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Spring Newsletter
The NAN Project & COVID-19 
Dear Friends,

It is pretty incredible how quickly things have changed for all of us at The NAN Project, and I suspect for most of you as well. I truly hope you have managed to find somewhere safe and comfortable to wait out this storm with loved ones and those close to you. 

At The NAN Project, our work has been directly affected by the coronavirus - all of our classroom presentations are suspended, teacher professional development is postponed, peer mentor trainings are delayed - and though it might appear at first glance that The NAN Project would come to a grinding halt, this has NOT been the case. While this evolving situation has required us to take a giant step back from our typical peer-to-peer, in-class work and rethink how we do just about everything, our goal and mission have not changed in the slightest. We will continue to get our message out there about the importance of emotional well being and mental health supports for young people. I am so proud to say that our team has truly rallied to make the best of a difficult situation.

Pretty soon after Governor Baker, prudently closed down schools for the safety of everyone across Massachusetts, The NAN Project Team was right back at work (digitally) figuring out how we would support our communities and young people in this time of need. It didn't take long to realize that the isolation and lack of structure many students are now facing would be extremely stressful, scary and unsettling. To combat this, our team is now producing online programming intended to create connectivity and reinforce the sense of routine and self-care among young people. In the coming weeks we will be rolling out both live streamed virtual content, as well as downloadable programs and resources for schools and communities across the Commonwealth (links to resource guides for 1) young adults and 2) caregivers/educators). We have started piloting these 30-60 minute programs with our amazing Peer Mentors (with whom we've remained in daily contact) and plan to begin offering it to student groups at our partner schools in the coming weeks.

While this has been a steep learning curve for all of us, I couldn't be prouder of our team for all that they are accomplishing and the enthusiasm they bring to work each day.  All this is to say that The NAN Project is going strong during this time of uncertainty.

I'd like to end by thanking you, the many friends of The NAN Project, for all the words of encouragement, suggestions, and ideas you have passed along to us. We thrive off of this positive energy and are extremely appreciative of your support during these strange times.

In addition to our beloved mantra There is Help and There is Hope, today I would like to add, Stay Safe and Stay Healthy.  

Jake Cavanaugh
Executive Director - The NAN Project

If you would like to reach out to me, I am available via email at
And now, back to our regularly scheduled newsletter..... 
The NAN Project had been wicked busy the past couple of months...
  • We worked with the communities of Acton, Boxborough, Andover, Beverly, Gloucester, Lowell, Hamilton, Wenham, Hopedale, Plymouth (MAP Academy), Medway, Methuen, Springfield, Lawrence, Salem, Milford and many more to promote mental health education!
  • We've reached over 3,000 students since the start of this school year with our Peer Mentor presentations!
  • We provided professional development to over 450 teachers with our QPR workshops and two new trainings: Depression in the Classroom & Teacher Self-care
  • We have graduated a dozen new peer mentors at trainings in Malden and at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston.
If you would like to bring our mental health programming to your community, reach out to us at
Peer Mentor Training in Boston
In January, The NAN Project held a four-day training for new Peer Mentors at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston. Read more about the training on our blog.
Filming Comeback Stories in Arlington
This February, Arlington Community Media Inc. (ACMI) hosted The NAN Project for an exciting day of filming and recording Peer Mentor Comeback Stories! Click here to read more.
Amy Kerr’s “I am More” Exhibit
In 2019, The NAN Project was introduced to an artist from Gloucester whose messaging of overcoming mental health challenges struck a chord with our own mission. Read our blog post about her recent exhibition here.
Peer Mentor Spotlight - Nabil Douq
Social Media Coordinator Tom Castelline sat down with Senior Peer Mentor Nabil Douq to talk coping skills, mental health, and The NAN Project. To learn more about Nabil and their interests read the interview on our blog!
If you'd like to help us continue our work promoting mental health awareness and suicide prevention in 2020, click below..
Donate to The NAN Project
Do you know any young adults who would like to use their story of resiliency to open up the conversation around mental health? If so please send them our way by having them
Click the image above to be taken to our Peer Mentor application! 
This edition of The NANNER, the official newsletter of The NAN Project, was put together by Social Media Coordinator Tom Castelline and Peer Coordinators Elli Peltola & Lizzie MacLellan.
General Inquiry? 
Contact us at
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