Skip to main content

Suicide Awareness Campaign Visits San Diego Colleges

Backpacks spread throughout Curran Plaza at San Diego City College for the

Credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS News

Above: Backpacks spread throughout Curran Plaza at San Diego City College for the "Send Silence Packing" suicide display, May 9, 2018.

Send Silence Packing is a display of more than 1,000 backpacks — designed to encourage students who are thinking about suicide, or know someone considering it, to reach out and seek help.

The nonprofit Active Minds said the backpacks represent the number of college students who commit suicide each year.

Wednesday the campaign came to San Diego City College. This year it has already been to Cal State San Marcos and will be at Palomar College next week.

RELATED: VA Expands Programs To Target Suicide Prevention

Most of the backpacks had personal stories attached to them — including letters from friends and family members impacted by the loss of a loved one. Some of the backpacks belonged to actual students who took their lives.

"Even people that I’ve talked to they don’t have anyone in their life who has committed suicide," said San Diego City College student Ashley Agostini. "They only hear about it."

RELATED: Coronado Mayor Discusses Suicide Prevention Barriers, Controversial Tweet

Agostini said she has lost close friends to suicide.

"And to kind of see it, and read these stories ... It’s really eye-opening for people," she said. "Hopefully people come and look at this and if they need help this will kind of urge them to get help."

Send Silence Packing travels to 30 to 40 colleges per year. The campaign helps connect students with mental health resources.

The nonprofit Active Minds displayed more than 1,000 backpacks at San Diego City College Wednesday — representing the number of college students who commit suicide each year.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.