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Active Minds to Bring Send Silence Packing Exhibition to UW-L

activeminds.org

activeminds.org

Peter Lenz, Staff Reporter

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Mental health can be complicated to talk about, something the Active Minds organization works towards changing. That is why the Active Minds UW-L chapter is bringing the Send Silence Packing exhibition to campus on May 9, 2017.

Active Minds considers the prevalence of mental illness in adults, while reducing the stigma associated with mental health. According to UW-La Crosse Active Minds president Haley Ingersoll, “1 in 4 adults have a diagnosable mental illness.”

Active Minds is the leading nonprofit organization nationwide dedicated to utilizing student’s voices to raise mental health awareness among college students (activeminds.org). The organization advocates for open communication regarding mental health in order to educate others, and encourages students to seek help.

UW-L will host the National Send Silence Packing Active Minds exhibition on May 9. Ingersoll had this to say regarding the exhibition, “Send Silence Packing is a traveling exhibition of 1,100 donated backpacks that represent the average number of college students lost to suicide each year.”

These backpacks, serving as a visual representation, are meant to prompt more discussion on mental health. “It is the second leading cause of death among college students following accidents,” Ingersoll elaborates, “so the hope is to bring awareness to the scope of the issue and serve as a reminder to students that help is available and they are not alone in their experiences.”

UW-L’s Active Minds organization had their sights set on this exhibition for some time. “This is an event that the UW-L Active Minds chapter has wanted to bring to campus since its inception,” Ingersoll states, “Whether it inspires (students) to join our organization and take action, or simply serves as a reminder that their mental health is of as much as importance as their physical health, we will consider it a great accomplishment.”

Students pursued this exhibition because of the impact it has had on others. UW-L Active Minds executive board member, Tyler Besaw, explains further, “Seeing pictures of [the exhibition] on other campuses was actually one of the first things that drew me to Active Minds.”

Besaw also stated, “[Send Silence Packing] sends a very powerful message by visualizing the impact that suicide has on college students, which is so important because many students don’t realize how prevalent mental illness is among our demographic.” The Active Minds organization works to take away mental health stigma, and make students and communities feel accepted.

Another UW-L student, Claire Lofald, discussed the prevalence regarding her experience with mental health, “As someone that has mental health issues, it would be less stressful if the stigma wasn’t there. It is something about me that I really hate because society kind of makes us feel ashamed.”

Be sure to find the Send Silence Packing exhibition on campus come May 9, 2017. For more information on UW-L’s Active Minds organization contact President Haley Ingersoll at [email protected]. To find out more about Active Minds and the Send Silence Packing exhibition head to http://www.activeminds.org/index.php .

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Active Minds to Bring Send Silence Packing Exhibition to UW-L