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

Characters: 

Girl, early 20s

Voice 1 representing Girl’s negative thoughts

Voice2 representing Girl’s positive thoughts 

 

Scene: 

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.

 

October 14, 2022
The NAN Project Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month 2022

Written by Karla Flores and Mia Celeste Sheets

Cesar Chavez, the Mexican American labor leader and civil rights activist, said, “preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.” As we celebrate Hispanic/Latinx Heritage month in 2022, we not only uplift unique cultures, but we also want to take the time to recognize these cultural differences and what that may mean for the mental health of those in the Hispanic and Latinx communities. Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15 to October 15 honoring the histories, cultures, and accomplishments of American citizens with ancestors who came from Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Spain. The observance was born in 1968, under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, with the approval of Public Law 100-402.

 

September 15 is significant as it is the anniversary of the five Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Both Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on September 16 and September 18. It’s important to understand there is great diversity within this community, where people are connected by shared cultural values regardless of race, ancestry, or national origin. The identities and diverse cultures within the Hispanic and Latinx communities are as rich and complex as their history. Typically, those who identify as Latino, Latina, Latine, or Latinx may consider themselves of Latin American descent (Central America, South America, or the Caribbean), and those who identify as Hispanic may be referring to ancestry from Spain or other Spanish-speaking countries. While the two terms may share overlap, not everyone believes these terms can be used interchangeably to mean the same thing and will instead refer to their country of origin instead of as “Hispanic” or “Latinx”, however, members of the population may use different terms interchangeably.

 

Through Mental Health America research, over 18.3% of the U.S. population is estimated to be Latinx or Hispanic, which is about 62.1 million people in the United States. Of those, over 16% reported having a mental illness in the past year. That is over 10 million people, more than the number of people who live in New York City! Hispanic Heritage Month also overlaps with September’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and October’s Depression Awareness Month, so here at The NAN Project, we wanted to take this opportunity to extend the dialogue surrounding mental health within the Hispanic and Latinx communities. Similar to the way Hispanic culture creates a unique environment for members of the population to show strength and resilience, there are also specific barriers to gaining access to mental health support like financial and language barriers, access to insurance, legal status, lack of cultural competency, stigma, and machismo. These aspects are particular to Hispanic and Latinx culture, which we’d like to recognize, discuss, and provide resources that are working to overcome these barriers. 

 

Financial barriers can affect anyone’s ability to access mental health treatment. According to a research article concerning residents of Washington Heights, New York City, where the population is 67.9% is Hispanic or Latino, “those who experienced financial barriers to mental health care had significantly higher depressive symptoms in comparison to those who could afford mental health care” (Pabayo R et al Financial Barriers to Mental Healthcare Services and Depressive Symptoms among Residents of Washington Heights, New York City. Hispanic Health Care International). We know that one factor that impacts financial access is access to health insurance. One in four Latinos do not have health insurance, and while the Affordable Care Act has narrowed racial gaps in access to healthcare, Latinos are still nearly 3 times more likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanic whites. Many are not aware of the Affordable Care Act eligible for children of undocumented immigrants they can access, and individuals without legal status may not seek or register for mental health services due to fear of separation or deportation, an adding a barrier to access to care. 

 

For those who do have financial capabilities to seek professional mental health care, there may be difficulty in finding a provider who understands them either linguistically, culturally, or both. According to Census data, there are only about 5,000 psychologists in the United States who are Hispanic, representing less than 6 percent of all psychologists. In a nationwide APA survey, only 5.5 percent of psychologists, who may be Hispanic or of another race or ethnicity, said they can provide services in Spanish, making them a rare commodity. In addition, only 6.4% of therapists in the United States are Hispanic or Latinx. Symptoms, as they are described in the Hispanic and Latinx communities, can often be misunderstood by mental health providers or lead to a misdiagnosis of individuals as they have their language as well as differences in beliefs, lifestyles, and customs. A common example is how the word “nervios” in Spanish can be used to describe physical illness and can be symptoms of depression but a mental health professional can still misdiagnose them by misunderstanding this word to describe symptoms of anxiety (NAMI website).

 

Seeking mental health treatment requires acknowledging that there is a need to do so, which can present its own challenge to members of the Hispanic or Latinx community, due to added stigma surrounding mental health challenges within the community. When it comes to discussing symptoms and recognizing mental health challenges, these can be hard to identify, because Latinx/Hispanic people will often focus on physical symptoms and not psychiatric symptoms during doctor visits. This can also be because there is a common perception in Latinx/Hispanic communities, especially among older people, that discussing problems with mental health can create embarrassment and shame for the family, resulting in fewer people seeking treatment. It can be hard to shift an entire community’s temperament and would require these beliefs to be challenged over time. This is most prevalent amongst older generations due to a lack of acculturation. The level of a person’s acculturation is how thoroughly they have embraced or adopted the predominant culture of the place they live, which can play a role in mental health and access to care. Acculturation has been found to predict an increased willingness to use mental health care services between first and second-generation immigrants from various cultural backgrounds.

 

Despite this, according to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, overall mental health issues are on the rise for Latinx/Hispanic people between the ages of 12-49. Major depressive episodes increased from 12.6 percent to 15.1 percent in Latinx/Hispanic youth ages 12-17, from 8 percent to 12 percent in young adults 18-25 age range between 2015 and 2018. This reinforces the importance of increasing access and creating more dialogue around mental health that does not create further stigma but instead normalizes the discussion and encourages seeking treatment for mental health challenges. 

