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Core Team

Core Team

Silen Wellington (they/he)

Peer Supporter, Director & Co-founder

Silen is a sculptor of sound, artist of people, gender liminal shapeshifter, mercurial name collector, restless poet, and storyteller, among other things. They found their way to wholeness and self-love through mostly "alternative" means, namely: guided rites of passage journeys, performance art, unhinged-unfettered-unapologetic dance, and connections with fiercely humble Elders & mentors who shared some of Silen's marginalized identities.

 

Silen is a white settler living on Cheyenne, Arapaho & Ute lands seeking to unsettle himself & constantly develop greater awareness and humility, listening to be in the right relationship with the land & advocating for racial justice. A lover of thresholds, Silen is transgender & queer experiencing varying degrees of (quasi-spiritual) madness sometimes self-labeled as neurodivergent and is otherwise abled.

 

Silen is endlessly grateful to have found their way to peer support work, is a certified peer support specialist, and facilitates some of Yarrow's Alternatives to Suicide & ECHO teen groups in addition to grant writing, budget managing, and overall directing.

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Lucrecia Medrano (she/her/ella)

Harm Reduction & BIPOC Program Director

Lucrecia is a Latinx woman who was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is a wife and a mother to three children ages 3-10. She has lived experience with life-interrupting substance use, trauma, the criminal justice system, incarceration, problem-solving court programs, and more. Her life experiences gave her medicine and wisdom to create spaces for people of color, drug users, people in recovery, and people wanting to find liberation from oppressive systems. She is an activist who loves to continue learning and fighting for our collective liberation. She is rooted in family and love. She deeply values ceremony, ritual, and her connection to the land. She co-founded and co-facilitates all harm reduction groups and Yarrows groups in the Larimer County Jail. She is also a co-founder and co-facilitator of Unity in Community.  She is a certified Peer Support Specialist, and as the Harm Reduction & BIPOC Program Director she oversees the Harm Reduction work.  Lucrecia loves to hike, run, travel, being with her family, and continuously manifesting her reality.

Geena Rupp (she/her)

Administrative Director & Co-founder

Geena is a local wife and mother with lived experience of life-interrupting substance use, trauma, psychiatric diagnosis, local judicial systems, problem-solving court programs, and more. She unceasingly works on living a balanced life by embracing several models/programs of recovery and alternative approaches that heal the body, mind and spirit. Geena continues to rise up from what felt like a “seemingly hopeless state” by learning to embrace the universe’s curveballs with the people that she loves. She has become aware that everyone recovers differently and there is no “one-size-fits-all” model when it comes to healing. Rather than focusing on what only works for her, she strives to find alternatives so that anyone can find a path of healing and that their journey is of minimal resistance.

Geena was invited to join the guiding council before Yarrow was named Yarrow, and currently serves as Yarrow Collective’s Organizational Advocate whose main duties are to help smooth the organizational side of this emerging and always changing collective.

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Ashleigh Jones (she/her)

Training Director and Family Services Coordinator

Ashleigh has lived in Fort Collins for the past 10 years. She is the mother of 2 wonderful children that are the joy of her life. Ashleigh has lived experience with life interrupting substance use, childhood trauma, eating disorders, self-harm and is a suicide attempt survivor. She also has lived experience with both the foster care system and the criminal justice system. Ashleigh has been a peer support worker for over 2 years. She is now one of 2 peer program managers at Summitstone Health Partners. During her time as a peer worker, she has found her voice as an advocate and an activist. Ashleigh is passionate about peer support in its truest form: the beautiful connection between folks who are struggling and those who have had similar lived experiences.

Melissa Lozano (she/her)



Melissa is a long time Fort Collins resident. Having attended elementary through high school in Poudre School District she feels rooted in and committed to supporting her hometown.   She is the Mother of 4 children ranging in age 7-17.  Some of her most valuable education has come through her lived experiences. She is passionate about creating opportunities for underrepresented identities to come together to practice embodied, compassionate, integration while in community. As a multiracial woman, Melissa continues to grapple with identity concepts. As she practices welcoming the many parts of her to coexist she feels alignment and peace.  Sitting in circle with Melissa feels soft and centered. She blends her 7 years of experience sitting in and facilitating community peer to peer support circles, Art of Groups facilitator training and Xinachtli facilitator training. She is on the journey to remember and practice her lineages medicine. Currently Melissa is supporting and facilitating ECHO, youth alternatives to suicide circle. She co-founded and co-facilitates Unity in Community, a space for BIPOC and multiracial community members to gather and offer non-clinical peer support. She offers her time weekly as a community member to Poudre Global Academy’s high school mindfulness circle.  Melissa loves to collect books, plants and rocks.  Melissa enjoys coffee, a great playlist and deep conversations. 

