What We Do
Speakers Bureau and Peer Mentor Network
The Speakers’ Bureau and Peer Mentor network, comprised of people with lived experience, reaches out to school groups (middle and high school), parents, educators, and other stakeholders in the community to heighten awareness of depression and suicidality. Public forums are supplemented by written materials that discuss signs of depression, ways to talk with someone who is suffering from depression, and when and where to seek help.
Jon Mattleman presenting in Andover
Ellen Dalton presenting at Andover High School
The NAN Project employs a team of young people who have dealt with depression and/or suicidality and are willing to share their stories with groups of students/young people.
Our process to develop The NAN Project within each community includes the following steps:
- Develop a support base within the community and convene groups to design an implementation plan among the key stakeholders - schools, health and mental health care providers, police, government, other.
- Conduct ongoing moderated focus groups containing key stakeholders with firsthand experience, to better understand their problems, concerns, and needs related to depression, mental health, and suicide.
- Connect with school systems to identify one or more school counselors, psychologists, adjustment counselors, or teachers (preferably a team) who will work with and support The NAN Project at each school.
- Develop a training curriculum for The NAN Project participants with input from an advisory council made up of professionals with experience in counseling for youth mental health or suicide prevention.
- Set up forums for The NAN Project to address students: 3 to 4 Peer Mentors with an adult moderator talk to students about their struggles with mental illness and depression, and available help.
- Strengthen and promote access routes to support services for young people struggling with depression.
Creating an array of strategies to address and support young people struggling with depression and suicide, The NAN Project will develop intervention strategies to include:
- Peer leadership teams
- Safety at school
- Training for educators and gatekeepers in the school
- Awareness and inclusion events
- Social media supports
- Clinical intervention
The school-based forums for The NAN Project include panel presentations by 3 to 4 Peer Mentors to their student peers. An adult moderator helps students talk about struggles with mental illness and depression, and how to access help.
- Work with stakeholders to develop a support network for team-school resources, community resources, clinical supports, and emergency crisis intervention.
- Create outreach supports in schools for young people struggling with depression and anxiety.
- Develop a School SPA (Safe, Private and Accepting) where feasible - a place where youth who are struggling can go during the school day to meet with a trusted adult.
A real time response by a person who can relate to the devastation that a suicide or attempt can have on family and friends, is available 24 hours a day.
By Shel Silverstein
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