 

Mental health stigma has many layers in the Hispanic community, one of which is known as machismo. The term “machismo” has been described as the belief that you must be able to provide for your family despite any pain or hardship the man endures. Latino men even go to the extremes of avoiding going to the doctor because it is seen as a sign of weakness. In a study, one Latino man said, “[In] machismo we are taught that the men always had to be strong. . . The man doesn’t cry, the man is the provider of the family, the man shouldn’t complain, and the man doesn’t go to the doctor.” Similarly across many minority and immigrant communities, there is a phenomenon known as the “Eldest Daughter Syndrome” that is extremely prevalent amongst the first-born daughters of immigrants. The high pressure to succeed in an environment different from their parents and set a good example for their younger siblings, can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. Some feel burdened with the responsibility of taking care of their younger siblings and at a very young age they adopt more of a maternal role in their family system, adding stress to their critical developmental stages of life. 

 

Despite these obstacles and challenges, the Hispanic/Latinx community continues to show strength and resilience. This year’s theme in celebrating Hispanic Heritage is Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation. Here at The NAN Project, we also recognize these barriers and are actively trying to provide support to overcome them. We work with schools, organizations, and people in the community to educate and bring awareness surrounding mental health. We recognize that inclusivity doesn’t just look like bringing equal access to resources to various communities, but also identifying what one specific community’s needs are and understanding what we can offer to fill those needs. By bringing our work, support, expertise, and resources to schools and community centers that are predominantly Hispanic, the goal is to bridge the gap between mental health and what it means to be part of the Latinx community. Understanding how they correlate to each other is the first step in improving on the lack of access and stigma that prevents people from seeking the treatment they need. 

 

Please visit The NAN Project website for a Resource Guide regarding Mental Health Resources hotlines with trained operators who are available 24/7 to help you find support.

 

Also, check out local organizations here in Massachusetts working closely with our Hispanic/Latinx communities!

 

  • La Colaborativa is a human services organization in Chelsea that provides social services and programming to Latinx immigrants like language courses, career training, citizenship support, and distributes food to families in the communities. https://la-colaborativa.org/ 
  • Eliot Family Resource Center (FRC) in Everett supports families with youth who are at-risk of needing court involvement because of their behaviors. FRC helps families find resources regarding housing support, education, utility assistance, legal help, summer camps, sports leagues,and more. https://www.eliotchs.org/family-resource-center/ 
  • UTEC in Lowell helps young adults through street outreach, violence intervention, programming at correctional facilities, social reintegration, transitional coaching, workforce development, mental health services, and more. https://utecinc.org/ 
  • CTI YouthBuild of Greater Lowell helps young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who have dropped out of high school and provides opportunities like G.E.D. preparation, vocational training, one on one case management, leadership development, life skills training, and career and academic coaching.
  • Roxbury YouthWorks INC helping youth struggling with victimization, poverty and violence transition successfully into adulthood. Services provided are bringing to commercial sexual exploitation of children, work with law enforcement, child-serving public agencies, and other non-profits to help reintagrate youth from court-ordered detention and treatment facilities back into society. http://www.roxburyyouthworks.org/ 
  • The Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth (BAGLY) is a youth-led, adult-supported social support organization, committed to social justice and creating, sustaining, and advocating for programs, policies, and services for the LGBTQ+ youth community.  https://www.bagly.org/ 
  • YouForward in Lawrence and Everett supports young adults ages 16 to 25 who are experiencing mental health challenges through mentoring, achieving goals, and helping discover talents and use it to inspire others.  http://youforward.org/ 
  • The Center for Hope is a Rape Crisis Center in Lowell with a goal to deliver multicultural and inclusive approaches to reach those who have historically have not been adequately served (i.e. limited English speakers, LGBQ/T folks, refugees and immigrants, children, youth, people with disabilities, etc) and also provide different programs for survivors as well as youth prevention groups. https://chhinc.org/ 

 

July 8, 2022
My Fitness and Mental Health Journey

Hello everyone, my name is John Joshua William Oxenford, and I work for The NAN Project as a Lead Peer Mentor – I’ve been working with TNP since August of 2020, and find that it gives me (and all of us involved) a platform to give help to people who are struggling with mental illness. The NAN Project helps me reconnect with my acting skills while presenting my own personal story of crisis and recovery. I have been acting since I was eight years old, and have been in a few plays (around 2008-2009) including The Boys of Winter at The Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and Romeo & Juliet for the New Art Theatre in New Hampshire. Music is another huge element in my life. I have my own solo project in the metal genre, and I am looking to expand into other genres by collaborating with other musicians. I just got my very first demo recorded at Chillhouse Recording Studio, and am trying to reach out to other musicians to play with. But my main focus in my life, and something that connects very closely with my mental, physical, emotional–and even spiritual–stability, is fitness! In this story I will discuss how fitness was (and is) a main focus in my life, and how it changed and evolved throughout my life until now; and mainly, how it positively effects and supports my mental health (as well as my physical, emotional, and spiritual health, which in my opinion are all closely connected). 

My first form of fitness was soccer. My mother got me involved with Cambridge Youth Soccer at age eight, and I started as a defender on the ‘Ebony’ team; I remember the first time I kicked a soccer ball in a game; the ball came rolling to me, none of the other kids were near – I thought, “What should I do?”– and I made the decision to run up and kick the ball as hard as I could! And that’s when soccer started being a huge part of my life.

My next team was ‘Ivory.’ I was playing with a lot of higher skilled kids, and did what I could when I was on the field, but I didn’t do much. In the last quarter of the season, our extremely supportive coach made it his dedication that my friend and I would each score our very first goal. Believe it or not, before the season was over, we both did! It gave me the idea and understanding that through setting goals and having support from others to accomplish them, one can complete seemingly unreachable ambitions. What a motivation to keep playing my favorite sport. 