Youth & BIPOC Program Director

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Sam Davis (they/them)



Sam found their way to Colorado after living, studying, and working in the state of Delaware.  Their background is in psychology and research, with a passion for art, science, and the humanities.  Influenced by works of Carl Jung, Alan Watts, Buckminster Fuller, and other greats, they endeavor to bring empathy and understanding into daily life through individual and collective narratives tied into advocacy.

 

Currently, Sam is studying to become a certified yoga instructor.  They incorporate yoga, martial arts, and improv movement into a dynamic practice to embody self-awareness.  They believe that whether it is from trauma, abuse, or systemic oppression, many folks are disconnected from their own body and could benefit from daily embodying practices.

 

Sam writes, "My dedication to wellness and peer outreach comes from years of experience with an irreparably broken health and mental health care system."

Program Evaluation Coordinator

Kyle Rogers (he/him)



Kyle is an advocate for social justice in the criminal justice system. Kyle has personal lived experience in the prison industrial complex and life-interrupting substance use. He is a confident team player, strong leader and is over 4 years removed from addiction. Kyle has over a year of experience working with persons experiencing Substance Use Disorder as well as working with those experiencing the challenges of re-entering society from prison. As a new member of the Yarrow Collective, working with the Re-Entry population, Kyle aims to assist those facing the unique challenge of Re-Entering society by providing resources as well as a listening ear and shoulder to lean on. Kyle is motivated be his freedom from the system both physically and mentally and hopes to help other’s experience this same type of freedom.

 

In his free time he enjoys lifting weights, playing basketball, hanging with friends and most of all Fighting the power.

Harm Reduction Coordinator & Re-Entry Navigator

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Mia Campbell (they/them)

Youth Program Coordinator

Mia is a second generation Chicanx, non-binary person from south Texas. They moved to Fort Collins to pursue college in 2019 and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in environmental horticulture and ethnic studies at the end of 2023. Mia joined the Yarrow Collective after becoming a part of the Latine and BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community in Fort Collins through participating in local events and facilitating Unity in Community. They are passionate about creating spaces that are comfortable for Queer folks of color that foster liberatory conversations and action. Mia is passionate about celebrating queer experiences, encouraging community building, centering healing through cultural connection, and cultivating vital plant knowledge. They facilitate a variety of groups for youth and intergenerational audiences.

Peer Support Facilitator

Peer Support Group Facilitators

Alison Dawson (they/she) is one of Yarrow's co-founders, is a neurodivergent, disabled queer person who has experienced extreme states and emotional distress since childhood.  Since a traumatic psychiatric incarceration in 1987, one of her lifelong goals has been fighting for a more accessible humane world for folks with extreme states, mental health struggles, disabilities, neurodivergence, and other marginalized identities.  She has worked for over 2 decades as an individual advocate and a systemic activist for folks who our system has left behind such as those who are: disabled, neurodivergent, unhoused, low-income, LGBTQ+, and more. Additionally, as her physical disabilities have worsened throughout the years, she has become a fierce advocate for changes in the way our medical system treats folks with chronic pain/illness, particularly those with marginalized identities.  She is a parent of two adult daughters, rescues dogs, reads a lot of books, and loves to be outside.  Being involved on the ground floor of the Yarrow Collective has fulfilled her lifelong dream of creating a robust peer-led alternative to our traditional mental health system.

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Bethy Shaw (she/her)  grew up in Colorado and has worked at The Matthews House in Fort Collins for the past four years. Bethy loves the outdoors, spending time with her six pets at home and consuming as much true crime material as possible (especially podcasts). Bethy has professional experience working with young adults who have experienced trauma from a wide range of backgrounds, including foster care and juvenile justice involvement, LGBTQIA+ youth, and refugees and asylum seekers. She also has facilitated multiple youth groups, including experiential education, after-school programming, comprehensive sex education and back country wildnerness excursions. She also has lived experience with mental health diagnoses, suicidality and disordered eating. Bethy is passionate about creating a more equitable community and expanding access to resources and supports for at-risk populations. Bethy is on our ECHO teen support group facilitator team.


Zalena Ferguson (they/she) is a queer, "highly sensitive", and self-identified person of neurodivergence and has experienced chronic thoughts and experiences with suicide since childhood. Since experiencing hospitalization due to suicidality in 2016, Zalena has been passionate about creating pathways for humans to express thoughts of suicide without fear of repercussion or punishment. In her daily life, Zalena navigates challenges that come from experiences commonly labeled as obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, depression and chronic post-traumatic stress disorder; however, Zalena is not formally diagnosed and is not interested in seeking a diagnosis. Zalena believes strongly in the abolition of racist, misogynistic, ableist and homophobic systems and believes that thoughts of suicide are the result of recurring systemic oppression and not always linked to “mental illness” or abnormality. Zalena has been a part of peer-based mental health services since 2018 and is passionate about creating access to peer-run, holistic mental health care alternatives. She is on the online Alt2Su facilitator team.

