Backpacks lined the sidewalks at the University of Redlands on Oct. 13, 2016. Faces and names stood out on each backpack, prompting students to pause on their way to class to read stories from people who lost loved ones to suicide.
The University of Redlands chapter of Active Minds, one of 400 across the country, and the Alliance for Community Transformation and Wellness hosted “Send Silence Packing” as an all-day event focusing on suicide prevention and promotion of mental health resources. “Send Silence Packing” is a display of 1,100 backpacks representing the number of college students who die by suicide every year. The display has traveled to more than 100 cities across the country with the goal of putting a “face” to those who have been lost.
Active Minds is a national suicide prevention awareness program that encourages people to seek treatment and functions as a safe space for college students to discuss mental illness. To submit a story to “Send Silence Packing” or to learn other ways to help make a difference, visit www.activeminds.org.