‘Sky Blue,’ my next team, was a completely different experience… we were losing every game, by massive goal differences. However, even from ‘Sky Blue’ I had a learning opportunity. It must have been one of the last games of the season. All of my teammates had stopped playing, and were literally just standing still (who could blame them?). The other team was kicking the ball around effortlessly, bringing the game to a close… Even though it seemed the match had come to a close, I had not stopped trying. I chased the ball as fast as I could and yelled at my teammates, “Come on guys! It’s not over yet!” And even though they didn’t seem to take any notice, I learned something about myself that day… I am not someone who easily gives up. 

Today, as we at TNP present to schools, I remember that moment in my life, and search to convey that life experience to students who might be going through a similar time as I did. Even though I could have seen that game as another hopeless loss, I gave all that I could until the very end; it reminds me of times in my life when I didn’t feel like there was any hope for me; that memory, of not giving up, helps and has helped me know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and there is hope – sometimes you just have to wait it out until it arrives. And even though that season of seemingly endless losses didn’t feel good, it gave me some emotional and mental endurance, for when I was on other teams, that some players had never been through. This endurance is important for me when accomplishing my fitness goals, and something that I carry with me through other challenges in my life.

In high school, I was a starter as a defender, on my school’s, Cambridge Rindge and Latin (CRLS), soccer team, and later transitioned to midfield. Trying out for the team was a heavy challenge, where we had to complete 12 laps on the field’s track (the center field at Danehy Park, that CRLS used for home games and most of the time for practice) in a short amount of time. Even after making the team, the new requirements for midfield were another challenge. Midfield required me to keep my head up and aware, to pass to my teammates as well as still play defense if my team needed it. This required new effort, but it also gave me new self esteem, as I was able to accomplish new challenges that seemed daunting to me at first. Being on this team, from Freshman to Junior year, was exciting, and brought on an event, in my Sophomore year, which is now my favorite memory of playing soccer. 

I was a starter in a game, playing midfield, and the ball came to me, and I looked up, seeing that I had some time; I was at the half field line, and found some comfort in kicking the ball a few paces, thinking about what I should do… All of a sudden, I felt an inspiration to kick the ball, and I just let that feeling guide me as I gave everything I had at that moment to kick the ball. I saw it leave my foot, and it soared far over all of the other players and curled smoothly into the upper left side of the other team’s goal, as their keeper dove as far as he could to try to stop the goal. That experience helps me find hope and confidence in myself when I am going through moments of depression or low self esteem, when I feel like I can’t do anything good enough or it’s just not worth trying. I think it is important for people to make note, and remember, those moments in their lives, when they did something that helped them feel good about themselves, when they accomplished something that made them feel really proud – especially when combatting moments of sadness or hopelessness. 

And yet, something changed during my senior year of high school. I think it was mainly through my increasing use of substances – that I’d done to try and socialize and have fun and feel confident with other kids – that really brought me down. I became isolated and angry, and doubtful of even my family and friends. Out of nowhere, I decided to stop playing soccer – my only source of fitness. It wasn’t all terrible… I joined the dance club, and was able to perform for the school in their modern dance performance; I was still playing music with friends, and even writing my own songs; I was also winning awards in acting competitions. However, another result of my symptoms, which now I am certain came from substance abuse, was that I decided not to join the school’s theatre department in that year’s play, the play that they were taking to the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild’s Theatre Competition (something that, since Freshman year, had been a main point of every year for me). My symptoms were taking over, and I began to become skeptical of everyone around me, antisocial, introverted, and angry. 

This only increased during my first year of college, and led me quickly to make a decision to drop out. I wasn’t playing soccer, and I wasn’t exercising in any way. I tried my skills in the professional acting world, but dropped out of that too. I stopped communicating with friends and family, and, all of this doubt in the world and anger of things not going my way and lack of trust in people who could have helped me, led me to attempt suicide. The first thing I remember, after waking up in hospital, is seeing my mom; and that was a very appropriate experience, because it was mainly through her advice and encouragement that I began to incorporate fitness into my life, again, in other ways. 

After my recovery in hospital, I began living in a group home in Somerville, MA, and was just beginning to put my life together again, more independently this time. I began to trust my mother (again) and we regained our close bond that we’d had before I began substance abuse. She advised me to get a membership at a gym, and I began to research gyms that were close to where I lived. It took a few years of trying out different gyms, with different locations, different trainers, and different vibes and environments… Eventually I found a gym that was, appropriately, in the same building as the Mass Rehab building that I was going to to look for work and train for job interviews – just a 10 minute walk from where I was living. I got some lessons with a trainer there that helped me get comfortable with the gym, as I began to decide what workouts I wanted to incorporate into my routine. I started to feel like a real gym goer, and so I also began to acquire the feeling of being in another community, one that was focused solely on physical health. However, I was still trying to find the correct medications for me, and thus was going in and out of hospitalizations. The decision I made after my final release from hospital, was a milestone in my fitness lifestyle. 

With the exception of “Fresh Air,” time (when we were taken outside for an hour twice a day, in a fenced off area, to shoot some hoops and get a breather) I was stuck indoors for about a month. My mother was very worried about me not getting any exercise, so, she bought me some pushup rotation handles – and even bought a treadmill for the ward! So, I became accustomed to counting out some pushups, when I felt like it, and getting a good 20-30 minute fast walk when the inspiration called. So, it was out of hospital, after my last hospitalization, with my medications finally set in a way that was comfortable for me, that I began to make some consistent fitness goals for myself to accomplish. Every day, I did 10 pushups, and jogged to the bridge and back (about 30 minutes). And, I did this routine, practically every day without fail, for a year. Once I got comfortable with that routine, I added 5-10 more pushups, and jogged a little bit further, on the Boston esplanade (about 45 min).

