The search is over!

Over the past several months, the Colorado Mental Wellness Network has been on the hunt for our newest Executive Director. We’re so happy to announce that the search is over! We’ve hired Hope Hyatt, someone who has long been on our Board of Directors and has supported the organization since the very beginning. Hope is a peer and a strong advocate for the recovery movement. Read on to learn more about her!

How Hope got involved with the Network

Hope first became involved with the Network back in 2011, when we were still a program called WE CAN! under then Mental Health America of Colorado. She started volunteering at MHAC after one of her best friends, Colin Murphy, died by suicide. She felt that she had to do something to try and make sense of the senselessness and pain that she felt. She learned about the organization from her father, Jack Hyatt, who was the former president of MHAC. Jack had become involved with MHAC in an effort to learn how to support Hope with her own mental health conditions, a testament to what a wonderful father he was.

One of Hope’s responsibilities as a volunteer was to proofread and edit our very first Peer Specialist training manual. Upon reading it, Hope was surprised and excited to learn that her lived experience could be a strength to use when helping others. Before this, she had looked back at her experiences with mental health problems as something shameful and negative, and she hadn’t been around people that were openly sharing their experiences and using their stories as personal strengths. She ended up graduating from our first peer training class, then moved on to WRAP®, then joined the Board of Directors where she has been ever since.

Hope’s experience in the peer recovery movement

For the last several years, Hope has been the Peer Support Line Supervisor at Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners. She began with a team of just a few peers, but as the demand for peer-based warmline services increased, her team grew to 14. She has personally seen the power of peers helping peers through her work, and she’s excited to further the peer recovery movement by leading CMWN.

Why Hope thinks the Network is important

She says that the Network is important for the community because we help to empower individuals to take recovery into their own hands. The Network has the ability to transform lives by providing wellness skills and tools to our fellow peers, and we have created a community where people can come together to learn, to advocate, and to utilize our power of shared experience. Part of wellness is community, and the Network is a place where we are not alone and can find support and connection. Her favorite programs at the Network are the Peer Specialist training, WRAP®, and mindfulness workshops because she has seen how powerful they were in transforming her own life.

Where Hope sees the Network going

Hope envisions the Network as becoming a household name when it comes to the peer recovery movement. She sees us changing a lot about how mental health is perceived and sees a lot of potential for getting our programs into schools and universities. She wants to strengthen our connection to the community and the state, becoming a go-to place for wellness education and advocacy.

Who is Hope outside of work?

Hope is a huge live music fan, mostly rock and roll, jam bands, and hip hop. She says she has eclectic taste and is finally learning to appreciate some country music. She loves to be outside, being with friends and family, eating and making delicious food, and travel. She practices self-care by nurturing her relationships, doing mindfulness check-ins with herself, and using WRAP®. She also has a long-haired dachshund named Charlie who will soon be making regular appearances around the CMWN office!

Hope says that she’s developed a lot of strength through becoming a Peer Specialist. She used to be afraid of what might happen if she experienced depression again. She knows now that there are resources available and that she isn’t alone. She lives in gratitude of her recovery and wellness, not being afraid of what’s going to happen next.

 

Kate Fitch

I've been with the Network since 2015, when I started as a volunteer. I've been on staff as the Communications Specialist since January 2017. I'm currently in college and pursuing a dual BA in Public Health and Public Administration. I'm most passionate about making sure that people with mental health conditions are fairly represented in the media, at policy tables, and in treatment system planning. In my spare time, I like to crochet, knit, and be the best cat mom ever.

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