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:
Peer Mentor Training at YouthQuake Lowell
November 12 -We had our first two days of our newest Peer Mentor Training at YouthQuake Lowell this week! Today, we presented the first half of QPR training and a few of our trainees shared their developing comeback stories. Thank you so much to our new Peer Mentors-in-training and to YouthQuake for letting us use their space!
Presentations to Andover High School and Merrimack College
November 9 &10-Over the past two days we presented to 7 classes of students at Andover High School! Andover was the first school The NAN Project presented to, so it has special significance for us. We’re so happy to continue to be invited to speak to students year after year here. We also spoke to 35 graduate students of school counseling at Merrimack College yesterday evening, who had wonderful questions and insight. We’re so thankful to these students who have chosen to dedicate their careers to helping students in need.
Presentations to Hopedale Junior-Senior High School and Breed Middle School
November 5-We presented to a total of 267 students, staff, and community stakeholders this week! Yesterday, we were at Hopedale Junior-Senior High School and our Peer Mentors presented their Comeback Stories to three 9th grade classes. We held a professional development workshop for Hopedale faculty last month and it was great to be back to speak to students. We also made some exciting steps into Breed Middle School by presenting to their staff about our programming. We look forward to returning in December to present to their students about mental health!
180 Melrose Middle and High School Staff Trained in QPR
November 2-We presented QPR, a suicide prevention training, to 180 teachers and staff members at Melrose High School and Melrose Middle School! We appreciate how these teachers really value being trusted adults for their students. Having a positive school community can make a huge impact on students' mental health, and we're so glad to see folks at Melrose working to create that safe space!
Halloween-Themed Virtual Hangout
October 29-Over the week we presented to a total of 229 students, staff, and community stakeholders! We ended the week with a Halloween-themed virtual hangout. We played a game where we gave everyone 1 minute to dress up as ghosts, and you can see the results below! We're so proud of our team and all their hard work this week!
Presentations to 120 Burlington High School Students
October 28-Our team presented to 120 students in 4 classes at Burlington High School. These were our very first Peer Mentor presentations to Burlington, and we were so excited to bring them our peer-to-peer programming. The students had great thought-provoking questions and we really appreciate how open the staff and students were to having these conversations around mental health.
Peer Mentor Presentations at Swampscott High School
October 26 & 27-Our team had the pleasure of presenting to Swampscott High School for the first time this week! Our peer mentors presented to 64 students in 5 health classes. We had a couple of our newer peer mentors joining us and it was great to get them involved in-person for the first time since their training.
Coaching Day at YouForward Everett
October 25-The NAN Project held a Coaching Day at the new YouForward Access Center in Everett! We worked on updating Comeback Stories in small groups, and had our Peer Mentors practice presenting their stories. We are so thankful for the effort our peer mentors are putting into their work, and to YouForward for welcoming us into their space. We look forward to holding a new peer mentor training at the same location in December!
A Night to Remember NAN 2021
October 21-This year’s Night to Remember NAN was a great success! For safety reasons, we made the decision to keep the event a bit smaller than usual, but we are so thankful for those who made it out to support us and our mission. We raised over $200,000 from our silent auction, donation, and sponsors. Thank you to our Senior Peer Mentor, Greta, and our Peer Coordinator, Shilpa, who told their incredible stories of struggle and recovery. We appreciate everyone who showed their support and helped us to honor Nan’s memory and legacy.
First In-Person Presentations to Woburn Memorial High School
October 13-Our team presented to Woburn Memorial High School students in-person for the first time! We have been active in presenting to Woburn faculty in the past, and we held several virtual presentations over the past year, but it was great to be live and in-person! We were so impressed with their space: their calming lights and inspirational posters on the walls reflected how open they were to talking about mental health. Thank you to the students and staff working to making these discussions more common in school!
QPR for Peer Counselors at Medway High School
October 18-We presented QPR, a suicide prevention training, to 36 Peer Counselors at Medway High School. We had a lot of great participation from students, and ended the training by asking everyone to share a self-care activity. We look forward to returning to Medway soon, to present to their 10th grade classes!
Presentations to 92 Newburyport High School Students
October 7-We presented to a total of 92 students in 4 different 9th grade health classes at Newburyport High School. We started the day off with a sound and motion activity to get the students warmed up on an early morning!
Peer Mentors Present at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School
October 4 & 5-Over the past two days, our peer mentors presented their comeback stories to six 9th grade health classes at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School. This is especially meaningful for us, as it’s where Nan, and our director, Jake, graduated from. It’s great to be back, connecting with students in-person again!
Creating Centerpieces at Phoenix Academy Lawrence
October 1-We had another fun and productive Coaching Day at Phoenix Academy Lawrence. Our Peer Mentors worked hard over the last couple weeks to update their Comeback Stories for our upcoming presentations, and they all did an amazing job presenting their stories today! We also finished painting and gluing the centerpieces for our Night for NAN annual fundraiser - a total of 30 boxes! We can't thank Fernanda and Jayvie enough for their help through this whole process, and we look forward to working with them again in the future!
Mental Health Discussions with Student Leaders at Phillips Academy Andover
September 29-We returned to Phillips Academy Andover to present comeback stories to 150 Student Leaders. The students asked some really thoughtful questions, and then discussed how to respond to different mental health related scenarios in small groups. We're grateful to work with these students, and wish them the best of luck as school leaders!
Coaching Day and Tabling at J.McLaughlin
September 24-We continued to work on our Night for NAN centerpieces during a coaching day at Phoenix Academy Lawrence's MakerSpace. We spray painted and started to assemble the centerpieces, and we're so excited with the progress we've made! A huge thanks to Fernanda and Jayvie for all their help. We also tabled for J.McLaughlin, a women's clothing store in Wellesley that is donating 15% of their sales today will benefit The NAN Project. We really appreciate their support for the work we do to promote young adult mental health. Check them out if you're in the area!
