let your light shine
Born: September 10, 2021
Purpose: “Lu.men” reminds us to shine our light and spread kindness wherever we go.
Current Location: Huntingdon Area High School, 2400 Casssady Avenue, Huntingdon, PA 16652
Created by: Huntingdon Area High School Students in collaboration with Marisa Vicere, Jessica Lawrence, and Melanie Veeder
Sponsored by: Juniata College Safe Spaces to Talk through funding provided by Grant No. 2015-WA-AX-0025 awarded by the Office of Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.
“Simply shine your light on the road ahead, and you are helping others to see their way out of darkness.” – Katrina Mayer
For two weeks Jana Marie Foundation had the opportunity to work with the students from Huntingdon Area High School and witness first hand ways in which these students are here for each other and spread light to those around them. As our young people today are faced with more and more uncertainty, it is promising to see how passionate and driven they are to make a difference in the world. They are leaning in and facing adversity and caring about others in ways that reassure us that we have a lot to be hopeful about.
This Stomper is named “Lu.men,” short for illuminate. According to Merriman-Webster, illuminate means to make something visible or bright by shining light on it. This couldn’t be a more fitting name for this Stomper as each student moves forward using the tools they learned through this project to both shine a light on mental health and wellness and suicide prevention, and to be the light for someone in need. LU.MEN symbolizes hope and clarity.
Creating the Stomper
Close to 150 Huntingdon Area High School students had a hand in creating this Stomper. It was a true community effort and positive way to connect with each other, share kindness, and create a beautiful statement through art that will have a lasting effect within the halls of Huntingdon High School and beyond.
Messages of hope and encouragement were written on parts of the sneakers to help remind us to shine brightly and boldly. Throughout our time together, students discussed suicide prevention, practiced ways to support one another, identified trusted adults they can lean on, and came up with a self-care action plan.
Reach out if you or someone you know needs to talk.
Suicide is preventable. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out for help: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
“Lumen” was unveiled on September 16, 2021 at the Huntingdon Area Art Walk.
Signs and Symptoms:
We all play a vital role in preventing suicide. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help us ‘seize the awkward’ and help us engage in courageous conversations that can help save a life. Here are a few of the signs and symptoms that we discussed.
- Depressed, irritable, sad, or empty mood for at least two weeks
- Withdrawal from family, friends, and activities you used to enjoy
- Changes in appetite
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Excessive anger
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Low self-esteem or feeling guilty
- Trouble concentrating, thinking, remembering or making decisions
- Persistent physical symptoms
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Having the conversation
Listen! It’s important to let your friend speak freely and openly. Ask open-ended questions.
“I” Statements: “I noticed…” “I’m concerned…” These statements are a great way to let someone know you care about them and that you’re concerned without seeming judgmental.
Give Hope. While talking, offer support, understanding, encouragement, and acceptance.
Help connect to resources. There are lots of trained individuals who can help guide someone through stressful events.
Talk to a trusted adult! Let’s make sure our friends are here tomorrow. When you are worried about someone, tell a trusted adult. We all do better when we are surrounded by people who have our back.
And don’t forget cultivate your own support system and make self-care a priority.
Things we can say to a friend who is struggling
Sometimes we all need a little support. You can offer your friend support by lending a listening hear and providing statements of reassurance and hope.
- You matter.
- You are enough.
- You are not alone in this.
- You are so important to me.
- I admire your courage to get help.
- I’m glad you trusted me enough to share this with me.
- I’m here for you.
- I will never give up on you.
- There are people trained to help us get through this.
- You don’t have to say anything. I’ll just sit here with you.
There are many trained individuals who can help you get through a mental health concern or crisis. If you are worried about yourself or a friend – don’t wait – get help today! Talk with a trusted adult (school nurse, counselor, teacher, coach, parent, neighbor, etc.) or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK(8255).
This Stomper, Lu.men, was made possible through the generous support of Juniata College and by Grant No. 2015-WA-AX-0025 awarded by the Office of Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
Our Artists: Chris Bittner, Marisa Vicere, Nancy Vicere
Curriculum Development: Marisa Vicere, Melanie Veeder, and Jessica Lawrence
Huntingdon Area High School Supporters: Chief Charles Streightiff, Principal Travis Lee, Assistant Principal Kristen Streightiff, Art Teacher Erin Shaffer
Juniata College Partner: Jennifer Pencek
“Lumen,” short for illuminate. My name couldn’t be more fitting. I’m here to shine light on the importance of mental health and wellness and the importance of starting a conversation with someone who might be experiencing a difficult time. I symbolize hope and clarity. I can’t wait to shine brightly and boldly with you!
There is help. There is hope.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health concern or crisis, please reach out for help.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text PA to 741741
Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
Trans Life Line: 1-877-565-8860