We seek to improve the conversation around mental health concerns and ultimately reduce suicidal thoughts among young people by making awareness of the same through our events.

The NAN Project emphasizes the messages of HOPE and HELP by:

  • Acknowledging that mental illness is a very serious problem among young people;
  • Accepting mental health challenges as illnesses of the brain that can be treated;
  • Providing access to treatment for all families and their children.


To learn more about what we've been up to, or where we're going, check out below:

Recent Events

Recent Events

January 12 & 18 - Lowell & Medford

Ellen Dalton introduced The NAN Project to the Middlesex District Attorney's Opioid Task Force meetings in Lowell and Medford. DA Marian Ryan has been great about promoting community based organizations as a tool to fight the opioid crisis, which overlaps heavily with mental illness. We made lots of great connections and will continue to spread the word about mental health and the resources available in our communities.

January 10 - Stoneham High School

The NAN Project had a full day of presentations to over 100 students in 5 health classes at Stoneham High School. Great work by Mikes A & C, Kayla, Lizzie and first time presenter, Lexus! After every class, students came up to ask questions and thank these amazing Peer Mentors. Such a fulfilling experience and can't wait to come back for more in the spring.

Thursdays in December - RAW, Lynn

The NAN Project has been working on posters related positive messaging around mental health in preparation for our health fair at Raw Art Works in January. This has been an awesome experience brainstorming ideas, carving images out of linoleum, and learning to work with printing presses. So much fun for such a good cause! Check out some of the examples below.

December 18 - Phoenix Academy, Lawrence

The NAN Project and Jon Mattleman provided an afternoon Professional Development workshops for a group of faculty at Phoenix Academy in Lawrence around the signs and responses to a student who may be in crisis. Jon always does an amazing job at these workshops getting the audience involved and keeping them engaged, even on a Friday afternoon!

December 15 & 18 - Andover

The NAN Project had two full days of presentations to over 200 students in 7 health classes at Andover High School.  The students at were incredibly engaged and we had lots of good discussion around how to promote mental health awareness at the school and improve the social-emotional well-being of the student body. Our Peer Mentors get better and better every time they go out and present their Comeback Stories! Great work folks!

December 14 - Peer Mentor Graduation at STEPS

The NAN Project held a graduation for our 8th Peer Mentor class at STEPS in Arlington. This was an enthusiastic group with some amazing Comeback Stories that will really resonate with the students. The intensive 3 day training covered classroom presentation skills, how to field awkward questions, and lots of work on their Comeback Stories. These Peer Mentors also were certified in QPR which covers recognizing the signs and risks of a peer in crisis, and how to get them to the trusted adult and supports they need.

October 12, 17 & November 28 - Andover

The NAN Project just completed a three day QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention training for a group of Peer Leaders at Andover High School. QPR training will provide this group of students with additional tools so they can support their peers in crisis, as well as empower them to better recognize the signs and risks of a student who may be struggling with a mental health concern. We finished the training with a session focused on role playing how to ask The Question- "Are you ok?" "Are you thinking of hurting yourself?" "Have you contemplated suicide?" These young adults did an amazing job with such difficult subject matter.

November 21 - Mass Mental Health Center, Boston

The NAN Project graduated our 7th class of Peer Mentors, this time from a training at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston! With several new school systems asking for our Peer Mentors to come present their comeback stories over the next couple months, these guys will be busy. I can’t wait to get to work with this amazing group and all of our other team members to provide mental health awareness, education and support to students across the Commonwealth.

Thursday, November 16 - Phoenix Academy, Lawrence

The NAN Project's Peer Mentors presented their Comeback Stories to a group of 20 students at Phoenix Academy and opened up a dialogue with them around how to access their mental health supports and develop coping skills. We'll be back in a couple weeks to help set up a Peer Leadership Team to carry out ongoing mental health awareness activities and normalize the conversation!

Thursday, November 2 - Raw Art Works, Lynn

The NAN Project had a full day at Raw Art Works, starting with filming Gladys presenting her incredible spoken word piece for our movie project - 13 Reasons Why We Need To Talk About Suicide. That evening we worked with our amazing group of Peer Mentors on improving their Comeback Stories, as well as acquainting ourselves with the letterpress we will be using for our "Breaking down Stigma" poster campaign.