Tabling at Montserrat College of Art's Fresh Start Fair
Sept 23-We tabled for Montserrat College of Art's Fresh Start Fair. It was so great to connect with Montserrat's students and have some important conversations about mental health. Big thanks to Elisabeth and the rest of the team for organizing this awesome event! We look forward to coming back in October to present our "Building Resilience" workshop!
Building Resilience at Everett High School
September 22- We presented our "Building Resilience in the Shadow of COVID" workshop at Everett High School to Elementary, Middle, and High School Everett teachers. This workshop names some of the challenges students and teachers are facing especially with transitioning back to school, and offers some strategies to build resilience. We had a great discussion with teachers about their experiences and brainstormed strategies on how to balance self-care and care for students. This workshop is actually part of a series, and we look forward to presenting for Everett staff again in the near future!
QPR for The Department of Public Health & Coaching Day
Sept 17-This week we presented Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)—an evidence-based suicide presentation training—to employees from The Department of Public Health and had some helpful conversations. We also held a coaching day at Phoenix Academy in Lawrence to start on centerpieces for Night for NAN. Our peer mentors also revised their comeback stories to better prepare them for students this year.
Virtual Hangout with New Peer Mentors
September 10-We had our first virtual hangout with our newest Peer Mentors from our training we just finished at the YouForward drop-in center in Lawrence. We played some games so they could get to know the rest of the team. It was a lot of fun and we’re excited for them to join our team!
Suicide Prevention Week 2021
September 6- This week is Suicide Prevention Week and in honor of Nan and of our mission, our peer mentors submitted videos, artwork, and inspirational messages of hope to share on our Facebook page for anyone struggling right now. We are so appreciative of all who work to prevent suicide year-round, thank you.
QPR for Student Leaders at Phillips Academy Andover
September 3-Today we presented QPR, a suicide prevention training, to staff and Student Leaders at Phillips Academy. A few of the counselors spoke to the students about the amazing mental health resources they have within the school.
Last Day of Training in Lawrence
September 2- We finished up our last day of our newest peer mentor training at YouForward in Lawrence. This was our first in-person peer mentor training in 18 months and we are so excited to welcome this new group to our team!
Workshops at Newburyport High School and Phillips Academy
August 31- We presented our “Typical vs. Troubled” presentation to 60 members of the faculty at Newburyport High School and later presented the suicide-prevention training, QPR, to 35 new faculty members at Phillips Academy. These were our first in-person professional development workshops to school faculty in over a year, we were so grateful for the opportunity to join them as they get ready for the upcoming school year!
Tabling for the Eliot Family Resource Center in Everett
August 18-We tabled for the Eliot Family Resource Center back-to-school event today! It was so great to connect with the community and share some mental health resources. A huge thanks to Liliana and the FRC team for organizing this event and giving away free backpacks just in time for the new school year!
Summer Training with Taneekah Johnson & Hannah Mell
August 10-We had two amazing Senior Peer Mentor training sessions today! Our first session was led by Taneekah Johnson from the Onyx Empowerment Collective. She taught us about how hip hop can be a space to heal and manage mental health challenges, especially for the Black community. Hannah Mell led our second session. She walked us through some thought-provoking exercises about what we can do before, during, and after our presentations to feel connected as a group and take care of ourselves. We learned so much from Taneekah and Hannah and want to send them a huge thank you!
Peer Mentor Presentations and QPR to Cambridge Health Alliance
August 6-We worked with Cambridge Health Alliance mental health and wellness interns this week! On Tuesday, we introduced ourselves and had a couple Peer Mentors present their Comeback Stories. We came back today to train them in QPR, a suicide prevention training. The interns were so knowledgeable and asked a lot of great questions. We were really grateful to work with them and wish them the best of luck!
Motivational Interviewing with Kim Bisset
August 3- This week’s Senior Peer Mentor training session we invited Kim Bisset to teach us about Motivational Interviewing (MI)! We learned how to use MI to support people in making positive changes by putting them in the driver's seat instead of being judgemental or telling them what to do. We appreciated learning this new skill! Thanks Kim!
Team Training for Senior Peer Mentors
July 20-We had our second Senior Peer Mentor Training session! Our first speaker, Hannah, led some exercises to prepare for in-person presentations and create a sense of teamwork. Elijah, our second speaker and very own Peer Mentor, presented a training on supporting trans and gender non-conforming youth in the workplace. We learned so much from both of our speakers and we look forward to learning more in the next few weeks!
Trauma-informed Yoga & CPR Training
July 13- This week, we started our first of six Senior Peer Mentor training sessions this summer! We learned about (and got to practice) trauma-informed yoga, and got certified in CPR!
National Minority Health Awareness Month
July 15-As many of you may know, in honor of Bebe Campbell, July was named Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month back in 2008. This month is dedicated to bringing attention to and combating the specific mental health barriers that Black people and other people of color face.
We’ve organized a list of resources including crisis hotlines, informative podcasts and articles, smartphone apps, community-based instagram and facebook pages, therapist directories, and other resources for BIPOC and those who want to support them. Click the link below to view the list!
QPR for Eliot Community Human Services
March 31-Our team presented two QPR suicide prevention trainings to folks at Eliot Community Human Services and Tewksbury High School's Students Against Destructive Decisions club! We also had close to two full days of Peer Mentor presentations for Milford High School (Massachusetts) and King Philip Regional High on Monday and Tuesday. We will be back with more presentations for King Phillip's tomorrow!
Acton Boxborough Regional High School & Bromfield High School
March 26-The NAN Project presented to almost 90 students, parents, and community stakeholders! We had a couple presentations for 9th graders at Acton Boxborough Regional High School. We also had more QPR suicide prevention trainings for the Mass.gov's Department of Public Health and Eliot Community Human Services. We presented our "Building Resilient Families" training to parents at Bromfield High School and we had some great participation in the chat.
Masconomet Regional High School & Beverly High School
March 12-This week, The NAN Project presented to almost 80 students! On Monday, we met with students from the Tri-Town area to brainstorm ways to bring us into Masconomet Regional High School. We had two presentations for Beverly High School: our typical COVID Comeback Stories and our Transition-Age Stories. We also continued our presentations for Acton-Boxborough Regional High School.