It was around then that I began working as a cleaner for Boston Sports Club, and later, Boston Racquet Club. Through being immersed in the gym experience, and seeing other people’s routines, and experimenting with different workouts, I found my own routine. Now, I write down a percentage of how much I worked out every day; with my main routine being, given enough time, 4 sets of 10 pushups, 2 sets of 10 situps, 2 sets of 10 crunches, and a 30 minute jog on the treadmill. I also do some cardio on the row machine sometimes, as well as some calisthenic cardio (like high knees or fast feet). Sometimes I do some free weight work, or a few sets on the gym machines. And if I don’t have enough time to do all that, I do the most that I can. I’ve been more than happy now that we are into spring, and I count that my jog (around the Charles River in Cambridge) clocks from 40 min to 50 minutes! And it was only through first completing my smaller tasks that I am now able to accomplish these larger tasks, so something I always say is, “10 steps is better than no steps.” When I started working out, of course I had my dreams and ambitions, but I also knew that I wasn’t going to get there in one day.I think one should always feel good about accomplishing the basics first, and set the greater ambitions after one has achieved those smaller, more basic goals. With fitness, this is especially important in order to exercise safely.  Also, living (finally) in my own apartment, nearer to the river–and in a  healthier environment–has increased my motivation for fitness exponentially. So make sure you are feeling good about what you are doing, because emotional support helps physical achievements greatly.

Another compliment to my mom!  She offered that we work out every Sunday with a friend she met at work – who worked out at gym classes all the time! I said yes, and we take turns every week on leading the workout for 45 minutes; we do leg work, with some activities like lunges, monster walks, and jump squats; fast interval cardio, with fast feet, high knees, and jumping jacks; abdominal work, with bicycles, planks, and standing crunches; I otherwise would not have added these workouts into my workout routine – plus I get two fitness trainers and get to be a trainer myself every third week as well! On rainy days, I stay in and do some fast feet, high knees, jumping jacks, and jumping rope, with some pushups and crunches and situps.

On days where I don’t have the energy to complete my goals 100%, I do the most I feel I’m motivated to do (10 pushups is better than none); and if I were to recommend some ways to workout on “not-motivated days”, I would say, get a trainer at a gym, or set up your workouts with a friend, to hold yourself more accountable and not to have to rely wholly on yourself every day, you don’t have to be down on yourself for not accomplishing 100% of your goals every day. I remember at work (with The NAN Project), me and another coworker found out fitness was a mutual element in one another’s lives – so we set up a pushup contest, at lunch! So, on a day where I would have otherwise not done too much fitness activity, I got to check off my pushups goal–as well as others that I did after the motivation I got from the pushup contest. 

Fitness meets my physical goal, but it also meets my emotional, mental – and even spiritual – goals. Maintaining my fitness routine helps me feel good about myself, emotionally, of the fact that I met an important goal in my life. Even if I don’t look like a first place body builder (yet?..), just the fact that I accomplished something that means a lot to me helps me feel happy and proud of myself every day I accomplish it. Mentally, I am sure, fitness is a requirement; oxygen and blood circulation going through my entire system keeps me in a good mental state, and helps keep my thoughts on a healthy track. And, lastly, spirituality… I used to think, being diagnosed with a mental illness contradicted spirituality, and I would self diagnose any event (that I used to think was spiritual) as a symptom. I often get feelings, sensations, or thoughts when I work out that I would call spiritual, and, through therapy, I am now able to be with those events without diagnosing them as symptoms, and be aware of symptoms as separate from those experiences. Jogging around the Charles River (in the city I grew up in, living in my own apartment, and being in a healthy environment) helps me have faith, that, through consistent dedication to the things that matter to me, I am seen as a person who can help this world, by a power that looks well upon a person who cultivates healthy energies to make a healthier world.

Keeping up with consistent exercise has physiological benefits that can improve one’s mental health, but it is also the routine and discipline in meeting my fitness goals that has helped me keep on my path to recovery. Whatever your level of motivation, I encourage you to start a goal on something that matters to you in your life. It is both the effect of doing something that matters to you as well as the pride you feel in achieving a goal, that can help you in improving your wellbeing. 

June 23, 2022
The NAN Project Celebrates Pride Month 2022

          June is celebrated as LGBTQ Pride month across the world. In recognition of LGBTQ Pride month The Nan Project would like to highlight five mental health resources that LGBTQ youth can access year round. Throughout the article, we will be mentioning “drop-in centers,” which are places for people to hang out, connect with others in a variety of groups, and access resources such as healthcare supplies and food.

Drop-in Centers

          One center LGBTQ youth can go to is BAGLY in Boston, MA. BAGLY (The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth) is a drop-in center that is a part of the AGLY Network, which has locations across Massachusetts that offer resources and programs for LGBTQ youth. BAGLY specifically offers group therapy, a narrative art therapy group where youth create art based on therapeutic prompts, and free 101 therapy sessions affectionately called “Tea Time.” Therapy services are free and open to LGBTQ youth under the age of 25. You also do not need to have proof of identification or health insurance to receive these services. BAGLY also offers a variety of non-therapeutic social groups and programming as well as HIV/STI testing for LGBTQ youth under the age of 22. 

          Another drop-in center LGBTQ youth can go to is Boston GLASS (Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services). Boston GLASS caters to LGBTQ people of color ages 13-29 and offers HIV/STI testing, PrEP access, as well as sexual wellness counselling. Additionally there is virtual or in-person therapy, in-home family therapy, and therapeutic monitoring offered. Similar to BAGLY, youth do not need insurance to receive services as all GLASS services are free. Youth can also attend a variety of social groups and events hosted by GLASS that cater to different interests and needs of the LGBTQ youth community. 

Other Community Resources

          One resource that serves both youth and their loved ones or caretakers is Greater Boston PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), where folks receive support and education around their/their child’s sexuality or gender identity. These support groups are run by parents of LGBTQ youth or adults and take place across Massachusetts. They also have a helpline people can call for resources and to have their questions answered if they cannot attend an in-person support group.

The Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center

          A favorite for healthcare across the local LGBTQ community, The Sidney Borum Jr Center in Boston provides mental health counseling, support groups for transgender youth and adults, substance abuse treatment, STD testing and treatment, and medical care. The Sidney Borum Jr Center takes most insurances.

          Finally, a virtual resource LGBTQ youth can access across the country is The Trevor Project, which has a helpline folks can call for support, as well as a text line and an online chat room they can use if they aren’t able to make a phone call. The chat room has a private feature that enables the user to close the tab with three taps of the “esc” button if they cannot show their family their computer screen for safety reasons. The Trevor Project also has online chat rooms that LGBTQ youth can use to connect with each other.

         These are not the only services available to LGBTQ youth in Massachusetts. There are a lot of organizations able and ready to serve the extensive and varying needs of LGBTQ youth, and we encourage you to reach out for either yourself or someone you know if you need it. 

Links to These Resources

BAGLY

https://www.bagly.org/  

(617) 227-4313

 

Boston GLASS

https://jri.org/services/health-and-housing/health/boston-glass

(857) 399-1920

 

Greater Boston PFLAG 

https://gbpflag.org/

(781) 891-5966

 

Sidney Borum Jr Health Center

https://fenwayhealth.org/info/locations/the-borum/ 

(617) 457-8140  

 

The Trevor Project

https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

(866) 488-7386 

December 22, 2020
Presentations to Medford Senior Class

Each of our partner schools is using a unique blend of in-person and remote learning this year,  which means all of our presentations have been adjusted to their scheduless to best accommodate our student audience.

This December, we had the opportunity to completely reorganize our typical presentations while working with the senior class of Medford High School. Our capable team ran three activities for students simultaneously, rotating students each week for a total of nine sessions.
In all, we reached over 250 students! 

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The Presentations: 

Screening of 13 Reasons Why We Need to Talk About Suicide:
Executive Director Jake Cavanaugh and Senior Peer Mentor Andrew Christopher screened vignettes from our 13 Reasons Why We Need to Talk About Suicide series. These videos dramatize some of our core curriculum, and offer some engaging visuals that our remote learners definitely appreciated! The Depression and Anxiety vignettes show a fictional, but honest, portrayal of young people experiencing these mental health challenges, and describe how common symptoms may look or feel for students. These videos are a great jumping off point to discuss some of the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression, in a slightly different way than our Comeback Stories.  Jake and Andrew also lead a discussion around our Coping Strategies video, where some of our own TNP Peer Mentors describe their self-care techniques!

Creating a Self Care Toolbox: Peer Coordinators Elli Peltola and Shilpa Thirukkovalur lead students in an interactive, hands on activity focused on creating a Self Care Toolbox. The activity taught students about different types of self-care, such as physical self care, or spiritual self care that, together, create a well rounded set of skills that can be used across different scenarios – like a toolbox! Shilpa and Elli reported a lot of great interaction in the chat with students, discussing different self-care activities they are doing during the pandemic as well as how their self-care has changed.

Does your Self Care Toolbox include emotional self care?

Stress relief was a popular topic, and students recommended going on walks and spending quality time with their dogs, cats, and other furry friends. Sounds like a good idea to us!

To check out the activity Elli and Shilpa used, check out Virtual Hangout #10 in our Lesson Plans for educators!

Peer Mentor Presentations:
Clinical Director Donna Kausek and Peer Coordinator Lizzie MacLellan lead our Peer Mentor Presentations to students, using two breakout rooms to create smaller, more personal groups. Peer Mentors shared their updated Covid Comeback Stories, which focus on the strategies and supports they’ve found most helpful in managing their mental health this year. Students were so appreciative of these stories, and asked some thoughtful questions about the challenges our Peer Mentors discussed. Medford was the first student audience for some of our newest training graduates,  but you wouldn’t known that from how skillfully they handled the  fast-paced Q&A!

That’s four Nan Project presentations running all at once! This strategy was unique, but it allowed us to keep each presentation group small and interactive as our in-person programming. Most students made use of the chat feature to share their reactions and questions, and we were so impressed by their curiosity and insight. Though these students have had a strange senior year, we’re hopeful that this knowledgeable bunch will continue their conversations about mental health through the rest of the school year.

Our Peer Mentors once again rose to the challenge presented by remote learning, as they have all year! We’re excited to return in 2021, and to work with underclassmen in the future! 

The NAN Project’s End of Year Recap

End of Year Recap

The NAN Project team has been super busy this school year with our Peer Mentor presentations, professional development trainings, and parent presentations. Since the beginning of this school year, we have presented for 16 schools to over 1,350 students and 770 caregivers, parents, and community stakeholders. That’s a total of 2,120 folks! While most of our presentations were to high school students, we really expanded our audience this year with a successful rollout to middle schoolers and parents. We recently finished up a round of presentations at Beverly Middle School and their students were so excited to talk with us. They asked our Peer Mentors questions about their stories and shared their own experiences and coping strategies. The conversations were enriching for both the students and our team. Check out what Beverly’s teachers had to say about us: 

“Speakers were fantastic, love the new addition of the self-care kahoot, great education around strategies to help.”

“I thought it was great. Super well organized.  I loved that you had 3 speakers and I think it was 3 others as well [to answer students’ questions]. It felt like you set it up for safe conversation. The speakers chimed in when students were more quiet making it conversational. “

What Does a Typical Middle School Presentation Look Like?

