West Virginia University has been selected to host the nationally recognized traveling exhibit entitled “Send Silence Packing.” The exhibit of 1,100 empty backpacks, representing the number of college students lost to suicide each year, will be held on Tuesday (September 6) in front of Woodburn Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“This extremely impactful one-day event will put a “face” to the college students lost to suicide each year, raise awareness of mental health services on campus, and provide members of the WVU community who have been impacted by suicide a place to reflect,” said T. Anne Hawkins, clinical director of the Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services. “We also hope the event will promote help-seeking behavior and decrease the stigma sometimes associated with discussing mental health concerns.”

In addition to the backpacks, educational resources on mental health, suicide, and campus resources will be available. Staff from the Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services will be on hand to provide support during the event.

Send Silence Packing was first unveiled in 2008 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Since that time, more than 320,000 people in 100 cities throughout the country have visited the display. This is Send Silence Packing’s first visit to West Virginia University and will be the first stop on the Fall 2016 national tour.

This event was funded and brought to WVU by a SAMHSA suicide prevention and awareness grant, housed in the Carruth Center, and widely supported with 35+ campus co-sponsors.



CONTACT: Allison (Cutlip) Hayes, WELLWVVU
304.293.4431, allison.cutlip@mail.wvu.edu

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