Our Artists:

Chris Bittner

Marisa Vicere

Nancy Vicere

A Big Thank You:





Suicide Survivor Stomper


Created by Centre County community members and Penn State Students in collaboration with Marisa and Nancy Vicere of Jana Marie Foundation

Born: April 24, 2016

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”   ― Shannon L. Alder

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.  Every 12.8 minutes someone dies by suicide.  For every death by suicide, there are 25 attempts.  Despite these alarming statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, suicide rarely is talked about. This Stomper was created to raise awareness for suicide prevention and end the silence.

This Stomper is named “Strength.”  According to Merriam-Webster, strength means “the inner courage or determination that allows a person to face and deal with difficulties.”  For those who have lost someone to suicide, it symbolizes the strength it takes to grieve, cope with loss and go on with life.  For those who have a lived experience of suicide, it symbolizes the inner strength to move forward and forge on.  For all, it symbolizes the strength to reach out for help when in need and to provide help to those who need it.

This Stomper was created by over 100 people across Centre County who have been touched by suicide.  There is strength in numbers. Stand together with us and help end the silence.  It could be the difference between life and death.

Suicide is preventable. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out for help: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

 Sponsored by Jana Marie Foundation,  Mount Nittany Health and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Hosting Sites:

Cedar Clinic

Unitarian Universalist Church

YMCA - State College Branch

YMCA - Bellefonte Branch


Our Stories

If you are in crisis or thinking about suicide, please

call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline:

1-800-273-TALK (8255) 

When the candle goes out

and you cannot see

the memories of the light

still dance in your heart

-Jana Vicere

Members of the Centre County community came together to discuss issues around mental and emotional well-being, the importance of creative expression and the power that owning our stories can have.

Messages of hope and encouragement were written on parts of the sneakers to inspire us and help us remain brave during our journey of life and to reach out for support when we are in need.

The pictures to the left provide a look at some the decorated pieces and show the Suicide Survivor Stomper coming to life. 

"Strength" was unveiled on April 24, 2016 at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of Darkness Walk. The special stomper will head out into the community to educate and raise awareness for suicide prevention.  

Please remember if you or someone is in need, help is available. 

I need to escape

I close my eyes
I need to escape
I want to run
but the hurt will follow
My tears are used up
my heart broken beyond repair
my mind on the verge of insanity

There is no way out
I’m swimming in a black hold
my feelings are racing through me
I cannot rest

No more hope
nothing to hope for
my memories are lost
my past haunts me
always looking over my shoulder
huddling in a corner
frightened of reality

Afraid of change
I am filled with rage
My self-hate is extreme
I need to escape 

"Strength" was made possible by the generous support from Jana Marie Foundation, Mount Nittany Health and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.