In order to balance out all the presentations this week, we had a pretty relaxed virtual hangout, and it was nice to be able to laugh and joke around with our team!
Beverly High School
March 9- Our team presented to Beverly High School students! Our Peer Mentors Traevon, Brittany, and Shannon did a great job presenting their stories. We ended by asking students what coping skills they use, and their answers included going on a walk, skincare, and cooking a meal they like! We look forward to presenting our college transition stories to this same class on Thursday!
Stoneham High School
March 5- This week, The NAN Project presented to almost 90 students at Stoneham High School! In addition to our typical Peer Mentor presentations, we taught their Peer Leaders QPR, a suicide prevention training. We also presented for the Healthy Chelsea Coalition, and we're excited to work with their young adults!
First Virtual Hangout with new Peer Mentors
March 2- we had our Peer Mentor Graduation and our first Virtual Hangout with our new Peer Mentors! We started having the new folks shadow during our presentations this week for Stoneham High School, which means they are observing what a typical Peer Mentor presentation looks like before they start presenting their own Comeback Stories. Thank you to all the staff and students at Stoneham.
Graduation for Virtual Peer Mentor Training
February 23- Yesterday was the Graduation for our second virtual Peer Mentor training! Our graduates presented some powerful Comeback Stories and we are so proud of all their hard work over the last few weeks. We're excited for them to start shadowing during our presentations so they can get ready to start presenting to students!
Thank you to Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation!
February 17- The NAN Project wants to give a huge thank you to the Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation for their generous grant of $10,000! We sincerely appreciate The Tower Foundation's incredible support through the feat of transitioning to virtual peer-to-peer programming. With their help, we can increase our work to positively impact attitudes towards mental health and educate teachers, community members, and students on the resources available. Thank you!
Pollard Middle School & Tewksbury High School
February 12- The NAN Project had presentations for Pollard Middle School and Tewksbury High School's Students Against Drunk Driving club. In the past two weeks, we have reached over 100 students, staff, and community stakeholders!
Tewksbury High School
February 11- The NAN Project had a Peer Mentor presentation for Tewksbury High School's Students Against Drunk Driving club today. Our Peer Mentors Lizzie, John, and Alison presented their Comeback Stories and Jake, our Executive Director, led the discussion. The students were really interested in our work and we look forward to collaborating with them to bring more mental health education to Tewksbury!
Thank you to Altar'd State!
February 4- Thank you Altar'd State for your generous donation of $2,650 to The NAN Project! We are so grateful for your support for community organizations, suicide prevention, and mental health education. Thank you for being a champion for young adult mental health!
Day 2 of Virtual Peer Mentor Training
February 3- This was the second day of our virtual Peer Mentor Training! Our Clinical Director, Donna, went over what to expect in the world of work and how to set boundaries. We also had Jake, our Executive Director, and Lizzie, our Senior Peer Coordinator, break down the components of a Comeback Story and and what information and details to include. Greta, our Senior Peer Mentor, ran a fun game of Never Have I Ever for our team and we had a lot of participation from our new Peer Mentor trainees. We also had two simultaneous Peer Mentor presentations for Pollard Middle School this morning and we want to thank the students and staff for the important discussions we had about mental health. We would also like to thank Essex County Community Foundation for their generous funding so we can continue to do the important work of mental health education in schools!
January 29- The NAN Project had a virtual hangout yesterday! Our Peer Mentors played a game where they typed a name, place, animal, and thing all starting with the same letter as fast as they could into the Zoom chat. It was a lot of fun and some of our Peers were super fast! We ended with an awesome musical performance by Ray, our Outreach Coordinator. It's always nice to spend time with our PM's. We hope you all have a great day and a relaxing weekend!
QPR for staff at Eliot Community Human Services
January 22- The NAN Project presented QPR, a suicide prevention training, to folks at Eliot Community Human Services. We really appreciated all the participation during the presentation because creating a conversation about mental health is really important to us. Thank you to Jake, our Executive Director, and Donna, our Clinical Director, for being such great trainers!
Thank you to Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts!
January 20- Thank you Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts for your generous grant to The NAN Project! With your help, we can provide professional development training to school staff and reach The Bromfield School's 7th, 8th, and 10th graders with our Peer Mentor presentations. Thank you for supporting our work to address youth mental health and suicide!
Thank you to Essex County Community Foundation!
January 14- A huge thank you to the Essex County Community Foundation for their generous grant to The NAN Project! With this additional funding, we are excited to hire a bilingual Peer Coordinator. Additionally, we will provide mental health professional development training to hundreds of staff and reach 2,000 students across the community. We are so grateful to ECCF and look forward to expanding our work in Essex county!
Woburn High School
January 13- The NAN Project is at Woburn High School all week! Woburn's staff have done an amazing job talking about mental health and providing support to their students. Our Peer Mentor presentations and self-care Kahoot have been a great complement to the work they are already doing. We are presenting to a total of 12 classes this week! Thank you to CHNA 15 for their generous funding so we can partner with the Woburn community.
Hamilton Wenham Regional High School
January 8- Today was our second day of presentations for Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School. We reached about 120 students in two days! Our team talked about the importance of being a good listener and taking your friend to a trusted adult when they need more support. Many of the students shared their examples of how to help a friend and the trusted adults they talk to! A big thank you to our PM's, our staff, and all the folks at Hamilton-Wenham.
First Coaching Day of 2021
January 6- The NAN Project had our very first Coaching Day of the year! Since many of our Peer Mentors are music lovers, the topic was how music can be a great coping skill and selfcare strategy. Music can boost your mood and be a great way to relieve stress! We had our Peer Mentors share their favorite songs about mental health that give them hope for the future.
We ended the activity with an excellent musical performance by Ray, our Outreach Coordinator, who sang Fly Like an Eagle on his guitar. Thank you to our team for organizing another great Coaching Day! Have an awesome day everyone!
