps you may consider speaking up and advocating for various changes in the services in your community.

Here are a few examples of advocacy:

  • Speak to your legislature or a special committee.
  • Get involved with an advocacy group or organization.
  • Share your recovery story to support others in recovery.
  • Whether advocating for yourself, for others, for your community, or as part of an organization, advocacy is very self-empowering. You can make a real difference in your life, the lives of others, and even the community.
  • Reach out to Montana’s Peer Network and share your recovery story on one of our “Recovery Talks” podcasts

Trauma Informed Care

Greek word for trauma τραύμα  means “wound”

Trauma Informed Care starts with Trauma Awareness. To learn more about the Trauma Informed Peer Support Trainings offered by Montana’s Peer Network, click here

SAMHSA’s working definition of trauma for the individual:

Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.

Events or circumstances of trauma may include actual or extreme threat of physical or psychological harm or severe life-threatening neglect for a child that interferes with healthy development.

The individual’s experience of these events or circumstances help to determine whether it is a traumatic event. A particular event may be experienced as traumatic to one person and not to another.

The long-lasting adverse effect of the event are a critical component of trauma. The duration may be short-term or long-term.

There are many kinds of trauma, including but not limited to the following:

Community Trauma—this includes predatory violence (e.g. rape, robbery) and violence from personal conflicts experienced as a victim or witness.

Complex Trauma—exposure to multiple and/or prolonged traumatic events as the individual is maturing: typically involving psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and domestic violence.

Early Childhood Trauma—experienced by children, aged 0-6, as a result of intentional physical or sexual abuse, exposure to domestic violence, natural disasters, accidents, or the loss of a parent or caregiver.

Neglect—children or elders not having basic care needs met (e.g. food, shelter, safe environment, etc.)

The 4 “R”’s of a Trauma-Informed Approach

According to SAMHSA’s concept of a trauma-informed approach:  “A program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed:

 Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery;  Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system;  Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices;  and seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.”

SAMHSA’s Six Key Principles of a Trauma-Informed Approach

“A trauma-informed approach reflects adherence to six key principles, rather than a prescribed set of practices or procedures.  These principles may be generalizable across multiple types of settings, although terminology and application may be setting- or sector-specific:

  1. Safety
  2. Trustworthiness and Transparency
  3. Peer support
  4. Collaboration and Mutuality
  5. Empowerment, Voice, and Choice
  6. Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues

From SAMHSA’s perspective, it is critical to promote the linkage to recovery and resilience for those individuals and families impacted by trauma.  Consistent with SAMHSA’s definition of recovery, services and supports that are trauma-informed build on the best evidence available, consumer and family engagement, empowerment, and collaboration.”  

For online resources pertaining to Trauma Informed Care, click here.

Whole Health Recovery

Whole Health Action Management or WHAM

Positive Mental Health and Wellness

Positive mental health allows people to:

  • Realize their full potential
  • Cope with the stresses of life
  • Work productively
  • Make meaningful contributions to their communities

Ways to maintain positive mental health include:

  • Getting professional help if you need it
  • Connecting with others
  • Staying positive
  • Getting physically active
  • Helping others
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Developing coping skills

SAMHSA identified four elements that are central to recovery through the Recovery Support Strategic Initiative. The purpose of this initiative is partnering with people in recovery from mental health and substance use disorders. It also helps family members navigate the behavioral health system. It promotes individual, program, and system-level approaches that foster health and resilience, increases permanent housing, employment, education, and other necessary supports. The initiative also reduces discriminatory barriers.


Health –Overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) as well as living in a physically and emotionally healthy way

 Home –  A stable and safe place to live that supports recovery 

Purpose –  Meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school,  volunteerism, family caretaking, creative endeavors, independence, income, and resources to participate in society 

Community – Relationships and social networks provide support, friendship, love, and hope

HMHB Project was funded from 2013-2015 by SAMHSA via a Statewide Consumer Networking Grant #1H79SM061322-01