The AIR In Their Shoes display is a favorite for both students and staff at Mercer County Community College because it sends such a powerful message: You never know who around you is suffering. The clear takeaway is to be kind to all and to be supportive of those struggling, without judgment. In these uncertain times, an attitude of kindness and empathy is more important than ever. The increased need for mental health resources, especially after almost two years of pandemic stress and upheaval, is apparent. Last but not least: the therapy dogs!!! They are a real treat, and provide much needed comfort, especially after seeing such a moving exhibit.
Adriana Matt, Student Life and Leadership at Mercer County Community College
Just as each Holocaust Museum visitor assumes the identity of a Holocaust victim, the powerful IN THEIR SHOES™ display literally draws individuals not only into the shoes, but also into the minds of youth who struggle with mental health disorders and suicidal thoughts. Metaphorically, stopping the participants in their tracks as a result of the high impact, this is a profound way to build empathy and eliminate stigma.
Debra L. Wentz, PhDChief Executive Officer, New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies
The IN THEIR SHOES™ display is literally breathtaking. The power of seeing all those empty shoes stops you in your tracks and sends a poignant message that serves as an invaluable tool in the efforts to prevent suicide.
Jennifer VelezCommissioner, NJ Department of Human Services