Born: May 30, 2015
Purpose: Voice reminds us to use our voices to help dispel myths and spread awareness for the importance of mental health
Current Location: Centre County MH/ID Building
Created by: Organizations throughout Centre County in collaboration with Jenn Chessie, Brandi Eslick, Nancy Vicere and Marisa Vicere
Sponsored by: Mental Health Matters Grant through the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Mental Health Matters
If you, a family member, or friend have experience with mental health issues, you are in a unique position to help stomp out the prejudice and discrimination that surrounds mental and emotional health and provide hope to others.
Over 95 community members participated in building this Stomper, named “Voice” to reflect how a community can come together to support one another, create a voice and make a difference. Those 95 people met as groups, discussed the importance of mental health awareness and shared their own personal experiences. “Voice” will now travel throughout Pennsylvania to help spark similar conversations, inform communities, break down barriers, and help stomp out the stigma that surrounds mental health services and support.
A Simple Message
“Voice” has a simple name and a simple message: Mental Health MATTERS. “Voice” represents the power we all have to go out into our communities, share information and personal stories, promote awareness and inspiration, and help each other find peace and hope.
Over 95 community members from six different organizations came together to discuss the importance of mental health awareness and shared their own personal experiences.
“Voice” was unveiled on May 20, 2015 at the annual Skills Candlelight Vigil.
Breathe by Seveta Gallu
Anxiety: An unpleasant state of uneasiness, or concern about an uncertain event.
I was barely four when the dreams began.
Images of free falling into darkness,
Being swept away from everything into nothing.
One cry for help, and my parents were there.
“Just breathe,” said my mother.
My father held me in his arms.
“You’re here with us and you are safe, Just breathe.”
Years pass, and now I am seven.
I fear that the sun will die,
And everything else with it.
When clouds gathered, I never expected only rain.
Every dark sky meant a hurricane,
Flooding my mind with hopelessness.
Frozen with fear,
I’d call my parents.
“Just breathe,” said my father.
My mom stroked my hair.
“You’re here with us and you are safe. Just breathe.”
I am older now.
I no longer fear hurricanes and tidal waves.
In fact I love the rain.
But as I’ve matured,
Anxiety’s roots have deepened.
And now, self consciousness and self doubt,
Are the storms that ravage my mind.
I’m twelve now.
I am. I am. I am.
I am good.
I am smart.
I am pretty.
I am something.
“Voice” was created by organizations throughout Centre County, PA including: Opportunity Centre Clubhouse, Community Service Group Site-Based Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program, Strawberry Fields Parent Support Group, Skills Central Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program in Philipsburg, Centre County Correctional Facility and Centre County Mental Health, Intellectual Disabilities, Early Intervention and Drug & Alcohol Office. “Voice” was made possible through the generous support of the Mental Health Matters Grant through the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Our Artists: Chris Bittner, Mark Pilato, Mel Forkner Lesher, Marisa Vicere, Nancy Vicere
Curriculum Development: Marisa Vicere
Our Partners: Centre County Mental Health, Skills of Central PA, Opportunity Centre Clubhouse, Centre County Correctional Facility, Community Service Group Site-Based Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program, Strawberry Fields Parent Support Group, Skills Central Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program in Philipsburg, PeerStar, Community Care Behavioral Health, Fitology, Jenn Chessie, Brandi Eslick
My name is Voice and I was created by community members to help remind people to use their voice to share information and get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health. I often travel around Pennsylvania to help share this message and emphasize that Mental Health MATTERS. Let’s use our voices and make a difference!
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