Last Coaching Day of 2020
December 22-The NAN Project had our last virtual hangout of the year! We played a round of Christmas charades and competed in a holiday themed Kahoot trivia game. We wrapped up the hangout with some heartfelt words from our Founder and CEO, Ellen Dalton.
Ellen expressed how grateful she is for our team and how we've rallied together despite all the challenges this year. Thank you Ellen and our wonderful team! We hope everyone has a safe and healthy holiday season!
Coaching Day for Peer Mentors
December 17-With schools coming to an end for the holiday's, The NAN Project Team wanted to bring our Peer Mentors together for a coaching day to have a recap of the past three weeks!
To start off our coaching day, we had the AMAZING public speaker Kurt Faustin come and teach our peer mentors a segment on storytelling. Our peer mentors are beyond grateful for Kurt's work, as he goes above and beyond every time. After Kurt's presentation, we played a fun wintery game of Kahoot.
Thank you to all the peer mentors who attended today's coaching day, and another special thank you to Kurt Faustin for being an amazing speaker!
Methuen High School
December 14-The NAN Project Team had three presentations for Methuen High School today! All three presentations had around 60 students, totaling today's audience to around 180 students! We hosted our typical Virtual Peer Mentor Presentation, and we got great feedback and many questions from the students. We want to thank Methuen High School again for having us!
Another Busy Week for The Nan Project!
December 11- We had an awesome week of presentations at Beverly Public Schools, Map Academy, Medford High School, The Greater Lowell Health Alliance, and Lynn System of Care. We had 15 presentations in total to almost 330 students, staff, and community members!
We finished up our Beverly Middle School presentations, continued our 2nd round of presentations to Medford High School, and presented our Resilience in the Shadow of COVID Training to professionals at the GLHA. One of them told us that we reminded her why she does what she does. We appreciate that feedback so much! Thank you to our amazing TNP Team and all the wonderful people we worked with!
Virtual Peer Mentor Presentation to Beverly Middle School
December 10- The NAN Project Team started off this morning with a virtual peer mentor presentation to the middle school in Beverly, Massachusetts. We had three peer mentors, Margaret, John, and Shilpa share their Comeback Story, and host a conversation surrounding mental health to the students. We have two more presentations today for Beverly Middle School, so stay tuned! Thank you again to Beverly Middle School for letting us present to your students!
Busy week for Peer Mentors!
December 4- The NAN Project wrapped up our very busy week with a total of 16 presentations reaching almost 450 students and community members! We presented at Andover High School, Medford High School, and Beverly Public Schools (Beverly Middle School) as well as the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Southeast Staff Meeting. We had such a range of presentations this week, from Peer Mentor Comeback Stories, to Self-Care Lesson Plans, to showing our 13 Reasons Why We Need to Talk about Suicide videos. We want to thank all the schools and organizations we worked with this week for their help so we can continue to deliver important mental health education to students across Massachusetts.
Medford High School
December 2- The NAN Project Team hosted four different virtual presentations to Medford High School.... at the same time! We had our senior staff spread out over four groups of seniors, emphasizing different topics surrounding mental health. Two groups hosted our typical Peer Mentor Presentations, where they share their Comeback Story, a testimony of their road to recovery. Another group watched clips from our Peer Mentor produced video, "Thirteen Reasons Why We Need to Talk About Suicide," including the vignettes on Depression, Anxiety, and What To Do if Someone You Know May be Suicidal. Lastly, our final group ran a Self Care activity! They discussed three different aspects of taking care of yourself: Emotional, Physical, and Social Self Care. Then, the students created a small "self care toolbox" with new skills they will use in the future.
Overall, today's presentations were a success! We reached 70 students in only 30 minutes! Once again, thank you to Medford High School for giving us this opportunity to share to their senior students. We will be continuing this virtual presentation for the next few Wednesdays to come. Stay tuned for next week's presentation with Medford High School!
Andover High School
December 1-The NAN Project Team hosted three virtual presentations to Andover High School (Massachusetts). We had our Peer Mentors' Andrew, Alison and Traevon share their Comeback Stories, along with our Peer Coordinator Shilpa! After sharing our the Comeback Stories, we have a conversation with the students about risk factors and warning signs for a person who may be struggling.
To end off today's presentation, we played a game of Self Care Kahoot! The students really seemed to enjoy our presentations!
Thank you to Andover High School (Massachusetts) for having us, and we'll be back to present more Comeback Stories in the near future!
Peer Mentor Virtual Hangout
November 24- The NAN Project hosted a Thanksgiving Themed Virtual Hangout! We ran a fun activity for the Peer Mentors where we created a turkey hand a wrote down five things we are grateful for. Here are some of what the Peer Mentors shared! Thank you to everyone who attended, and we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Melrose High School
November 17- Our Peer Mentors did an awesome job all around with their Comeback Stories. Pictured here are Kathleen, John, and Lizzie. Kathleen and John are two of our newest PM's and they have jumped right in with us and are doing a great job! We look forward to the rest of our Presentations at Melrose this week!
Coaching Day with Guest Speaker Kurt Faustin!
November 13- We had Motivational Speaker Kurt Faustin as a Guest Speaker at our Coaching Day! He shared his knowledge on public speaking and how to communicate with your audience. Kurt's energy was contagious and our Peer Mentors are really excited to take their Comeback Story presentation skills to the next level. Thank you Kurt and see you for part two in December!
Virtual Peer Mentor Presentation
November 9-We had a Peer Mentor Presentation at Map Academy! Our Peers Andrew, John, and Shilpa did an awesome job presenting their COVID Comeback Stories. We also had a Q+A where we talked about signs to look out for if a friend is struggling with their mental health, talking about mental health with parents, and the impact of the Pandemic. We finished by playing a self-care trivia game on Kahoot which was a lot of fun! Thanks to everyone who joined us!
