• How can we continue to reduce the stigma around mental health?
  • What can we do to help promote healthy dialogue around the topic of mental wellness?
  • What can we do to let people know they are not alone?
  • Do you feel comfortable reaching out for help if you need it? Who can you reach out to?
  • Why might someone not feel comfortable reaching out for help? how can we help them change their attitudes?
  • Do you think stigmas still exist around mental and emotional health? Why or why not?
  • How do we increase understanding about mental and emotional health issues?
  • What do you do when you are feeling sad to help you feel better
  • What do you like to do to help you relax?

SERVE was created by Veterans, Active Military Service Members, ROTC students of Penn State University, Military Families, and those who serve Military Service Members and Veterans.


Through the assistance of the VA, a curriculum was developed to inspire hope and to reinforce the importance of living.  Each session focused on the unique needs of the individuals who attended the session.


Messages of hope, inspiration, and gratitude were written on the parts of the sneakers. Some were decorated with symbols of the branch they served in and some by honoring our Flag and what it stands for.  Each piece depicts the journey of a person in our community.


The pictures to the left provide a look at some of the painting sessions that took place during Summer 2018.


SERVE will live at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg.  

"SERVE"

Born: August 31, 2018

Created by Veterans, Military Service Members, and those who serve them.


According to the American Psychological Association, over 2 million Americans have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade and increasing numbers are returning home with complex mental and behavioral health challenges. Suicide and Suicidal Ideation is of growing concerning for the US Service Members.

Veterans who screen positive for PTSD are 4 times more likely to report suicidal ideation than veterans who did not. Families of Service Members report stress, family, and/or marital concerns and one-third of children with at least one deployed parent report mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety.

It is time to bring awareness to the Mental Health needs of Military Service Members and their families. Let’s STOMP out the stigma around reaching out for and receiving mental health services.


Because the need is so great to connect Military Service Members and their families to support resources, SERVE our Veteran STOMPER was created.


Active Duty Military, Veterans, Military Family Members, Professionals who serve Military Populations, and ARMY ROTC Cadets all took part in creating a piece of SERVE. During its creation, we talked about the unique needs that Military Service Members experience, including combat, trauma, deployment, and relocations. We also explored the needs of family members and communities that support the Military.

 SERVE raises awareness around the unique challenges that Military populations experience and as a reminder to SERVE those who serve our country.

 

This project was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency and by JB Griffin Memorial Foundation.
 

"Serve"

A Big Thank You:

Our Team:

Marisa Vicere

Nancy Vicere

Chris Bittner

Alison Turley




Mental Health Conversation Starters: Let's Engage in Dialogue!

Deep Breathing Exercise


Some other tools to help you relax include deep breathing, meditation, and yoga.  These activities can help begin to open your mind, body and spirit and create a sense of calmness. 


  • Stand up straight with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Arms and hands are relaxed downward
  • Body is relaxed
  • Eyes closed
  • Focus on lower abdomen (belly) and imagine a small balloon in that space
  • Breath in slowly an deeply through your nose, imagining the balloon inflating slowly, hold in a few seconds
  • Slowly exhale through the mouth, imagining the balloon gently deflating; blow out of the mouth as if blowing out a candle
  • Tip: Place a hand over the lower abdomen to feel it go up and down and make sure you’re not breathing with the chest
  • Repeat 10 times.

This project was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency and by JB Griffin Memorial Foundation.



Special Thanks To:

Tyler Gum

James E. Van Zandt Veterans Hospital

Leslie Laing

Eileen Woods