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TJ (he/they) is a passionate 18-year-old nonbinary individual who strives to help their communities. He has worked with the local LGBTQ+ youth in Fort Collins as well as supporting teen mental health. They are neurodivergent and have faced suicidality throughout much of their life. TJ finds creativity as a helpful outlet in which to cope with their struggles, such as through poetry and drawing. He believes his purpose is to help others who struggle and to advocate for others' needs as well as their own. They are a facilitator for the teen support group, ECHO. 

G Inguanta (they/them) is a Coloradan by way of New York and a third generation American-Sicilian. New York is where G spent their formative years, traveling across the state and country doing on the ground organizing (making beautiful trouble). G has struggled with depression and suicidal ideation since childhood. As a trans and non-binary person they are still unpacking their trauma, and understanding what it means to accept and love every part of who they are, including the parts of them they don’t want to embrace. G gravitates to healing modalities that are affirming, validating, and compassionate. While G holds their MSW, they have published a paper writing about abolishing mandated reporting, and looks to use their degree to advocate for marginalized folks, rather than further oppress them. G is interested in harm reduction, addiction/recovery, unpacking whiteness, healing generational trauma, de-stigmatizing convos on death/dying and a whole buncha other topics. G sucks at grammar, likes to laugh, look for mushrooms, hang with friends and chosen family, and learn about the wild and weird world. G is excited to be a part of the Yarrow team and looks forward to co-creating space with you!

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Sam Bruick (she/they) is a white, queer person who has experienced psychiatric labels, life interrupting trauma, and coercive treatment spaces. Their path to well-being has been rooted deeply in spiritual and community healing and organizing practices. She is passionate about holding space for individuals to create their own meaning and understanding of suffering and committed to the importance of autonomy, options, and choice in mental health treatment spaces. As an Alt2Su facilitator, they aim to create a space where all people can show up as their full selves and be supported in community without judgment. Sam is on our ECHO teen and Alt2Su adult group teams.

Xander (they/them) is a co-founder and facilitator of the chronic illness and disability support group, where they are pushing back on the narrative that being disabled means a small, isolated life. Xander is an abolitionist facilitator, writer, potter, dancer, story collector, body worker and spiritual and relationship coach. They most love to work in the intersections of disability, queerness and spirituality. They have been living with chronic pain and physical challenges since they were young, which contributed to them repressing their anger, sadness and pain, trying to hold up a life where they would be seen as capable and viable, at all costs. Eventually their body and mind were in an untenable state of pain and anxiety, which led them to come back to their body and feelings, and start to shift long-held emotional patterns. Xander has been learning what it means to feel capable and valuable, while recognizing and tending their real challenges. This hasn't always come easy for them, and they love the mutual healing that can come from spaces where people can be honest about their full range of feelings and experiences (including the pain that is so often hidden).

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Matt (he/him) is a certified peer and family specialist in the state of Colorado who has been working for SummitStone as a peer specialist for a little over a year. He has personal lived experience with incarceration, mental health battles, and life-interrupting substance use. March 14, 2024 Matt will be 4 years removed from active addiction, and each year that goes by, he feels more passionate about supporting people and showing up for them as authentic as possible. Matt's belief is that everyone is important and matters regardless of what they're going through or what they're struggling with, and in his work as a peer, that is always the message he is trying to convey. Mutuality, curiosity, and the ability to put himself in other's shoes are what he believes are his strengths. As of now, Matt has found his passion and plans on following this path as far as it'll take him.

Matt, in his free time, enjoys running, hanging out with family, and watching the UFC fights.

Rocky Clements (he/him) is an artist, theater nerd, and most certainly; a Storyteller. Through his struggle with suicidality in himself and the people around him, he's found hope, family, and purpose. He spends much of his time writing stories, exploring emotions and fascinating concepts from every corner of the human experience.

 

Cynical and sarcastic, Rocky continues to bring the stories of strugglers to light through the peer support movement. He dreams to create spaces for people of every creative corner to tell their stories. 

 

Rocky helps facilitate Yarrow's ECHO teen group and is a Youth Advocate supporting our youth programming.

