Peer Advocacy and Leadership Project

In October 2019, MPN embarked on the next phase in statewide networking with the Peer Advocacy and Leadership (PAL) Project funded through SAMHSA Statewide Consumer Network Grant program (grant number 1H79SM081947-01). The PAL Project is designed to improve consumer/peer participation and voice in the mental health system through leadership development, advocacy, increased participation and training. We have seen that Local Advisory Councils (LAC’s) and Service Area Authorities (SAA’s) often struggle to meet the requirement that their membership have at least 51% consumers and family members. MPN would like to help these organizations increase their membership and train new leaders and advocates.

MPN is gathering information about Local Advisory Councils (LAC) and Service Area Authorities (SAA) membership. We would like to know how many members are active in these organizations, how many of those are consumers and family members, and how someone joins the organization. For the purposes of this survey we define consumer as an individual who receives or has received services for a mental health, substance use and or addiction diagnosis. A family member is a loved one of a consumer who represents other family members or their loved one on this council. If you participate in your LAC or SAA, please consider completing the survey.

PAL Passport

One of the pillars of this program is training to help consumers become more comfortable in advocacy and leadership roles. We have developed a PAL Passport to help you track your progress in the program. When you choose to be part of the PAL project and attend your first training, you will receive a Passport. As you complete each training, you will receive a sticker to cover a portion of the card. When all 6 trainings have been completed you will have filled in all of the outside sections of the Passport. The final step to get the middle of the image will be to participate in some kind of leadership or advocacy activity. That list currently includes:

  • Become a Certified Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialist (new certifications only)
  • Join a Local Advisory Council or Service Area Authority
  • Host an MPN member meeting in your community
  • Start an MPN Affiliate
  • Start a Peer Support Specialist to Peer Support Specialist support meeting (PSS2PSS)
  • Write a bill or testify in the legislature
  • Organize a recovery oriented community event
  • Join the MPN Board of Directors
  • Facilitate one of the PAL Trainings

When you have completed this final step you will be an official PAL Project Leader and Advocate! You will receive a special Peer Leader key chain to signify your completion!

PAL training is open to all and can be completed in any order. To request a passport, please contact Jim. Be sure to include your mailing address. Passports will also be available at in person trainings.

Please note that not all of the PAL trainings qualify for CEUs. Review the individual descriptions for more information.

This 4 hour training covers the basics when is comes to recovery, the concepts, guiding principles, building a wellness toolbox and the role of peer support. This introductory training is designed for those who want to know more about recovery, those who are new to recovery or want to learn more about the recovery movement.

This training will be offered in person during the same week as our quarterly PS 101 trainings. PS 101 is scheduled in February, May, August, and November in various locations.

This training does not qualify for CEUs.

Read more here

Learn about the Montana laws surrounding Advanced Psychiatric Directives and how to create one.

2020 trainings will be held January 22, April 22, July 22, and October 21 at 6:30pm. You can register by following the links in the online training section.

This training is worth 1.5 CEUs for CBHPSS.

Read more here

Learn the basics of how meetings such as Local Advisory Councils and Service Area Authorities usually run and how to be effective as a member of those groups.

This training qualifies for .75 CEUs for CBHPSS.

Read more here.


It is vital to develop win-win partnerships with other organizations to find ways to meet the needs of consumers and change systems. This training will cover how to find common ground, build trust, and produce win-win results.

This training qualifies for .75 CEU for CBHPSS.

Learn how to bring MPN resources to your community as an affiliate. Affiliates can share resources, coordinate efforts, provide a unified voice, and offer training and presentations. Each affiliate brings a unique focus and perspective to the organization as a whole. MPN has a solid positive reputation in the state and affiliates can leverage that.

This training does not qualify for CEUs.

Affiliate application.

Learn specific leadership skills that you can use in any setting.

Coming Fall 2020

pal back 1-28-20
Passport card side 1
PAL outline 1-28-20
Passport card side 2