Georgia Southern University to host 2021 Active Minds Send Silence Packing® Exhibit
The Counseling Center at Georgia Southern University has partnered with Active Minds’ acclaimed Send Silence Packing® exhibit in an effort to end the silence that surrounds mental health and suicide and connect visitors with resources for support and action.
The 2021 exhibit will be at Sweetheart Circle on the Statesboro Campus on Tuesday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and at the Residential Plaza on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah Wednesday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The all-day exhibit will include backpacks featuring stories from individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide. These backpacks, many of which were donated by families, are designed to raise awareness about the impact of suicide, connect individuals to mental health resources and inspire action for suicide prevention.
Passersby are invited to walk among the Send Silence Packing backpacks to see the photographs and read the stories attached to them. Staff from the Counseling Center will be on hand at the exhibits on both campuses to offer support, resources and answer questions throughout the day.
Georgia Southern’s Counseling Center has two full-time suicide prevention coordinators. Jade Humphries and Arty Allen, who work on the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses, respectively, help coordinate events like Send Silence Packing to increase awareness among faculty, staff and students.
Since its inaugural display on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in 2008, Send Silence Packing has reached more than a million visitors and counting with messages of hope and help. Evaluation data attests to the exhibit’s impact — most visitors leave wanting to learn more about mental health and the majority tell three or more people about the exhibit and may reach out to a friend in need or seek help for themselves as a result of experiencing it.
To address changing needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Active Minds launched a new companion exhibit designed to complement the in-person program – Send Silence Packing: Behind the Backpacks. This virtual, immersive experience gives users an in-depth look at the impact of suicide through personal stories, stigma reduction techniques and visual components such as videos, photos, and audio. Visitors to Send Silence Packing will have a chance to learn more about Behind the Backpacks and easily share this program with friends, family and their communities.
“I founded Active Minds as a freshman in college following the death of my brother, Brian, to suicide in order to end the stigma around mental health. Stigma is shame, shame causes silence and silence hurts us all,” said Alison Malmon, founder and executive director of Active Mind. “Send Silence Packing is a highly visible way to combat that stigma, increase openness and inspire action for suicide prevention. Thank you, Georgia Southern, for bringing the 2021 exhibit to your community to help continue to spread awareness and inspire action around mental health and suicide prevention efforts.”
The 2021 Send Silence Packing tour is sponsored by Humble Bundle.
Send Silence Packing: Beyond the Backpacks was made possible by a donation from the RSM US Foundation.
More information about Send Silence Packing or Behind the Backpacks can be found at activeminds.org/sendsilencepacking.
About Active Minds: Active Minds is the nation’s premier nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for young adults. Active Minds has a presence at more than 800 campuses, schools, communities, and workplaces nationwide, and is powered by a robust Chapter Network,the nationally acclaimed Send Silence Packing® exhibit, inspiring Active Minds Speakers, and our tailored Active Minds @Work initiative. The organization is dedicated to ending the silence and changing the conversation about mental health for everyone. To learn more, visit www.activeminds.org.
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