Three of our Peers present their COVID Comeback stories,which talk about how their mental health has been affected during the Pandemic and what strategies they are using to take care of themselves. Between each Comeback Story, we have a discussion with the students about warning signs they noticed in the story, the importance of reaching out to a trusted adult, and different self-care activities they could try. Every class has a guidance counselor come in to talk about their role and the mental health resources available in the school, so students know they have a trusted adult available if they need to talk.  We’ve added a self-care Kahoot, which is a virtual trivia game , to engage students and make presentations more interactive. 

Parent Presentations

We’ve also had big turnouts and lots of positive feedback about our parent presentations! Because we are doing everything virtually this year, our trainings have become a lot more accessible for busy parents. Schools have told us that parents they haven’t had any contact with all year have come to our events. One of our popular trainings is called Building Resilient Families, where our knowledgeable trainers go over different strategies to help families adapt to challenging situations and bounce back. We also provide many resources including hotlines and websites with mental health information. Since parents and families are a really important source of support to young adults, we are so happy that we’ve been able to connect with them more in the past few months.

We look forward to continuing our work in the New Year. We hope everyone has a healthy and safe holiday season!

November 9, 2020
My Anxiety and Self Image Got Weird in Quarantine

By Sarah Dickie

When I was first laid off from my receptionist job in March due to COVID-19 (with the promise of unemployment insurance), I was relieved. 

I have social anxiety. I’ve struggled in environments my peers find ordinary – restaurants, waiting rooms, birthday parties, or really anyplace with unfamiliar people. My heart would beat faster in line at Starbucks as I rehearsed my order in my head. I would worry excessively about what others thought of me, especially those I was just meeting. I would examine what I say, how I sound, how I hold my body. I would decide it was all wrong; that nobody liked me, or could like me. I’ve struggled with disordered eating, partially due to poor body image. At the intersection of these anxieties, I found myself practicing obsessive grooming; always seeking reflective surfaces, or avoiding them; refusing to take pictures, or eat in front of others. 

In this stage of my life these behaviors manifest much less often, and I can cope with them when they do – though sometimes I still struggle.  

If you think this sounds exhausting, you’d be right. Given the shame-spiral I have historically been prone to in the company of others, it may come as no surprise that I’m quite introverted. (Is it a feature of the anxiety, or a true personality trait?) I spend plenty of joyful time with friends and loved ones, but at the end of the day, I recharge best in the company of myself. I had dreamt of shutting myself in, opting out of being perceived, only to venture out for food – and suddenly, when the lockdown began in March, to live like this was public safety. It was recommended. I breathed a sigh of relief – I could take off my carefully curated, public-facing mask for a while. 

There was dissonance between the apocalyptic scene around me – desolate parking lots, entire strips of shops closed and darkened in broad daylight, shelves upon shelves emptied of toilet paper and disinfectants – and the relief I felt, privately, it seemed. I saw time stretch in front of me:  day after day to do whatever, whenever, an indefinite vacation from the comfort of home, with no one to bother me and no one to judge me. I indulged in anti-productivity: I watched TV, I played video games; I danced around in my sleepwear. Sometimes I just did nothing. I got weird; I spoke out loud to myself, and made unintelligible noises just to hear them. I stayed up into the night and slept far into the day. I took my time eating breakfast. I smiled at myself in the mirror. I liked being alone – I liked me, if I wasn’t worried that others might not. I ignored calls and texts from friends and loved ones – social connection was no responsibility of mine anymore.

Summer came, though I never really felt it. My comfort in quarantine morphed into a maladaptive super-isolation, dissonant now with images online of folks flooding beaches and restaurants. Nothing tethered me to the passage of time. By August, I was outright avoiding speaking with family and friends. Conversation seemed too exhausting. I sent so many I miss you! texts, and ignored the responses. I couldn’t make sense of this myself, so I’m sure friends couldn’t either. I dreaded answering a how are you? – I didn’t know. I hardly felt present in my body long enough to assess that. I wasn’t moving much – maybe from my desk to the kitchen to the couch – so my own body felt foreign to me; it felt heavy. I was dissociating frequently. I scrolled endlessly through social media, absorbing bad news and others’ anxieties; engaging with others only superficially through “likes”, but never in real conversation. A voice in my head thought I might be struggling now, and it might be time to reach out for support – but I didn’t feel real, and I couldn’t imagine that other people were, either, if I couldn’t see them. I had unlearned object permanence. I had become so forgetful – what day was it? Had I eaten? 

I showered only to replace old sweatpants with clean ones. I didn’t bother with my hair, or with makeup. I didn’t care how I looked. The NAN Project teaches middle and high school students that similar changes in hygiene habits can indicate poor mental health. Pre-pandemic, I was someone who found joy in fashion and hair; someone who was known in my social circles for my style – but in COVID-era isolation, I gave up on these things. Was it still a bad sign if my life was so different now? Was my obsession with appearance better than not caring at all? If I had nowhere to be, no one to see, did I still have to make the effort, or else have it mean something? It didn’t make me feel better not to get dressed.

In October, I asked myself another tough question: how did my body image change when no one was around to see me? How did my opinion of myself change when I was alone?

Now, in November, my pandemic unemployment assistance has long run out, and I am preparing to return to full-time, on-site work. I am afraid. All the anxieties I’ve worked so hard to quiet have reared their heads again. Will I do a good job? Will I make a fool of myself? Will people like me? I will make use of coping strategies I’ve learned and practiced pre-pandemic: grounding exercises, journaling, art as self-expression, seeking love and reassurance. There are some things, though, I cannot as easily cope with, like the fear that re-entering the public sphere will render me vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. How much of my fear of others is warranted now, to keep me safe? How much of it must I challenge in order to grow?    