Thank you to the Essex County Community Foundation for the grant that made possible this project - "There is Help & There is Hope: Mental Health Awareness through Art".

October 6, 20, 27 - YouForward, Lawrence 

The NAN Project graduated our 6TH!!! class of Peer Mentors at YouForward in Lawrence. Super excited to work with these young adults as the help open up the conversation around mental health in local classrooms!

October 25 - Mass PRA Conference, Marlborough

The Nan Project workshop on how to improve the conversation around mental health at today’s Mass Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association Conference was received extremely well. Our amazing Peer Mentors did a great job talking about their experiences working in local schools to improve the conversation around mental health. Lots of good feedback and discussion with representatives from the many agencies and schools there.

October 19 - A Night for NAN, Danvers

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to our incredible Night for NAN!!!! It was a wonderful evening punctuated by Ellen Dalton's beautiful intro to The NAN Project, presentations by 3 of our amazing Peer Mentors - Mike, Lizzie and Kayla - followed by some warm words from Senator Joan B. Lovely. The support and love in the room was palpable! Here are some pics, but more are to come.

Thank you to the amazing sponsors that made this evening happen -DanversportCapital Lease Group, Ltd.Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage, Inc.The MENTOR NetworkRopes & GrayeHana LLCTelco ExpertsAAFCPAsTier1Net Inc.W.B. MasonBank of America and KYOCERA Document Solutions America!


Thursday, October 5 & 12 - RAW, Lynn

We have kicked off our new collaboration with RAW in Lynn, a project titled "There is Help & There is Hope: Mental Health Awareness through Art" - an initiative made possible with the support of Essex County Community Foundation. We will be working with this amazing group of young people to promote mental health initiatives throughout the Lynn community by screening movies, encouraging  student led awareness campaigns and hosting a mental health fair. We are so excited to be working with this creative, inspiring group for the next several months.

Friday, September 29 - YAVP, Arlington

We had another awesome Coaching Day with our amazing Peer Mentors on Friday at the Young Adult Vocational Program in Arlington on Friday. Everyone is geared up and ready for the new school year! Can't wait to get back into the classrooms.

September 15, 21, 22 & 23 - Raw Art Works, Lynn

The NAN Project just graduated our 5th group of Peer Mentors in a new collaboration with RAW. We are so excited to work with this amazing group of students on our upcoming program - "There is Help & There is Hope: Mental Health Awareness through Art" - an initiative made possible with the support of Essex County Community Foundation. This project will continue over the next three months, with the final outcome being an art focused mental health awareness fair for the Lynn community.

Thursday, August 31 - CATS Academy, Braintree

Ellen Dalton & Jon Mattleman did an outstanding job today providing a morning of professional development to the faculty of CATS Academy in Braintree today. The staff were engaged and very receptive to the training and we will definitely be back to work with both educators and students in the coming school year.

August 15, 17 & 24 - Young Adult Vocational Program, Arlington

🌟Congratulations🌟to our newest group of graduates from The NAN Project Peer Mentor Training! We look forward to further develop the skills which this wonderful group of PMs embody. Through their dedication and commitment to TNP, it is evident that they are all going to make big changes in this world. We look forward to working with you all!!

Friday, July 21 - Young Adult Vocational Program, Arlington

The NAN Project just completed another great coaching day at the Young Adult Vocational Program in Arlington, Massachusetts today with our amazing Peer Mentors! The young adults brushed up on telling their Comeback Stories, fielded questions they might get from students, and developed strategies to get the conversation around mental health going in the classroom. These folks are truly inspiring!

Friday, June 30 - YouForward, Lawrence

On Friday, The NAN Project graduated another amazing group of young adults who will now join our wonderful team of Peer Mentors! Thank you to everyone who took part in the training and especially to YouForward and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health for sharing their space and Cummings Foundation for all their support!

Thursday, May 18 - Urban Science Academy, West Roxbury

The NAN Project's Peer Mentors presented their Comeback Stories to the school's Student Support Team. Next school year, we will be presenting in the health classes and hope to start a Peer Leadership Team within the school to promote mental health awareness and emotional well-being.

