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Send Silence Packing

Active Minds is raising awareness about student suicide with it’s visual display called “Send Silence Packing.”  After winning the Pepsi Refresh Everything Competition this past February, Active Minds decided to use their $50,000 grant to support the first road tour of Send Silence Packing to Universities across 10 states.

The tour began April 2nd in  Harrisburg Virginia at James Madison University, and this past Monday 3/4 of the way through their tour, they pulled in to the University of Minnesota and set up their display of over 1,000 backpacks on the Coffman Union lawn. The reaction at first is one that people share at every campus display, shock and disbelief.  “1,100 is just a number, but seeing them all laid out really shows the power.” stated Linda Fehrman, a mother who’s son Joel committed suicide and who shared their story at the St. Louis campus display.  “This really changed how I see things. I have been affected by friends and family committing suicide and this has helped me realize by not talking about it, isn’t the best thing to do.”

Suicide claims more than 1,100 college age students lives each year. Active Minds launched this aggressive campaign to raise awareness about mental health, depression and suicide on college campus’s  across the United States in hope that it will start people talking, and erase the stigma associated with mental health issues. Each of the 1,100 backpacks represents one of the 1,100 students that has taken their life and Active Minds has attached the personal story of loved ones to help put a “face” to lives lost to suicide.

Today the Send Silence Packing team is on it’s way to Marquette University in Milwaukee Wisconsin to set up the display for tomorrow, Wednesday April 28th.  With only 3 cities left on the first tour, we can only hope that their message of preventing suicide not being about the statistics but about saving the lives of students, sons, brothers, daughters, sisters and friends across the nation, is one that resonates.

Recognizing the signs of someone with a mental health disorder can help to save the life of a friend or family member. Click here for the 12 signs you might notice in yourself or a friend that might be reason for concern.

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