There is no right way to respond to this health crisis. (Except for wearing your mask and engaging cautiously with others in person, if at all – please continue to do these things.) No matter how you feel, you are not alone; no matter how strange your emotional responses, or the ways you’ve found to adapt, you are not alone. If you are overwhelmed by loneliness, or by fear, if you feel you are moving backwards (and then forwards, and then backwards) in your recovery journey, if you have asked yourself some heavy, existential questions – me too. Keep in touch with the people who lift you up and calm you down. Remember to remain present and take care of yourself in any way you know how. I am trying to remember, too.

October 29, 2020
A Night for NAN 2020

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, The Nan Project will not be holding our annual fundraising event, A Night for Nan. However, we know the need for suicide prevention and mental health education is more important than ever.

The Nan Project team prepared this video to thank you for your ongoing support, and show you how we’ve adapted our programming to reach students, educators and parents in this challenging year.


Until we can be back in schools again, The Nan Project will continue its work through every possible platform.

We hope you will consider donating to The Nan Project in support of our work, and we look forward to seeing you next year.

October 27, 2020
Grief Ripples Out, But So Does Hope

Trigger warning:  this post discusses a suicide attempt. 


In September of 2000, 19-year-old Kevin Hines attempted to take his life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. He had been struggling with paranoia, hallucinations, and depression, he had been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, and he had been convinced that he was a burden to all those who loved him. He saw only one way to escape his pain.  

Still, just as he launched himself into free fall, Kevin felt instant regret. 

 God, please save me, he thought. I don’t want to die. I made a mistake. 

Statistics show that one person goes to the Golden Gate Bridge to attempt suicide every 7 to 10 days, with over 98% of these attempts being fatal. The bridge has been nicknamed “the suicide magnet of the world.” It is estimated that only 26 people have survived the jump, one being Kevin Hines. Most will say they felt the same regret as Kevin – they didn’t really want to die.

    For twenty years since that day, Kevin has dedicated his life to using his story to inspire hope in others struggling with mental health challenges. Suicide: The Ripple Effect offers a glimpse into Kevin’s life before and after his jump, chronicling his world-renowned career in advocacy and motivational speaking, and his personal journey through mental health and healing.  

On the day of his suicide attempt, Kevin’s father came to see him in the hospital. Through heavy sobs, they immediately apologized to one another. Kevin recalls the conversation for Marcus Butler, a retired US Coast Guard officer who came to his rescue that day, as the two float under the Golden Gate bridge in a small motorized boat. 

    “Both of our immediate reactions for what I did there,” Kevin laments, looking up at the bridge, “Was guilt.”  

    Guilt, followed by rage and fear. Later, Kevin recalls how much rage his suicide attempt had sparked in the people he loved; he recalls the pain and the grief all around him. He once asked his father, years after the jump, if he still feared Kevin’s death by suicide. His response? Every time the phone rings. 

    “My actions did that,” Kevin laments. He imagines his father’s intense anxiety as he feels his cell phone buzz in his pocket.

It’s true that Kevin’s suicide attempt brought much grief into the lives of his loved ones. It’s true, too, that his survival, and his willingness to share his story, has inspired so much progress in mental health advocacy and in the lives of countless struggling people.

Among the many dedicated advocacy workers Kevin meets throughout the film is one crisis line counselor in Georgia, who happens to be a big fan. He had heard Kevin tell his story at a pivotal moment in his life.

“You saved my life, man,” he says earnestly. The two share a long, warm embrace. 

Kevin has also inspired Christy Frecceri, a trauma nurse, to speak at conventions around the country about Golden Gate Bridge jumpers. She tended to Kevin in the hospital following his suicide attempt. She was shocked to read Kevin’s chart and discover what had happened to him. 

“I hadn’t ever thought of such a thing in my career,” she says to Kevin, remembering that fateful day that changed both of their lives. She hopes to use Kevin’s story to educate other nurses about caring for a patient who has experienced physical and mental trauma. 

    “They call that the Ripple Effect,” Kevin says, smiling down at Frecceri’s presentation notes. 

Likewise, Kevin’s father Patrick Hines became involved with the Bridge Rail Foundation, a non profit organization dedicated to erecting a suicide deterrent barrier along the Golden Gate Bridge. It is personal for many participants, having lost a child, a spouse, or a friend to suicide by bridge-jumping. 

“They’re not going there to die in front of a beautiful bridge,” says Kevin of the bridge-jumpers, “They’re going because of a four-foot rail; because it’s easy.”

Most large buildings and high public attractions have suicide barriers – the Eiffel Tower does, as well as the Empire State Building – but the initial proposal to install such a structure at the Golden Gate Bridge was met with criticism. Patrick Hines says the main reason was preserving the bridge’s beauty. Still, according to the Bridge Rail Foundation’s blog, suicide deterrent structures will soon be installed at the Golden Gate Bridge.

     Experts interviewed throughout The Ripple Effect emphasize that restricting access to physical means is just one piece of the prevention puzzle. We also need to change how we talk about suicide, and how we support one another in our journeys to mental wellness.

David Covington, President of American Association of Suicidology, criticizes our culture for waiting until we lose a struggling individual to suicide to talk about it. 

“I think we have many, many more examples of people who’ve found a way to survive, to cope, to find supports, and in some cases even thrive,” says Covington, “But we’re not telling those stories.” He expresses his admiration for Kevin, who has used his survival story to touch other struggling individuals, and give them the hope to choose living. “I think there’s a huge opportunity as we talk about stories of survival to support people who are out there who are in pain,” Covington says.  

    Kevin Hines knows that hope is not an action plan, but it is a necessary starting point. 

    “If you can give a hopeless person hope, they can turn a corner,” he says.  Now Kevin is equipped with the emotional tools and the loving support he needs to manage his symptoms, though his Bipolar disorder has not gone away.  He is seen throughout the film sharing embraces with his wife, father, and friends. 

