Over 1,000 backpacks filled the center of North Central College to send a special message about suicide prevention.
National organization Active Minds, presented Send Silence Packing to Jefferson Lawn. The traveling exhibition aims to raise awareness and show the impact of suicide with the display of backpacks representing those lost each year.
“We really want to make sure that students are aware that they can get help so I think that’s the goal of today. That students, and the community, are just aware of suicide and how many people are impacted by suicide, and that there’s so much hope and possibility when help is received,”said Director of the Dyson Wellness Center at North Central College, Tatiana Sifri.
Other organizations that helped bring the program to campus include SamaraCare, Linden Oaks, and Nick’s Network of Hope.
“So what we’re all trying to do as suicide survivors, we’re trying to send these stories and these backpacks to the different towns and communities, different college campuses, to say ‘hey there’s hope there, this is not just a statistic, this is not just something that people talk about, it’s real,’” said Founder of Nick’s Network of Hope, Linda Pacha. “When you see 1,100 backpacks in your mind you realize, for each one of these backpacks it’s the number of college students that are expected to typically take their lives within a year.”
This was the first time that Send Silence Packing was brought to North Central College. There are hopes to bring it again in the future.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.