Monday & Tuesday May 8 & 9, 2017 - Andover

The NAN Project's Peer Mentors presented their Comeback Stories to 8 health classes over two days - 150+ students and then engaged the students in some great discussions on how to improve culture of emotional well-being and turn up the conversation around mental health at AHS. A very rewarding and powerful couple of days, to be followed up by additional mental health awareness activities and suicide prevention training for groups within the school.


Friday April 28 - Teen mental health summit, Westborough

Rachely, Mike and Kayla knocked it outta the park today at the 3rd Annual #TeenMentalHealthSummit today! They had the audience captivated and the discussion flowing during The NAN Project's workshop "Developing a Conversation around Mental Health".

Wednesday April 26, 2017 - West Roxbury Academy

The NAN Project's Peer Mentors presented their Comeback Stories to the Student Support Team at West Roxbury Academy, introducing them to The NAN Project and discussing ways to implement our programs throughout the school. They were very receptive, and we will now be providing professional development for the staff around suicide prevention to kick of the upcoming school year!


The NAN Project presented to 6 classes at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School's Senior Health Day. The students were very open and frank when discussing the additional supports they would like to see within the school and how they find the health center quite helpful. One of the students even shared a poem she had written about her own struggles with mental health challenges. Overall the presentations went extremely well and got the conversation around mental health and emotional well-being started at the High School. A great start to what we hope will be a long-lasting partnership.


Today The NAN Project presented to over 200 students at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. We had great conversations with young people who had wonderful ideas about things they would like to see in their school. Many students were interested in continuing the conversation about mental wellness and The NAN Project will now help them start a Peer Leadership Group within the school. They definitely left with the message that there is help and there is hope!


Thursday MARCH 23, 2017 - Malden

Today The NAN Project assisted the Peer Leadership Team of students within Malden High School - The Generation for Hope - in putting on its first major event. They screened a short video about mental health challenges to a group of over 30 students and staff in the library and several Peer Mentors presented their Comeback Stories. The goal was to start an ongoing conversation around mental health and emotional well-being and improve awareness in the school and get more students involved in the group, which we definitely did. We'll keep spreading the message of how important emotional well-being is in the coming months.


The NAN Project had a productive morning working with an amazing group of Peer Leaders at Andover High School. The students had some awesome ideas on how to improve mental health awareness and ensure access to resources for students in need at the high school. This was the first meeting of this group and The NAN Project will be back in April to put together a concrete plan for moving forward. Thank you to all who took part and to Reading Cooperative for funding this initiative.



The NAN Project had a super busy day on Thursday at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School with 4 Peer Mentors presenting their Comeback Stories to 8 freshman health classes, totalling over 200 students! The students were amazing and had some great suggestions on how to improve the culture of emotional wellbeing within the school. Great job to our Peer Mentors and we look forward to returning in the next couple of weeks.



The NAN Project had an amazing time at Stoneham High School on Thursday. First we met with a group of student Peer Leaders and made plans for a week of stress reduction activities at the end of the year, and discussed bringing our Peer Mentors to present in the sophomore health classes. Next, we introduced The NAN Project to the entire school staff, and two of our Peer Mentors knocked it out of the park with their Comeback Stories. Great job and awesome enthusiasm from all the students, educators and The NAN Project's Peer Mentors! We're excited to head back after the break for more mental health awareness work.

Rachely presenting her Comeback Story


Skylar & Ellen in Stoneham

Tuesday FEBRUARY 7, 2017 - STONEHAM

The NAN Project presented to the Stoneham School Council, a group made up of teachers, administrators, students and parents. We received some encouraging feedback regarding our initial work in the high school and hope to use this momentum to catapult our Peer Mentors into the health classes by the end of the year.

Wednesday february 1, 2017 - stoneham

A great job by our Peer Mentors presenting their Comeback Stories to a class of 35 peer leaders at Stoneham High School! Our only problem was that we ran out of time before answering all the students' questions, so… we’re coming back in 2 weeks! Can't wait to put together a concrete plan on how to improve the culture of emotional well-being in the school and develop a self sustaining group within the school. Awesome work from 3 of our amazing Peer Mentors – Anna (her first presentation!!), Skylar, and Cory.

