About Us

Nancy Schimelpfening, MS

Nancy Schimelpfening is the founder of Depression Sanctuary.

Unless otherwise stated, all of the content on Depression Sanctuary is written by and maintained by Nancy.

Nancy has a master’s degree in community health education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

She was the About.com (now Verywell.com) expert in depression from 1998 – 2016.

She also written for other online publications, including Healthline and MindBodyGreen.

Depression Sanctuary

Depression Sanctuary has been through several incarnations over the past two decades.

It originally began in 1998 as a depression chat room on The Mining Company, a site which was later rebranded as About.com.

When About.com opted to no longer host chat rooms, the decision was made to create a non-profit organization called Depression Haven in order to continue the great work that was being done on About.com.

Although Depression Haven eventually closed its doors, it was soon realized that a strong need for this type of safe, moderated chat room still existed and the idea for Depression Sanctuary was born.

Depression Sanctuary’s chat rooms are moderated by staff members called hosts.  Hosts are volunteers who also suffer from depression who want to give back to the community by sharing what they have learned in their journeys of healing.

While we do not provide professional services, many of our hosts do hold qualifications in fields such as social work or nursing.  Several are also involved in other mental health non-profits like NAMI.