George Mason University Students and faculty alike were sobered and humbled by the Send Silence Packing exhibition that took place on September 10th.
Send Silence Packing is a nationwide exhibit put on by Active Minds at universities throughout the nation. 1,100 book bags were lined throughout North Plaza to represent the average number of college students who commit suicide each year. The exhibition was put on by the Mason Active Minds organization and Mason’s own Counseling and Psychological Services.
“We really hope that this will help to let students know that [suicide] isn’t the way to deal with their problems,” CAPS counselor Alison Behard said. “Hopefully this will let them know that they can come to us.”
Some of the book bags lying in North Plaza had the pictures and stories of students who were lost to suicide. It was clear that some Mason students were deeply moved by what they saw.
“It just makes me think of everything I wish I could do for people who feel like this,” freshman Amy White said.
One junior said that “seeing all of these bags makes me think of all the people you walk past every day and don’t ever think of them being suicidal.”
Throughout North Plaza were also signs giving statistics and information on college suicide. Active Minds also provided a banner for students to sign, pledging that they would be mental health advocates.
Photos by Gopi Raghu