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Friday JANUARY 27, 2017 - Peer mentor training

Our second round of Peer Mentor training at the Arlington Young Adult Vocational Program kicked off today. Led by our trainer, Kim Bisset, the young adults in this new group were super attentive, engaging and enthusiastic. Can't wait to get these guys and gals into the schools to tell their Comeback Stories!


The NAN Project will be conducting its second round of Peer Mentor training for a new group of young adults with lived experience a the Young Adult Vocational Program in Arlington On January 27, February 3, and February 10. If you are interested in taking part, you can apply to become a Peer Mentor HERE.

Wednesday January 27, 2017 - WESTFIELD

It was a full day for two of our superstar Peer Mentors, Skylar and Rachely, with presentations to the guidance and health staff in Westfield and then to the Westfield Youth Coalition! It was a long way to go, but totally worth it. Both groups were blown away by the Comeback Stories, and the discussions after showed the enthusiasm our Peer Mentors can elicit. We'll be back to Westfield later this spring, hopefully getting into the classrooms to reduce the stigma around mental health concerns and improve the culture of emotional well-being throughout the Westfield schools. Good job Skylar and Rachely!

Friday January 20, 2017 - Stoneham

Awesome job done by 3 of our Peer Mentors - Cory, Cristiana, & first timer Michael! - presenting their Comeback Stories to a captivated room full of Health and PE staff at Stoneham High School! They were so impressed with these young adults that our discussion about how to improve the culture of emotional well-being and mental health awareness lasted over two hours. We'll be back later this month to present to the School Council, provide professional development for all the educators, and finally to present to the students themselves. Good job to all who took part in this important first step!

Thursday December 15, 2016 - Lynn

The NAN Project presented an evening of Improving the Culture of Emotional Well-being for our Young Adults at Raw Art Works in Lynn.  Our Peer Mentors told their Comeback Stories to the young adults, their families and members of the community at RAW and had a frank discussion about how to respond to peers that are struggling with a mental health concern. We plan to return in the new year to provide a full QPR training on the signs, risks and responses to someone going through a mental health crisis. RAW is an amazing organization that has provided therapy through art to thousands of youth in the Lynn community for the past 25 years. Learn more about RAW here

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Friday December 2, 2016 - andover

To close out a busy week, The NAN Project sponsored Jon Mattleman to provide an afternoon of professional development to the entire staff of Andover High School around improving the culture of emotional well-being. He and Ellen did amazing jobs of educating the educators and keeping them engaged, even on a Friday afternoon.

Thursday December 1, 2016

Another busy day for The NAN Project's Peer Mentors, this time at Malden High School. These guys spent the afternoon working with a group of students brainstorming how to improve emotional well being in the school and promote the mental health resources available to students. Awesome job by both the Peer Mentors to get the conversation going and the students who took that conversation and ran with it. Can't wait to go back next week!

Monday & Tuesday December 28 & 29, 2016

Amazing work by our 6 Peer Mentors presenting to 8 health classes (84 minutes each!!) at Andover High School over the last two days! All of our Peer Mentors (sorry, we only have pics of 3) did an amazing job telling their Comeback Stories to the students and following up with great conversations about how we can improve mental health awareness and the culture of emotional well-being in the community. We already have a group of students interested in establishing a group to keep the ball (and conversation) rolling at Andover High School! Thank you to the health staff, our Peer Mentors and everyone else who made the past two days such a success! We'll be back on Friday providing emotional wellness training to the entire school staff.

Ellen, Cory, Skylar, Christiana & Lilly (front)

Ellen, Cory, Skylar, Christiana & Lilly (front)


Tuesday November 8, 2016

The NAN Project provided a 4 hour training for the Everett School System's Health and PE staff around mental health awareness. We started the morning with an introduction to The NAN Project and a discussion around what the school system is currently doing to promote the emotional well-being of their students. This was followed by a QPR training (Question, Persuade, Refer) which educates participants on the signs and responses to suicidal behavior, as well as how to ask the difficult question of someone who might be at risk. Finally, our Peer Mentors once again captivated the audience with their Comeback could hear a pin drop during the presentations. The staff were incredibly impressed with these young people and the courage they showed. We hope our next step here will be into the classrooms to address the students directly, and after this workshop, we have no doubt that the attendees will be amongst our biggest champions in this push.

