November 10, 2022
Support Activities at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School and Peer Mentor Presentations at Hopedale Junior Senior High School

Over the past two days, we returned to Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School after our Peer Mentors presented their stories the week prior. We facilitated group activities centered on learning risk and protective factors, different types of stress, and coping skills! Today, our Peer Mentors also presented their stories to 59 9th graders at Hopedale Junior Senior High School. 


November 4, 2022
Mindfulness at A Time to Talk in Wakefield

Today we held our 5th session of A Time to Talk at Galvin Middle School in Wakefield! We played a fun group game, showed each other our favorite stretches in a mindfulness exercise, talked about mindfulness and different ways we calm ourselves down by changing our environment or slowing down our thoughts. Our last session is two weeks away and we’re excited to celebrate our growth together!

November 3, 2022
Presentations to 42 Students at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

Over the past two days, we’ve presented to 42 students at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School, where Nan and our Executive Director, Jake, attended as teens. It was great to open up conversations about these tough topics, and connect with a teacher who shared stories of Jake and Nan when they were younger. We will be back next week with group activities focused on positive coping strategies for students at Hamilton-Wenham!

November 1, 2022
Presentations to 125 Students at Greater Lowell Tech

Today we returned to Greater Lowell Technical High School and presented to125 students! Many students had questions about therapy and our Peer Mentors were happy to share their experiences and provide information on how to access mental health support. Thank you again to Ms. Fenlon for welcoming us back and for the incredible lunch at Greater Lowell Tech’s student-operated restaurant: The Artisan!


October 31, 2022
Peer Mentor Graduation at YouForward Lawrence

Today we wrapped up our Peer Mentor training at YouForward Lawrence! We welcome our new members onto the team and look forward to them joining our upcoming presentations.

October 28, 2022
Active Listening at Galvin Middle School’s A Time to Talk

Today we held our 4th session of A Time to Talk at Galvin Middle School in Wakefield! Today’s group was focused on active listening. We played simon says, practiced listening with a paired activity, stacked cups reflecting risk and protective factors, and our Peer Mentor; Nyatuga, shared her comeback story. We’re excited to return for more learning and fun activities next week!

October 25, 2022
Presentations to 122 Students at Greater Lowell Technical High School

Today our team presented to 122 students at Greater Lowell Technical High School! We were so impressed with the questions students asked about mental health, therapy, trusted adults, and how to help a friend that is struggling. We also had the pleasure of dining for lunch at their student-operated restaurant: The Artisan – it was quite the treat!  A big thank you to Ms. Fenlon for welcoming us into her classroom once again. We look forward to speaking to more students at Greater Lowell Tech next week!

October 21, 2022
Managing Responses to Stress at Galvin Middle School

At the third session of A Time to Talk at Galvin Middle School in Wakefield today, we discussed positive, tolerable, and toxic stress as a group, played the “ABCs of Coping Skills,” and ended with mindful movement. We’re excited to come back next week to play some games centered on active listening!

October 20, 2022
A Night for NAN 2022
We had an amazing turnout of over 200 people at A Night for NAN!! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who joined, bid in the silent auction, organized, and helped us make the night a huge success! An especially big thanks to our guest of honor State Representative Michael Day for his immense support in continuing our important suicide prevention work in his district and beyond. And our new Peer Coordinators April and Sarojini hit it out of the park with their powerful Comeback Stories and demonstrated what our work is all about!
We appreciate Danversport for hosting this event and providing such a beautiful venue. In addition, we want to give kudos to our generous sponsors: BIMSHA, Capital Lease Group, Ltd., The Dalton/Cavanaugh Family, Marsh & Mclennan, Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage, Inc., Hosted Telecom Solutions, Inc., Jennifer Miller and Victor Paci, Charles and Zalena Senatore, Bank of America, Thrive, WellSense Health Plan, formerly BMC HealthNet Plan, Facilico, Eastern Bank, Devaney Energy, T-Mobile, Beacon Pointe, J.O.S Staffing, and William Berry at Wealth Planning Resources.
October 18, 2022
“It’s OK to Leave” – Living with a Mental Health Challenge Vignette