Virtual Hangout Session with Peer Mentors
November 6-Many of our PM's are working on updating their Comeback Stories to focus more on their mental health challenges during the Pandemic. Our Senior Staff spent some time giving them feedback and helping them with their stories. We also played a trivia game where we tested how well we know each other and it turns out we know each other pretty well! We appreciate our Peer Mentors and all their hard work.
"Resilience in the Shadow of COVID" Workshop- Melrose High School
November 4- The NAN Project Team presented our "Resilience in the Shadow of COVID" training to staff at Melrose High School. We have already received positive reviews! Our trainers highlighted that everyone is capable of building resilience. Even though many students and teachers are going through a difficult time right now, there are lots of ways to adapt to tough circumstances and bounce back! Thank you to the folks at Melrose for having us!
Virtual Presentation to Merrimack College Graduates/ Parent University at Wakefield High School
October 28-Today was a busy one for The NAN Project! First, we had Peer Mentors Andrew, Margaret, and Sarah present their stories to Graduate Students and soon- to- be School Counselors at Merrimack College. We then had an awesome discussion about mental health stigma, the importance of a trusted adult, and coping skills! Next, we had our second Parent University at Wakefield High School. Our Clinical Director Donna and Senior Peer Coordinator Lizzie presented our "Building Resilient Families" training where they highlighted many of the challenges families are facing right now and strategies for resilience. We also had one of our newer Peer Mentors, Ali, present her Self-Care Story! She did a wonderful job and her story served as an important reminder that self-care is necessary for all of us. Thank you to all who were involved in making these events so successful. We're excited for all of our future events!
"Typical vs. Troubled During the Time of COVID" Workshop- Wakefield High School
October 27-The NAN Project presented our "Typical vs. Troubled- During the Time of COVID" training at Wakefield High School's Parent University last night! Donna and Lizzie did a great job going over what is typical or troubled for young adults and how parents can help support them. Thank you to all the parents who joined and participated!
Virtual Hangout with Peer Mentors
October 23- The NAN Project had a Virtual Hangout for our Peer Mentors! The highlight was the scavenger hunt activity, where PM's found different objects from around their homes to show off and talk about. It was a great way to get to know each other better. We also had a couple of folks present their updated Comeback Stories, and they all did a wonderful job! We look forward to seeing everyone next week!
Professional Development- Medway High School
October 21-The NAN Project presented our QPR suicide prevention training to student counselors at Medway High School today. The students were an awesome group and they really knew their stuff! The training was run by Jake our Executive Director, Lizzie our Senior Peer Coordinator, Shilpa our Peer Coordinator, and Andrew, one of our Senior Peer Mentors. Thank you Medway for having us and we look forward to meeting again next week!
Conversation on Suicide Prevention with Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui
October 1-The NAN Project took part in a Conversation on Suicide Prevention with Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, hosted by the City of Cambridge Public Health Department. Lizzie our Senior Peer Coordinator, Shilpa our Peer Coordinator, and Dr. Acuna from the Cambridge Health Alliance all did a stellar job highlighting the importance of learning about suicide warning signs, asking directly if someone we know is thinking about suicide, and the many treatment options that are available so people can get the help they need. We want to give a big thank you to Mayor Siddiqui for her thoughtful questions and notable knowledge about this topic, the City of Cambridge, and Cambridge Community Television for livestreaming the event! We look forward to having more conversations about suicide prevention and mental health awareness!
If you want to watch the recording of our conversation, check it out here: https://www.cctvcambridge.org/node/737757
September 21-The NAN Project Team went to the clothing store Altar'd State to table for their#missionMonday! Altar'd State has chosen us to be the organization where 10% of their proceeds every Monday goes to us! Thank you to Altar'd State for choosing us to be the donation you chose for this period! We will be at the Lynnfield Market next Monday if you'd like to come support The NAN Project! The NAN Project also had a special guest, Didi the dog joining our team today to help promote Mental Health Awareness!
A gift from The Red Sox Foundation
September 18-The NAN Project Team is super excited to announce that we received a much appreciated gift from the Red Sox Foundation to support our mental health and suicide prevention programs in high schools across Massachusetts! This support is needed now more than ever as record numbers of youth struggle with mental health challenges during these unprecedented times. This contribution will support our ongoing virtual work to support educators with professional development workshops and peer-to-peer presentations for students. Thank you to The Red Sox Foundation for your generosity. Go SOX!!!
Professional Development for large audience- Woburn High School, John F Kennedy Middle School, and Dr. Daniel L. Joyce Middle School
September 18-The NAN Project Team hosted a professional development workshop for a large audience today! The training we ran today is called, "Building Resilience in the Shadow of COVID-19" and we spoke to Woburn Memorial High School, John F Kennedy Middle School, and Dr. Daniel L. Joyce Middle School! This was one of our largest trainings, as we had nearly 200 participants!
This was our final workshop before the beginning of the new school year! We ran 13 workshops for 7 different school districts, and had over 600 attendees in the past three weeks! Thank you to everyone who has attended our training, The NAN Project very much appreciates being able to contribute and help in any way we can!
Professional Development-Woburn High School
September 17-The NAN Project Team hosted a professional development training for Woburn Memorial High School! We did a dual workshop for them, one called: The Importance of a Trusted Adult and we also did our common suicide prevention training called Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) for Suicide Prevention. This happened to have been The NAN Project's 12th workshop done in the past three weeks! We want to thank all the schools who have received training from The NAN Project Team, and we will continue to be running workshops for schools in the future!
Graduation for New Peer Mentors over Zoom
September 12-For Suicide Awareness month, The NAN Project Team has been working hard to use our work to promote recognition to the topic. Yesterday, we hosted our final Virtual New Peer Mentor Training and we are super excited to work with our new Peer Mentors in the near future. Also, The NAN Project Team has hosted multiple Professional Development courses for schools all across Massachusetts. On Tuesday we ran a training for Winchester High School (Massachusetts) on Trusted Adults, and on Thursday we ran Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) for Suicide Prevention for Veritas Prep Charter School. Today we ran Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training for Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School, and we also had a Virtual Peer Mentor Presentation for the staff as well. Thank you to all the schools who attended our professional development this week, and thank you to the new peer mentors for becoming apart of The NAN Project!
