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Suicide Prevention Display To Travel To Penn State

By Lauren Redding

Active Minds’ Send Silence Packing – a nationally recognized public education exhibit of 1,100 backpacks, representing the number of students who die by suicide every year – will be displayed on the Old Main Lawn on April 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Send Silence Packing is a program of Active Minds Inc., the leading national nonprofit organization working to engage students in the conversation about mental health. The powerful outdoor exhibit of 1,100 donated backpacks sheds light on college student suicide and promotes a healthy dialogue around mental health. To give a “face” to the lives lost, personal stories and testimonies written by families and friends accompany the backpacks. Passersby will be invited to walk among the backpacks and read the stories of those who have died. In addition, Active Minds will hand out literature on mental health, suicide prevention and where to seek help.

Active Minds was established in 2003 by Alison Malmon – then a junior at the University of Pennsylvania – after tragically losing her only brother, 22-year-old Brian Malmon, to suicide.

“For over 10 years, Active Minds has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about mental health and combat the stigma surrounding it, but our work is never over,” said Malmon, now the executive director of Active Minds, Inc. “I’m particularly proud of Send Silence Packing, a powerful visual that really shows how serious of an issue this is on our college campuses.”

The Spring 2015 tour kicks off on Monday, March 30 at Fordham University in New York and will travel to 11 additional locations throughout the Northeast, closing in Morristown, N.J. on May 1. This program was unveiled on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2008, with a keynote speech by The Honorable Patrick Kennedy. Since then, more than 300,000 people in 85 cities throughout the country have experienced Send Silence Packing.

Photo: Active Minds

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