“He actually goes through something — whether it’s mania, or depression, or paranoia, or suicidal ideation — something, every day there’s something,” Kevin’s wife, Margaret Hines, says of his life now. “But because he is taking care of his wellness, he manages it so well. He has a support system — me, our friends, our family — and he knows that he’s always in a safe place.” A mobile phone video plays of Kevin, formally dressed, dancing in the aisle of a pharmacy. 

Though Suicide: The Ripple Effect engages with some heavy subjects, it is not a somber film. Kevin Hines teaches us that some good can come out of the trauma and tragedy of suicide. We feel the “ripple” of suicide for better and for worse: a whole community grieves one fatal attempt, but one recovery can inspire hope in so many struggling people. The Ripple Effect is an earnest, tender, enlightening watch — and Kevin hopes that it’s the beginning of a movement. 

“No matter the pain you’re going through today, or the people you love are going through today, they can have a better tomorrow,” says Kevin. 

To learn more about suicide prevention worldwide, visit the Ripple Effect web page here

Rent The Ripple Effect on iTunes or Amazon. See Kevin tell his story for Buzzfeed here

October 7, 2020
You Are Not Alone: What Local Experts Want You To Know About Suicide

Last Friday, The NAN Project Peer Coordinators Lizzie MacLellan and Shilpa Thirukkovalur sat down to speak virtually with Mayor of Cambridge Sumbul Siddiqui and psychiatrist Dr. Camilo Acuna from the Cambridge Health Alliance about suicide prevention, mental health, and COVID-19. Broadcast live on several social media channels, this conversation with local experts was meant to destigmatize mental illness and recognize the role each individual can play in preventing the suicide of a young person as part of the city of Cambridge’s Suicide Prevention Month efforts. 

Mayor Siddiqui explains that the importance of this conversation is even more critical now: as we enter the seventh month of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are experiencing heightened anxiety and worsening depression due to social isolation, financial instability, and health concerns. Some of us may be experiencing these symptoms for the first time in our lives. The Center for Disease Control recently reported that a quarter of young adults ages 18 to 24 have seriously considered suicide during this pandemic. 

When asked to weigh in on the impact of COVID-19 on young folks’ mental health, Lizzie refers to what we call “risk factors,” attributes or traits that make a person more likely to consider suicide. Lizzie explains that certain risk factors have been heightened by the pandemic, such as loneliness, aimlessness, and instability — especially for high school students, who are missing out on certain rites of passage and other coming-of-age experiences, now that many schools have gone remote. Lizzie also explains that the behavior of a person at risk might look different in COVID-times. The NAN Project teaches students to look out for a friend who is isolating from others. While we are all isolating for our physical safety, this might instead look like not showing up for virtual hangouts, not answering phone calls or texts, or an uncharacteristic absence from social media. 

Senior Peer Coordinator Lizzie MacLellan, live from home last Friday.

Lizzie advises viewers to look out for drastic changes in mood, behavior, or appearance, and to reach out right away to a person displaying these warning signs of suicide.

“Ask the question,” Lizzie insists, and what she means is it is vitally importantto ask a young person directly if they are thinking about suicide if you notice some of the warning signs. Most untrained individuals are hesitant to mention suicide to a young person in their life, for fear of putting the idea in the person’s head. The NAN Project teaches students that asking about suicide will instead give the struggling person an opportunity to open up about what they are feeling, which is the first step to getting support. The next step, Lizzie advises, is to take that information to a trusted adult. 

    On identifying a trusted adult, Shilpa says this is simply someone who makes the young person feel heard, validated, and safe. For Shilpa, this adult was her father. In a case where a young person feels uncomfortable to bring up a mental health concern with a parent, Shilpa suggests approaching a teacher, a coach, or the school guidance counselor.  

Peer Coordinator Shilpa Thirukkovalur offers her insights.

    Therapy is something this trusted adult might suggest. Dr. Acuna discusses the myriad of telehealth options available during the COVID-19 pandemic. He says he is surprised how many young people have found this mode of therapy helpful — maybe because it is less intimidating for a youth to try therapy from the comfort of their bedroom, rather than in the unfamiliar environment of the therapist’s office. Of course he notes that teletherapy comes with its own accessibility issues, such as young folks not having access to a stable internet connection or a private place to talk. 

Mayor Siddiqui asks her guests to suggest how LGBT youth and youths of color might go about finding a therapist who fits their needs. Shilpa says that while there aren’t enough therapists of marginalized groups, it is important for young people to find a therapist who respects their identity and their culture. 

“It’s not something you should compromise when looking for care,” Shilpa says. “Many therapists are still learning, and are willing to educate themselves – as long as the respect is there.” 

“It’s something the field still needs to work on,” Dr. Acuna agrees. “There’s a long legacy of racism, of misogyny, of homophobia and transphobia in the medical system, and mental health Is certainly not an exception, unfortunately.” Dr. Acuna advises young people to feel empowered to change providers until they find someone who makes them feel safe. 

Given the undeniable importance of mental healthcare, the speakers emphasize that you don’t have to be a mental health professional to support someone at risk for suicide. 

“Suicide prevention is something we can all do – you don’t have to have all the answers,” Lizzie says. A young person supporting their friend can make a call for them to a suicide hotline or a mental health professional, walk with them down to the school’s guidance office, or simply be with them while they make their own plan to reach out to an adult. Further, we can all educate ourselves about the signs and symptoms of a mental health concern, as well as work to become more comfortable discussing mental health. 

Lizzie uses the example of someone with a broken arm: people would show sympathy, help them carry their bags, ask how they’re doing or what they need — without judgement. 

“Mental health and suicide don’t have to be different,” she says.

Mayor Siddiqui and her guest speakers leave viewers with an important message: if you are struggling, you are not alone, you are cared for, and help is available. 


The full video is available to watch here.

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