CSU, Chico News

Student Group Sponsors Suicide Awareness Display

Date: 09-13-2011

Joe Wills
Public Affairs
Ariel Ellis, Active Minds

In an effort to shed light on the tragedy of college student suicide and start a dialogue about a heavily stigmatized topic, a California State University, Chico student group is hosting a display Friday, Sept. 16, of 1,100 donated backpacks representing the 1,100 U.S. college students lost to suicide each year.

Active Minds at CSU, Chico will be hosting Send Silence Packing, an award-winning public education display that hopes to combat the incidence of student suicide. This is the first time Send Silence Packing has visited California, and CSU, Chico is the first stop on the California tour.

“Few people realize that suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses and is erasing the future of so many of our peers,” said CSU, Chico chapter president Ariel Ellis. “We are so honored to host Send Silence Packing. The display will provide a powerful opportunity to raise awareness at Chico State and let students know that if they are depressed or suicidal they are not alone and there is help.”

Send Silence Packing was developed by Active Minds, a national organization advocating for awareness of college student mental health issues in the United States. The national organization collects backpacks and personal stories in memory of loved ones lost to suicide. By displaying backpacks with personal stories that put a “face” to the lives lost to suicide, Send Silence Packing carries the message that preventing suicide is not just about lowering statistics, but about saving the lives of students, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and friends across the nation.

The public can view the display at the Glenn Hall lawn at CSU, Chico on Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the display will be held indoors at the Wildcat Recreation Center. Students will be passing out information about mental health, student suicide and where to seek help. “Together we can save lives,” said Ellis.

The event is sponsored by CSU, Chico Active Minds, the Counseling Center, the Campus Wellness Center and Student Health Services.