Send Silence Packing will visit UA Campus to End Silence that Surrounds Mental Illness, Suicide

April 26, 2019

Send Silence Packing will visit UA Campus to End Silence that Surrounds Mental Illness, Suicide

  • What: Send Silence Packing mental health awareness exhibit
  • When: Monday, April 29, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Where: UA Mall

TUCSON, Ariz. — On Monday, hundreds of backpacks will be displayed on the University of Arizona Mall near Old Main as part of a national tour to foster discussion and support regarding mental health and suicide. Each backpack represents a college-aged life lost to suicide.

For more than a decade, the ​Send Silence Packing exhibit has traveled to dozens of campuses across the country to end the silence that surrounds mental illness and suicide. This exhibit is presented by Active Minds, a leading nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for students.

The exhibit is designed to raise awareness about the impact of suicide, connect people to mental health resources and inspire action for suicide prevention. Visitors are invited to walk among the backpacks to see the photographs and read the stories attached to them. Many of the backpacks were donated by families who lost a student to suicide.

The event is sponsored by the UA student chapter of Active Minds and UA Campus Health Service. It is co-sponsored by the Student Health Advocacy Committee, the UA Residence Hall Association and the UA Healthiest Campus Coalition. Counselors from UA Counseling and Psych Services will be on hand, as well.

"Our main goal is to promote mental health awareness to students across campus," said Active Minds President Jasmine Kiongo. "I have seen so many students struggle mentally and not know where to receive help, and we wanted to do something about it. Having this event here at the university will be a great physical representation of the amazing resources that are out there to help students succeed and become the best person they can be."

Over the past school year, Campus Health has offered 15 suicide prevention workshops for students, faculty and staff. The classes, named QPR after the "Question, Persuade, Refer" protocol, have been offered on campus to help people learn how to recognize clues that may indicate someone is contemplating suicide. The next QPR class will be May 2 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

"Asking someone if they are thinking about suicide is often a big relief and can help someone take steps to get support. Learning how to question, persuade, and refer may help save a life," said Lee Ann Hamilton, UA Active Minds chapter advisor and a QPR facilitator.

In addition to UA Campus Health Service Counseling and Psych Services, there is a national Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) and a crisis text line (text "Brave" to 741-741).

Media contacts:
Lee Ann Hamilton
UA Campus Health Service

Jasmine Kiongo
UA Active Minds President

Established in 1885, the University of Arizona, the state's super land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader and ranked 16th for the employability of its graduates, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $606 million in research investment each year, and ranking 21st among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships, and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $8.3 billion annually.