“It’s Okay to Leave” written by John Oxenford with Illustrations Designed by Alison Sabean

The following vignette is about a person who is experiencing symptoms from their mental illness, but is nevertheless able to persist, and manage their mental health challenges. Voice 1 represents the character’s fears that limit them from being able to accomplish their goals that day. Feelings and struggles, similar to those that this person is experiencing from their mental illness (Voice 1), can drive someone towards suicidal thinking. Thoughts like these can inhibit a person from being able to live a stable life, due to their consistent fears and repetitive irrational thoughts. The thoughts that this character is experiencing stem from a reasonable place, such as, wanting to ensure everything is set in a person’s home before they face the day, however, in this character’s case the thoughts are exaggerated out of proportion, and thus become invasive and limiting. Even though this person has checked all of the things that they needed to check, thoroughly and efficiently, in order to be able to start their day, their fear is still there and thus creating an intrusive barrier, causing them to assume that for some reason what they have done is not enough. Voice 2 represents the part of the protagonist’s mind that is uninhibited by their unsubstantiated fears and doubts, in other words their rational mind. The conversations happening between the protagonist and their voices represent an internal struggle many people with mental health face on a regular basis, as they work to manage their mental health. I hope this scene gives hope to people who are going through similar struggles – and might even be experiencing suicidal thoughts. This scene was created to give hope, and the understanding that struggles can be overcome. 

It’s OK to Leave


Girl, early 20s

Voice 1 representing Girl’s negative thoughts

Voice2 representing Girl’s positive thoughts 



A small apartment. It is simply furnished but immaculate. Everything in its place, not a speck of dust. Music plays through stereo speakers mounted on the bookcase.


Girl is packing her backpack for the gym. She puts a water bottle in the outside pocket, then checks each pocket. She puts the pack down and goes into the kitchen. She walks slowly round inspecting all the appliances—toaster, fridge, microwave. Stops at the stove, checks that each dial is set to off, checks each burner to make sure it’s cold. She does this several times, then stops, takes a breath.


Girl [as if about to do a parachute jump]: OK, ready to go.


She walks to the door. Her hand is on the knob. She’s about to turn it when–


Voice 1 (offstage): Haven’t you forgotten something?  


Girl: Um . . . No?


Voice 1: What about the stove? You forgot to check the stove.


Girl [less certain]: No, I’m pretty sure I checked it all.


Voice 1 enters upstage right. The stage lights begin to dim. 


Voice 1[sinister, slightly threatening]: Well I’m pretty sure you missed something. Check again!


Girl [moving toward the kitchen]: I—I thought I checked it. I thought I checked it really well.


Voice 1: You thought? But you’re not sure. What if there’s a fire. Do you want to take that risk? They’d evict you. People could be killed. Check again. Properly this time.

Illustration designed by Alison Sabean

Girl goes over to the stove, repeats the checks she did before but takes much longer. Visibly nervous.

This interchange is repeated several times, until the girl, now very stressed, runs to the door, grabs the knob, turns it.


Voice 1: Are you really going? You’re willing to take the risk? What if—

The lights flicker. Sound of glass shattering, a siren, people running and shouting. 


Girl: [screams] Stop! Stop! Leave me alone!

Voice 1 disappears. She drops onto the couch, head in hands. 


Voice 2 enters upstage left. A faint light shows. 


Voice2: Why are you sitting there? I thought you were going to the gym today.


Girl: I can’t.


Voice 2: Why not?


Girl: Because—I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel . . . safe.


Voice2: Safe? How do you mean?


Girl: What if I went out and I’d left a burner on and there was a fire? They’d evict me. People could be killed. 


Voice2: But how could there be a fire? You checked the stove. Every burner. Lots of times. The stove is fine.

Illustration designed by Alison Sabean

Lights begin to come up. Girl sits up, looks around her, as if seeing her apartment for the first time. Takes a breath. Laughs. 


Girl: The stove is fine! I checked it! Lots of times!


She gets her backpack, walks straight to the door, leaves without a backward glance.


Voice1 enters.

Voice1: Have you checked the—

Sees there’s no one there 

Lights out.


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