2021 Send Silence Packing

We invite the campus and community to visit the display on

Tuesday, October 19 

9 AM to 4 PM

VSU Palms Quad

For more than a decade, Active Minds' acclaimed Send Silence Packing exhibit has traveled the country to end the silence that surrounds mental health and suicide and connect visitors with resources for support and action.

The all-day exhibit includes personal stories from individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide and is 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. Many of the backpacks were donated by families who lost a loved one to suicide.

Since its inaugural display on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2008, Send Silence Packing has reached over 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.

Dr. Tricia Hale, Deputy Chief Officer of Student Affairs and the Counseling Center Director states,  "Send Silence Packing is part of the continued efforts by VSU to make mental health and wellness a priority for our campus community and lower the stigma around help seeking behaviors.  It is our hope that students, faculty and staff will visit this program and connect with the resources they need or learn about the resources they can share with a friend.”  

More information about Send Silence Packing or Behind the Backpacks can be found at activeminds.org/sendsilencepacking.

Please note, the display explores themes of mental health and suicide, and includes personal stories of people who have been lost to suicide. We will have mental health professionals available to speak to onsite, in the event that the experience evokes distress.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Rebecca Murphy, remurphy@valdosta.edu , or Active Minds’ Send Silence Packing team at sendsilencepacking@activeminds.org.

 If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or suicidal ideation, be sure to contact:

  • Valdosta State University Counseling Center, 2nd floor Student Health Building, 229-333-5940
  • 24/7 Hope Connect Support Line: 833-910-3365
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line: text “BRAVE” to 741-741

Help and hope are available.