Summertime is here, and school’s out on vacation. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t been keeping busy!
6/4- We had the opportunity to introduce ourselves to a group of students from The Phoenix Academy in Lawrence and have our Peer Mentors share their Comeback Stories. We then led a discussion about the different warning signs that a friend may be struggling and how to ask someone if they need help.
6/5- We were invited back to Stoneham High School to have our Peer Mentors present to Comeback Stories their Sophomore class. After, we had a conversation identifying the trusted adults in their community and how to access supports if someone they know is struggling.
6/6 – A group of Nanners attended a community event hosted by the Greater Boston Suicide Prevention Coalition, during which we had the joy of watching a performance by Genki Spark, a multigenerational, pan-Asian women’s group that practices and performs Taiko drumming, while also hearing stories of resilience. Thanks to the MCSP for hosting!
6/8- At the 2018 Youth at Risk Conference at Salem State University we connected with a ton of schools and programs in the region, as well as heard several inspiring speakers. We hope to make more connections and expand The NAN Project further into the district!
6/8 – The NAN Project took part in a youth panel on safety in schools organized by a group of young people at the Malden YWCA. Here, we were asked various questions regarding the safety of students in the Malden School District. On this panel were two Malden High students, the Malden Police Chief, a local lobbyist, and both of our Peer Coordinators.
6/12- We met with the newly established Peer Leader Team at The Phoenix Academy to discuss what we can do in their school to normalize the conversation of mental health and support emotional wellbeing.
6/12- We were invited to the Boston DMH office to screen our video project, 13 Reasons Why We Need To Talk About Suicide to the staff and several interns. We then led a discussion about how this can be utilized in various settings to help combat the stigma surrounding mental health challenges.
6/13- Met with the Principal, several Health teachers and Counselors at Milford High School to introduce The NAN Project and have several Peer Mentors share their comeback stories. We discussed the needs and expectations at the school around mental health ran through what a typical day is like while we present in schools. We look forward to working with Milford High School in the future!
6/15- We met with the staff of Framingham High School and their alternative program – The Phoenix – to see where we would best fit in collaborating with them on future projects starting next school year!
6/19 – We invited a handful of young adults who are interested in taking our initial training, to get a feel for what it will be like to work with us before they fully commit. During this orientation, we covered the basics of school presentations, our four day training, an intro to the Q.P.R. model of suicide prevention, and introduced a few clips from our 13 Reasons Why We Need To Talk About Suicide video.
6/26, 7/17, 8/7 – The Greater Boston Suicide Prevention Coalition is working with The NAN Project to establish a youth suicide prevention coalition. Several of our Boston based Peer Mentors took part, along with students from several alternative schools and phone bank volunteers with the Samaritans. We hope to use this newly founded group – Boston Youth Together – to continue spreading education about suicide prevention and emotional wellbeing. If you are interested in Boston Youth Together, please email [email protected] for more information!
7/10 – The NAN Project’s Peer Mentors work so hard during the school year, we thought it would be nice to gather for some down time for a Peer Mentor Appreciation Day. 13 Reasons Why We Need to Talk about Suicide was screened for the first time as a group, followed by some awesome, throwback Nintendo 64 action and Chinese food. It quickly became clear that some of us need to work on our Mario Kart skills, but it was still a nice way to cool off during the hot months of the summer.
7/16 – Reporters from WCVB’s Chronicle filmed several interviews with our founders and peer mentors, to be used for a segment airing during National Suicide Prevention week! Tune in this September to hear our team talk about their experiences with mental health and why we do what we do.
7/25 – Mike A, Onix and Jake travelled down to New Bedford to introduce The NAN Project to a group of therapeutic mentors with Mass MENTOR. We followed our typical presentation and Comeback Stories with a lengthy discussion on how to provide supports for young people who are struggling with a mental illness. We hope this presentation will open doors to more schools south of Boston where we’re making a major push this year!
8/14 – The NAN Project met with Stoneham High School’s Youth Coalition, a group of impressive young people with the goal of improving the wellbeing of their fellow students. Alongside health concerns such as substance use and vaping, the group discussed how to raise awareness about mental health among their classmates. The group will be meeting regularly once the school year begins!
8/18 –The rainy weather cleared up just in time for our Project Coordinator Kelley and our Peer Coordinators Mike and Lizzie to table at the Transition Age Youth Fundraising Fair in Plymouth. The Department of Mental Health’s parking lot hosted artists, mental health organizations, and local crafters – all to the tune of live music! We handed out the usual NAN Project ‘swag’ of stress balls, bracelets, and pens, as well a set of prints made by our Peer Mentors this winter at Lynn RAWArts. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our table!