Art Created for Suicide Awareness Month
September 11-Since September is Suicide Awareness Month, The NAN Project Team wanted to dedicate our time to creating something special. We split up into four different groups, and each group did a different project surrounding mental health awareness. One group made art projects with inspiring quotes on them! Our senior Peer Mentor Sarah, wrote a nice blurb to go with the flower art projects:
I think flowers are a powerful metaphor for personal evolution, especially regarding mental health. Something so soft and beautiful grows from the dirt. I love myself, I want to live: because I was once so self-demeaning that I believed I might deserve to die, but healing has taught me self love. I am strong enough to live: because once I felt like suicide might be easier than living with my thoughts, but healing has taught me strength. Watch me bloom: because I am still growing, and I want to inspire other young folks to give themselves the chance to grow, too. (This project was inspired by the album Petals for Armor by Hayley Williams, which came out this summer. Williams' lyrics also use flower metaphors to celebrate growth and healing after a period of depression.)
Professional Development- Veritas Prep Charter School
September 10-The NAN Project Team hosted professional development webinar for Veritas Prep Charter School. This is a school that has a mission to prepare students in grades 5-8 to compete, achieve, and succeed in high school, college, and beyond. We ran our typical Suicide Prevention training, Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) for Suicide Prevention. Thank you Veritas Prep Charter School for letting us share!
Professional Development- Winchester High School
September 8- The NAN Project Team hosted a professional development training for Winchester High School (Massachusetts). We combined two of our trainings: "Value of a Trusted Adult" and "Ask, Listen, Get Help." Thank you to Jake, Lizzie, and Donna for running this professional development webinar for Winchester High School!
August 31-The NAN Project Team has been chosen by the clothing store Altar'd State to be their #missionMonday organization where 10% of their proceeds will be donated to The NAN Project. We want to thank Altar'd State for this amazing opportunity. Thank you as well to Elli Peltola, our Peer Coordinator for tabling at their store at the Lynnfield Marketplace.
First Virtual New Peer Mentor Training
August 26-The NAN Project Team hosted our first Virtual Peer Mentor Training! Due to COVID-19, The NAN Project Team had to switch to working remotely like a lot of other companies. With these new changes, we have worked hard to tailor our industry to still be possible virtually. We are very excited to work with these new group of Peer Mentors!
Last Senior Peer Mentor Training for 2020
August 20- The NAN Project Team had our final Senior Peer Mentor training! We had a guest speaker, Kurt Faustin teach our peer mentors a training founded by himself called: "Learning the Ingredients to Become a Better You. This training was based on emotional intelligence, and different steps we can take to create a better environment for our lives. Kurt gave us an amazing presentation, and we look forward to working with him again!
Tabling at Altar'd State
August 10- The NAN Project Team had the lovely opportunity to continue to spread mental health awaress. We were chosen by the clothing store Altar'd State as their #missionMonday organization where 10% of their proceeds will be donated to The NAN Project. We want to thank Altar'd State for giving us this amazing opportunity! Here is our Peer Coordinator, Elli Peltola and our Senior Peer Mentor Greta Waag representing us at their store! We will be tabling at Altar'd State for the next few months on Monday's if you would like to stop by!
QPR for Eliot Community Human Service's Staff
August 7-The NAN Project Team hosted a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Virtual Training for the staff members over at Eliot Community Human Services. Thank you to our Clinical Director Donna, our Executive Director Jake, and our Peer Coordinator Lizzie for running this training! We are getting better and better with our virtual trainings!
First Virtual Peer Mentor Presentation
August 4- Our team had our first virtual “Comeback Story” presentation to the master level students of Merrimack College in Andover, MA! Our presentation was set up a little differently due to COVID-19, where we had to use an online video chat platform called Zoom, however, we were able to still get our message across to the young adults! They asked great questions about how they will be supporting students in the future due to this pandemic. Since COVID-19 has started, the mental health rate has skyrocketed, and we want to support and provide resources to as many places as possible.
Senior Peer Mentor Training
July 29-Thank you so much to Rachely from Northeast Recovery Learning Community for leading our Summer Peer Mentor Training! Her presentation was about WRAP - Wellness Recovery Action Plan: a wellness tool to help overcome mental health issues. Rachely shared her own experiences about how WRAP helped in her recovery, and then she invited all of our Peer Mentors to talk about what wellness looks like for them, seen here! Again, thank you so much for such an educational and inspiring presentation Rachely!
Value of a Trusted Adult Webinar
July 24 -The NAN Project team presented The Value of a Trusted Adult and Steps to Help Someone at Risk: Ask, Listen, Get Help trainings to teachers at Winchester High School. Both of the trainings went very well and many of the teachers had questions and comments about how to better support their students. We really appreciate Jake, Donna, Lizzie, and Shilpa for leading these trainings. Thank you to Jason Levene and the folks at WHS for having us!
Senior Peer Mentor Training
July 23- The NAN Project held a social justice discussion as a part of our 6 week Senior Peer Mentor Training! The discussion was led by Marianne Vesey from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Lizzie our Senior Peer Coordinator, and Shilpa our Peer Coordinator. We had a really important conversation about health disparities, systemic racism, and some action items everyone can do to be better allies to people of color and support social justice efforts. Our Peer Mentors provided a lot of insight and knowledge into these topics and we wanted to give a big thank you to all who attended and shared their thoughts and experiences!
Last Virtual Hangout Session
June 25- The NAN Project Team hosted our final Virtual Hangout Session today! Since March, we have been running biweekly Zoom calls with our Peer Mentors to keep them active, and also to expand their learning on different aspects throughout the pandemic. We have been so grateful to all the Peer Mentors who have attended each Virtual Hangout.
In two weeks, we will be starting a virtual Senior Peer Mentor Training. This will be a six week training, covering different topics such as videography, art therapy groups, and much more!
