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End of School Year Newsletter

A Message from The NAN Project Team
Dear Friends,

The NAN Project has had to pivot during the Covid-19 pandemic in order to continue our mission of providing mental health awareness and suicide prevention programs for young adults in communities across Massachusetts. At this time, we must also acknowledge the social and racial inequities in our country that are present in behavioral health. The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and too many other people of color have reinforced the need for systemic change to confront racism. We understand that we all must be instruments of this change. 

The violence against Black people and people of color that has been spotlighted recently contributes to trauma and grief in these communities. We know that discrimination, racism, and bias exacerbate these mental health challenges and act as obstacles to accessing behavioral health care.The NAN Project believes in challenging racism wherever we see it and acknowledging these barriers in our conversations about mental health. 

Much as our  Peer Mentors use their stories to advocate for change, we support other young people using their experiences with racism to advocate for equity. We are proud to see so many taking a stand against violence and hatred, even as they complete a very challenging school year. We support the efforts of those championing justice and firmly believe that Black Lives Matter. 

We have been inspired by the events of the past month to further educate ourselves and challenge our belief systems. The NAN Project commits to supporting all young Black people, including LGBTQ+ youth and Black girls, and amplifying their voices and experiences, especially in this time of uncertainty.  We encourage you to join us. 

We look forward to continuing this conversation in the coming months. There is help, there is hope.  

Thank you, 

The NAN Project Team

For further mental health resources for people of color, click here.
Though school is wrapping up for the year, The NAN Project is hard at work developing new, virtual ways to spread mental health awareness and suicide prevention resources for young people across Massachusetts. When school returns in the fall, we'll be ready to provide a variety of mental health programming and support to the schools and communities we serve. 
Check out the End Of Year video message our Team put together: 
To catch up with The NAN Project and all we've been doing virtually, check out our Events page! 
Virtual Hangouts & Lesson Plans for Educators
Due to COVID 19, we’ve had to put a pause on our usual peer-to-peer mental health awareness presentations for the foreseeable future; instead we've successfully pivoted to creating interactive lesson plans around mental health, with the help of our Peer Mentors.

Each week, we work with our young adults to pilot engaging activities around coping skills, stress management, routine and self-care, that are available as lessons plans for educators to download for free!


These Hangouts have been the highlight of our week, helping us to both test out new ways of working with students virtually in the fall and keeping us connected to our Peer Mentors. To read Peer Mentor Alison's blog post about our recent Hangouts, click here! 
Needs Assessment and Video Webinars
When the schools closed down in March, we quickly realized we need to get a pulse on what educators, administrators, and, most importantly, students needed immediately, and what they'd be looking for in the fall. To learn this, we have been conducting an ongoing needs assessment with staff and students in fifteen school districts from across the state. We've met with educators, counselors, principals, and with much thanks to Senator Lovely, a group of superintendents. We also connected with the student leadership teams we've been partnering with in a number of school districts all year to better understand how young people have been coping with remote learning and social isolation.

The input from the assessment will guide our student facing programming when we return to the classrooms in the fall, be it remotely or in person.

The results have also informed our development of a series of online, downloadable workshops that cover risk factors and warning signs for suicide, tips for checking in on a young person who may be struggling, trauma in the classroom, living with uncertainty, and more all from the lens of the COVID-19 situation. These will also be offered to schools live via Zoom and other platforms.
                                                                         Click here to see our Webinars!
Peer Mentor Spotlight: Andrew Christopher
Check out this month's Peer Mentor Spotlight to learn more about one of our newest Peer Mentors on the team Andrew! You'll get to read about his favorite classroom experience, his latest reading recommendations, and how playing sports and his dog Riley have been huge supports during the quarantine! 
Peer Mentor Short Videos and TikTok 
Members of our team joined TikTok last month to create quick, fun videos about their experiences with mental health and the supports they've used to overcome challenges in their lives. If you've never heard of TikTok, don't worry, most of us hadn't either, but they've definitely grabbed the attention of some young folks - a couple videos have over 1,000 views! We've also posted a series of longer Peer Mentor videos that going into coping strategies on our Youtube channel, check out those "Quarantine Cares" Videos here!
Please consider helping The NAN Project during this difficult time so that we can continue our mental health awareness & suicide prevention work.
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 Peer Coordinators Shilpa Thirukkovalur & Lizzie MacLellan.
General Inquiry? 
Contact us at info@thenanproject.org
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