Did You Know?

  • Depression and mental health issues can and do affect everyone, regardless of age, gender, race or nationality
  • According to SAMHSA, one in four American adults experience mental illness in a given year
  • Approximately 20% of youth aged 13-18  experience severe mental disorders in a given year
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds
  • There are more suicides each year in the US than homicides
  • It's time that we stand up against stigma and stomp it out

Our Project

Jana Marie Foundation's Stompers Project uses art, music, stories and other forms of creative expression to educate the community about mental health and help stomp out the stigma that surrounds mental illness. In a nutshell, Jana Marie Foundation is working with local artists, schools and organizations to create life sized sculptures of people formed out of old sneakers. The sculptures are called “Stompers” to acknowledge their symbolic role in helping to stomp out stigma.

The Stomper prototype was debuted on Thursday, January 15, 2015 during a launch event that was held in the State College Municipal Building. Jana Marie Foundation and our team of artist partners, including Mark Pilato, Mel Forkner-Lesher, and Chris Bitner, have since worked with local schools and organizations to engage community members in conversations surround mental and emotional health through the use of our specially designed curriculum.  

The Stompers Project(R) has been featured during two art exhibits: Rhoneymeade in May 2015 and Central PA Festival of the Arts in July 2015.  The art exhibits showcased four Stomper Statues, artwork and activities that were completed during the Stompers curriculum, letters to your past self, and more.  Voice, the Centre County Mental Health Stomper, has traveled the state of Pennsylvania, including a trip to Harrisburg and to Williamsport.

Beyond the exhibits, the Stompers Project has been acknowledged by the Centre Daily Times, Centre County Gazette, StateCollege.com, Lock Haven Express, WTAJ, WJAC and more!

We believe the Stompers Project has the potential to be a major catalyst in the effort to eliminate the stigma around mental illness and prevent suicide not only here in Centre County, but well beyond.  Our goal is to build an additional five Stompers in 2015 and even more than that in the years to come! 

The Stompers

Please click on the names to see our completed stompers, along with their stories. 

The Stompers