End of Year Thank You Video
June 18- The NAN Project Team has been working very hard to put together a video thanking our school supporters, Peer Mentors, and all the other people who keep The Nan Project going. As schools have come to an end this school year, we wanted to acknowledge these times on uncertainty. We will be continuing our work in the fall, except this time most things will be virtual. We are confident that when the fall comes around, our work will be needed more than ever before! Please watch our Thank You video by clicking here!
Tik Toks by Greta and Elli
June 5- As many of you know, The NAN Project Team has been making TikTok videos to help promote mental health awareness with the newest social media platform. We wants to stay virtually connected during this unprecedented time. We have created a Tik Tok account to stay connected with our youth. Click here if you would like to watch our Tik Toks Greta and Elli have been making!
20th Virtual Hangout Session!
June 2- The NAN Project Team hosted our 20th virtual hangout session! Our Senior Peer Mentor, Greta Waag ran a very fun activity based on connection. Self isolation has been hard for many people, so this activity was designed to show that others may share similar experiences during this time. We used the clap emoji on our Zoom call to represent our identification with a statement that was read out loud. Here's a screenshot that was taken during this activity!
Then our Outreach Coordinator, Ray ran a fun lesson called "Sharing is Caring!" During this activity, Ray had the peers find an object that represents themselves! The Peer Mentors loved this activity! Thank you to Ray and Greta for running a fun hangout session!
Needs Assessment School Responses from The Bromfield School
May 28- Our other Peer Coordinators Elli and Lizzie ran a questionnaire for students over at The Bromfield School. We asked students questions about what's been hard during social isolation. We also asked what’s been the most difficult aspect of virtual education. Thank you to the students who were able to answer these questions for us, it was very helpful as we want to prepare for the fall! Check out the questions we asked the students!
Nanner Virtual Hangout Sessions
May 28-Due to Corona Virus, The Nan Project has gone virtual! We have been hosting online gatherings to keep the Peer Mentors involved, while also using them as a basis for lesson plans in schools. So far, we have hosted 18 virtual hangout sessions! We thank all the Peer Mentors who have taken part in these virtual hangout sessions, as we have been sending them out to schools to use during their online classes!
Impact of Social Isolation on Students Webinar
May 11- In recognition of Children’s Mental Health Week, The NAN Project has produced “Impact of Social Isolation on Students,” a video webinar created by Clinical Director Donna Kausek and Peer Coordinator Shilpa Thirukkovalur. The goal of this webinar is to help educators and caregivers recognize the challenges of today’s students, validate their experiences, and provide appropriate responses and resources in the context of Covid-19. Click here to watch the webinar!
Coping With Quarantine
May 7-The NAN Project produced the attached video, “Coping With Quarantine #2”, in recognition of Children's Mental Health Week, and how the Commonwealth’s stay-at-home order has further challenged young people who struggle with mental health disorders. Three of our Senior Peer Mentors talk about how difficult the past six weeks have been AND how they have worked hard to stay positive and busy. “We’re in this together” is their message of Help and Hope. Please Click here to watch .
Thank you to Arlington Community Media, Inc. for helping us create these videos!
Remember, there is help, and there is hope
Virtual Lesson Plan for The Bromfield School's 8th Grade
May 6- In recognition of Children's Mental Health Week and Mental Health Month, The NAN Project Team hosted another Virtual Hangout Session for The Bromfield School, and it happened to be our 300th presentation The NAN Project has had! Our virtual presentation was for the 8th graders over at The Bromfield School, and we had four guided questions that we asked the students. After that, we discussed their responses and uploaded them onto a virtual sticky note board. Thank you to The Bromfield School for letting us host another virtual hangout session to their students!
Virtual Lesson Plan for The Bromfield School's 6th and 7th Grade
May 4-In honor of Children's Mental Health Week, The NAN Project Team hosted a virtual hangout session with The Bromfield School located in Harvard, Massachusetts! We had eight different Zoom calls with the students. Four classes were 6th grade, and four classes were 7th grade.
With the 7th graders, we ran an activity based on happiness. We had four guided questions that we asked the students, and then we discussed their responses afterwards. With the 6th graders, we created intention trees. This means that each student would create an intention, or goal, and create a plan around that goal. We also had the students brainstorm what obstacles can get in the way of that goal or intention.
Thank you so much to The Bromfield School for allowing us to take part in this activity for Mental Health Month!
Virtual Lesson Plan for Revere High School's "Power of Know" After School Group
May 1- We hosted our regular, biweekly Nanner Virtual Hangout Session, and we also hosted a lesson plan for Revere High School! We are so happy that these lesson plans we test out with the Peer Mentors are being used by different schools. The lesson plan we ran for Revere High School was called "The 5 Senses Kit" The activity was where we used 5 objects around the house that represent each of the five senses (vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. By the end of the activity, these 5 objects can be placed in a box, or written down on a list, and placed where you’re spending most of your day.
Virtual Presentation to Adoption Journeys
April 15- Due to Coronavirus and having to switch to social isolation, The NAN Project Team has worked hard to find ways to stay connected with the community. We had our first online video chat session with Adoption Journeys, a program that provides post-adoption support services to families across Massachusetts. We had 9 parents join this call and we had Peer Coordinator, Elli Peltola and Sr. Peer Mentor, Shannon Chamberlain share their comeback stories. These stories were more targeted towards children who have been in and out of the system, or if they were adopted, what was it like? Thank you to Elli and Shannon for sharing some hope with these parents! They really appreciated the curriculum we presented! We hope to have another Zoom call with these parents in the near future!
Beverly High School
March 11- The NAN Project Team was at Beverly High School sharing with their students! We had two big classes and the students had so many questions related to the Peer Mentor's recovery. Thank you Beverly High School for having us!
MAP Academy Charter School
March 10- The NAN Project Team went to the south shore to host another Peer Mentor training. We had it at Map Academy, located in Plymouth, MA. We will be hosting this training over a span of 8 weeks, as many of these new trainees are still attending school. We are eager to work with these young individuals, and have more peer mentors raise awareness on mental health!
