Backpacks fill Sweetheart Circle, encouraging students to speak up and ‘Send Silence Packing’

Shay Parker, Correspondent

Backpacks with stories of students lost to suicide filled the lawn of Sweetheart Circle Tuesday, equipping visitors with mental health resources and encouraging them to speak up about their mental health.

The Counseling center partnered with Active Minds to host a Send Silence Packing event on October 12, spreading awareness on mental health silence.

The backpacks featured stories from people who have lost a loved one to suicide, and share the impact it has on them and others close to them. 

“I witnessed two classmates die by suicide in our sophomore year of high school: Josh and Sarah. It goes to show that no matter what, there are things unseen that may be upsetting your friends, classmates or family. What we need to do – what I am going to do – for them and all others we’ve lost and still have with us today is listen.”

“Suicide is a very serious thing, and people don’t know when people are suicidal a lot of time, so you have to raise awareness and make people aware of it,” said student Austin Henderson. “Like it happens, people hearing about it.”

Staff from the counseling center were there to provide information and resources to anyone who was interested in learning more about mental health and how to help themselves and others.