Peer Mentors telling their Comeback Storiesimg_7104

Thursday OCTOBER 27, 2016

The NAN Project had 3 Peer Mentors present their Comeback Stories to a group of over 30 Malden High School students and staff, with another 3 Peer Mentors providing support and some great input during the vibrant discussion that followed the presentation. Afterwards, over 15 students signed up to help develop a Peer Leadership Team within their school, exemplifying the powerful response students have to hearing the Comeback Stories, and The NAN Project was asked to return ASAP to present to additional students!


The NAN Project graduated its first group of 20 Peer Mentors after they completed their 3 days of training with Kim Bisset. We are extremely proud of these young adults who will now be able to go into schools and tell their Comeback Stories to students and get the conversation started around mental health and suicide prevention. This was just the first of what we hope will be many similar trainings as The NAN Project grows and recruits additional young people to help spread the word about the importance of mental wellness.

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FRIDAY, September 16 2016

PEER MENTOR Training with Kim Bisset

The NAN Project began training our first group of Peer Mentors! These young adults with lived experience were trained to tell their stories in a meaningful, constructive manner to high school students, offering a path of hope for those who might be struggling. To apply to become a Peer Mentor, click HERE.

THURSDAY October 20, 2016

A Special Evening to Introduce The NAN Project

The NAN Project hosted an evening of food, drinks and laughter for friends, family and supporters of The NAN Project with all proceeds going towards increasing awareness around mental health and promoting suicide prevention programs in Massachusetts High Schools.

Friday AUGUST 26, 2016

The NAN Project attended the graduation ceremony for young adults who recently completed their GIFT (Gathering & Inspiring Future Talent) training today with Kim Bisset. A remarkable group who presented their stories of struggling with mental health and other adversities, and how they found their paths to hope and recovery. Not a dry eye in the crowd. Most will start training to become the first group of Peer Mentors for The NAN Project in just 3 short weeks!

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ThursdaY JUNE 30, 2016

Day 2 of The NAN Project's training for the Everett School System's principals, department heads, and other senior administrators featuring 1) Mental Health 101 training 2) a panel discussion with parent partners on Mental Health in the Classroom: The School Experience from the Parents’ Perspective, and 3) a presentation by Jon Mattleman - Depression, Anxiety and Suicidality: Risks, Signs, Responses and Resources.  Great training from the folks at Eliot, panel discussion with our parent partners, and workshop with Jon Mattleman...and a great view of Boston taboot.

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Wednesday June 29, 2016

The NAN Project's first workshop for the Everett School system's senior administrators took place today, with Beth Pinals leading the interactive training program on how to build a culture of emotional well-being in the school community.

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Thursday May 12, 2016

The NAN Project presented Jon Mattleman's "The Secret Life of a MA Teen" to parents and teachers at Everett High School, including the senior administration of the Everett School system. The event was attended by over 100 parents, teachers and members of the Everett Community. The "High-Energy Presentation" focused on effective ways to help parents, educators and caregivers understand and assist adolescents as they traverse a difficult period in their lives, with the goal of creating a culture of mental wellness in our young adults.

Jon Mattleman presenting at Everett High School

Jon Mattleman presenting at Everett High School


The NAN Project took part in the Salem High School Teen Health Fair and the Wilmington Behavioral Health Fair, where Ellen Dalton presented in a breakout session about the mental health needs of young people and the benefits of using a peer-to-peer model to reduce the stigma around mental illness among high school students.

Ellen Dalton in Wilmington

Ellen Dalton in Wilmington

Jake at the Salem High Teen Health Fair

Jake at the Salem High Teen Health Fair


The NAN Project met with WBUR's Lynn Jolicoeur at the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention's State House Day where she was accepting an award for her amazing 15 part series Suicide: A Crisis in the Shadows. If you haven't listened to it yet, check it out here

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Upcoming Events

If you need help and want to talk to someone, call:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

For the Crisis Text Line, text "Listen" to 741-741

For the Samaritans, Call or Text (877)870-4673

For immediate crisis evaluation call the Emergency Services Program / Mobile Crisis Intervention at 1-877-382-1609 & enter your zip code; you will get the phone number of the closest ESP/MCI that serves you.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911