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Tabby Cruz (she/they) is a native East Coaster who lived and moved between New York, Connecticut, and Puerto Rico before eventually following her sister to Colorado. As a proud Boricua who spent most of their childhood living in the Bronx surrounded by their culture, traditions, and community, they didn’t realize just how isolated and homesick they would feel living in Colorado. Feeling misunderstood and rejected, Tabby intentionally sought out spaces for BIPOC hoping to find a place where they could feel safe and comfortable enough to be their most authentic self without judgment or harassment. Tabby was also having a difficult time finding a space to talk about her lived experience with mental illness and struggles with substance misuse and the way those experiences intersect with the trauma of being a person of color in a predominantly white community. Additionally, Tabby is a survivor and is recovering from PTSD and c-PTSD, and uses what she has learned from working through her traumas to empower others who have similar stories and identities with the same tools she’s been granted access to - a privilege many from her community don’t have. 

 

Along with their deep passion for equity and change, Tabby is equally passionate about art and music being the first in their family to receive a college degree in 2020 with an associates in Music and Visual & Performing Arts. Having a background in music and art has helped Tabby recognize the importance of being able to self-express creatively as a form of somatic healing and release. Additionally, through her education and lived experience, Tabby has seen the many ways in which art and music have been used by her community as a form of healing, connection, and resistance. Despite being witness to the artistic contributions made by her peers and community members, Tabby finds that these pieces of art are often whitewashed and forgotten or labeled as “less serious” because of where they came from. The blatant erasure of BIPOC in music history has further encouraged Tabby to continue studying music with the hopes of one day studying musicology, and more specifically ethnomusicology. Currently, Tabby is enrolled at a local community college taking a few music and math classes before deciding where they will go for their full undergrad degree. 

You will also frequently find Ashleigh, Lucrecia, Silen, Mia, and Melissa from the core team facilitating support groups.

Partnership Team

Partnership Team

Shannon Hughes, PhD (she/her)

Academic Community Liaison and Co-founder

Shannon is an Associate Professor at CSU in the School of Social Work and runs the Alternatives for Mental Health and Healing Lab. Her lab emphasizes holistic, person-centered, and peer-based alternatives founded in the synthesis of research evidence, innovative thinking, and community partnership. Helping to form the Yarrow Collective has been an exciting project with great potential to develop new non-clinical, non-coercive alternatives in Larimer County and Colorado. Shannon has been passionate about alternatives to medicalized systems of care for more than a decade, and is actively involved in supporting peer support movements in Colorado with a particular interest in the development of peer respite and other psychosocial alternatives to hospitalization for persons experiencing crisis or extreme states. In her free time, Shannon likes to read, be in nature, travel, get manis and pedis, and hang out with friends.

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Board of Directors

Board of Directors

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Jess Stohlmann-Rainey (she/her)

Chair

Jess Stohlmann Rainey is a curriculum designer, trainer, and systems consultant. She combines academic expertise, living experience, and practical experience in crisis services to support organizations in developing responsive, liberatory, programming that meets the needs of their communities. She has an MA in Education and is an Instructor at the University of Denver School of Professional Psychology PsyD Program. Jess has spent nearly 20 years working at the intersections of research and practice in crisis, suicidology, and peer support. She has worked in the entirety of the suicide prevention to postvention continuum, most recently spending six years Directing Colorado’s telephonic and online emotional support crisis systems including 988/Lifeline, Colorado Crisis Services, RAINN, Human Trafficking, Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence.  Jess and her work have been featured in USA Today Mad in America, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers,  Postvention in Action: The International Handbook of Suicide Bereavement, Crisis, Death Studies, and The Suicide Prevention Resource Center. She collaborates on a podcast called Suicide ‘n’ Stuff with Dese’Rae Stage from Live Through This.  Some of her current relevant work includes collaboration with/on: American Association of Suicidology’s Crisis Worker Certification and Crisis Center Accreditation, National Action Alliance National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, SAMHSA Competencies for Peer Support Workers in Crisis Services; State-Level Crisis System Consultation, University Crisis Response, Community Based Alternatives to 911, Mental Health Association for Chinese Communities Warmline.

Nze Okoronta (they/them)

Secretary

Nze Okoronta is a writer, speaker, harm reductionist, facilitator, and community organizer currently based in Madison, WI. Their work includes consultation around crisis alternatives, peer run respites, peer run warmlines, peer support supervision & harm reduction. They are passionate about alternatives to policing, decolonial practices and liberatory mental health.

 

Nze is currently the Director of Solstice House Peer Run Respite & Peer Run Warmline. Currently, Nze is studying deathwork and conflict transformation with the intention of supporting people navigating grief, change and loss. Nze feels most whole when surrounded by trees. After many long afternoons spent at work in the community, they can be found hiking in the woods alongside their dog familiar (Pluto) or stargazing in a field.

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Mary Beth Swanson (she/her)

Treasurer

Mary Beth Swanson is currently the director of The Willow Collective, a non profit mental health agency serving young children and their families. As a social worker for 25+ years, she is committed to social justice and creating a world where kindness rules. Mary Beth has two young adult sons, two dogs, and a kitty.

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