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.
The administrator of Depression Sanctuary, Nancy Schimelpfening, worked 18 years for About.com (now known as Verywell.com) as their Depression Expert. In addition to her many years experience writing expert articles about depression and other mental health issues, she has an MS degree in Community Health Education.
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.