About Us

The NAN Project was established in 2015 and is dedicated to raising the conversation about depression and suicide above a whisper by giving communities and schools the forum, tools, and resources needed to accept and address depression and suicidality.

Named in memory of Nancy Cavanaugh, who took her own life in 2012, The NAN Project’s approach to mental health awareness and suicide prevention through three primary areas of focus: 

  • the use of a peer-to-peer model to open up the conversation concerning young adult mental health;
  • professional development workshops for educators and community gatekeepers, and 
  • speaking events in the community for parents and stakeholders.


Peer Mentors tell their personal stories in a classroom setting and lead a discussion on mental health.  Topics may include the difference between sadness and depression, identifying trusted adults and supports within the community, and/or asking students to share positive coping skills.  Our effort in every school is to establish Peer Leadership teams that, with the continued support of The NAN Project, identify ways of promoting mental heal that makes the most sense in their school such as a wellness week, poster campaign, or paint night.

The NAN Project helps the school community understand how to approach mental health challenges in their roles as educators, nurses, parents, and administration. The NAN Project staff are trained facilitators in evidence-based, entry level trainings that cover suicide prevention.  Peer Mentors offer presentations to school staff for greater understanding of what the Peer-to-Peer model looks like, and how The Nan Project can work with their organization.  If you are interested in bringing professional development and The NAN Project speakers to your organization, please contact us.

Speakers talk about stressors of the teenage mind, their own lived experience, and can provide a comprehensive discussion of the risk factors and signs that someone may be struggling.


The NAN Project does not charge for presentations, professional development, or community events.  We are a nonprofit, dedicated to spreading awareness and education at no cost to your organization.

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