Send Silence Packing suicide exhibit to visit campus Sept. 30


Northern Star file photo

The MLK Commons on the campus of NIU in DeKalb.

By Elisa Reamer, News Editor

DeKALB – Active Minds NIU will bring Send Silence Packing, a suicide prevention exhibit, to NIU from 9 a.m. Sept. 30 at the MLK Commons.

The exhibit’s goal is to spread awareness about suicide, where to find help for mental health concerns and how to help someone that is facing a mental health crisis. 

Active minds displays 1,000 backpacks of loved ones who have lost their lives to suicide and stories from survivors, according to the Active Minds website. They want to change how mental health is talked about and to remind people that they are not alone. 

Active minds was started by Alison Malmon in 2003 while she was a junior at the University of Pennsylvania after she lost her older brother to suicide. 

“We are dedicated to saving lives and to building stronger families and communities,” according to the Active Minds mission statement. “Through education, research, advocacy, and a focus on young adults ages 14–25, Active Minds is opening up the conversation about mental health and creating lasting change in the way mental health is talked about, cared for, and valued in the United States.”

NIU is one of the more than 800 schools that have an Active Minds chapter. 

People walking by are encouraged to walk among the backpacks and read the stories as many are donated by the families who lost their loved ones to suicide, according to the NIU event calendar

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health crisis, please seek help from any of these services: 

NIU Counseling and Consultation Services: 815-753-1206

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: text “BRAVE” to 741-741