East Boston Central Catholic School
March 5- The NAN Project Team went into the city to present to East Boston Central Catholic School for their 7th-grade class! The 7th graders had many questions relating to how to help a friend. Great work team!
Arlington Community Media Inc.
March 5- Evan, Andrew, Ray and Tom from The NAN Project were all at Arlington Community Media Inc. They spent the day reviewing the footage from the last time they did videotaping. Then they went right into editing Andrew and Evan's comeback stories. They were using Adobe Premiere Pro to edit. Thank you to Katie at ACMI for helping us get started and for answering any questions that we had. It was overall a very productive day and both Andrew and Evan did a great job!
Methuen High School
March 4-The NAN Project Team returned back to Methuen High School to continue sharing Comeback Stories to high school students. The high schoolers had so many important questions for the Peer Mentors regarding their personal victories and struggles. Thank you Methuen High School!
ROOT- Salem, MA
March 3- The NAN Project Team was at ROOT in Salem, Massachusetts presenting our stories of mental health resilience to the young adults in this amazing program. We always appreciate presenting in their wonderful space overlooking Salem Harbor and opening up the conversation around mental health. We'll be back to work with more of their students in the near future to promote our mental health awareness and suicide prevention programs.
Methuen High School
March 2-The NAN Project Team went to Methuen High School to present to the freshman health classes. This was our first time at Methuen High School, and it was a success! Thank you to the Peer Mentors who presented today at MHS, it was a wonderful and productive day.
Arlington Community Media Inc.
February 20- The NAN Project spent the day at Arlington Community Media, Inc. the day consisted of some basic introduction to film and some basic tips on filming. Another part of the day was filming three peer mentors Comeback Stories. Having each Comeback Story captured on film really tells their story of recovery in a creative way. The NAN Project really would like to thank Jeff, the interns and all of the staff at ACMI for having us that day. Everyone really worked together very well and the peer mentors did a great job presenting their stories.
Woburn Memorial High School
February 13- The NAN Project Team shared to the faculty over at Woburn Memorial High School. We had a big crowd in the audience, and the staff were very appreciative of Elli and Shilpa's wise words regarding mental health. We hope to return back soon to present to the high schoolers over at Woburn High School!
Tewksbury State Hospital/ Salem State University
February 12- The NAN Project Team started off the day presenting to patients, DMH workers, and other staff, over at Tewksbury State Hospital. Then we sent it up north to Salem State University. We presented to some undergrad students over at the Salem State O'Keefe Center. Great job team!
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
February 11- The NAN Project Team returned back to Acton-Boxborough Regional High School to share to the freshman classes. We presented to 6 classes, and had numerous questions. Thanks again to Acton-Boxborough, and also a big thanks to the Cummings Properties for making this work possible in the end!
Department of Mental Health's Legislative Breakfast at the State House
February 5- The NAN Project attended the Legislative Breakfast at the State House in Boston. There were speakers from the Department of Mental Health as well as three remarkable presentations of recovery and strength. Elli Peltola Peer Coordinator of The NAN Project, was one of the three who presented at the State House. Excellent presentation Elli! Special thanks to everyone who attended today and to the Legislative Sponsors and to all of the presenters! It was a very great and inspiring event.
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
February 4- The NAN Project Team shared at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School! We have a close relationship with this school, as this was one of the first school's The NAN Project shared at! We will be back Tuesday, February 11th for more presentations!
Sacred Heart Catholic School
January 28- The NAN Project Team presented to the 7th and 8th graders over at Sacred Heart School over in Roslindale, MA. It was a great first presentation for them! The students had so many questions for Elli and Lizzie, and almost all the students said they could identify a trusted adult within their lives! Thanks so much, Sacred Heart Catholic for having us, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future!
QPR at Hopedale Jr. Sr. High School
January 21- The NAN Project Team sent it down to Hopedale Jr-Sr High to train the faculty in our suicide prevention training called QPR - Question, Persuade, Refer. It's a non-clinical training that teaches anyone skills on how to approach someone who may be at risk for suicide. The faculty over at Hopedale was a great crowd for us to train to--they were engaged and had so many questions about assisting a student who may be struggling. We will be back in a few weeks to present to the sophomore classes!
QPR at Milford High School
January 17- The NAN Project was at Milford High School providing QPR Suicide prevention training for the entire faculty of 130. This work was made possible thanks to a generous grant from CHNA 6. We’ll be back for a 4th time this school year in March to have our peer mentors work with their freshmen health classes. Awesome job in the training Lizzie, Donna and Elli!
Graduation of our new Peer Mentors from Boston Training
January 16- The NAN Project had another graduation for their 20th Peer Mentor Training. The Graduation was held at The Mass Mental Health Center in Boston. Congratulations to all of the new Peer Mentors!! Everyone did a great job throughout the training. Excellent work!
Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School
January 13- The NAN Project Team was back at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School presenting to mix of all four grades! Every class was really open in talking about mental health. We had a great discussion regarding how to help a friend who's struggling, what are trusted adults, and what are different coping skills to use in time of need. Thank you to Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School for having us back this year!
Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School
January 8- The NAN Project Team went back to Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School to present to four health classes. The students had great questions and were very engaged in the topic of mental health! We have had an ongoing relationship with Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School for a while now, and actually one of our founders and executive directors, Jake Cavanaugh is an alumnus from that high school! We will be coming back to Hamilton/Wenham on the 13th to continue spreading mental health awareness and suicide prevention!
Boston Massachusetts Mental Health Peer Mentor Training
January 7- The NAN Project began our 20th Peer Mentor Training! We're looking forward to getting these great young people out to the schools to present their finished stories this spring. Thanks to the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston for letting us use this space, and to the Cummings Foundation for support to make these trainings happen.
To view older events, visit our ARCHIVED EVENTS page.
If you need help and want to talk to someone, call:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
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