At the start of the tour, we spoke with someone who explained how important it is to have tools available to stay healthy mentally. These tools can be something different for everyone, so having options to explore is a great start. The chapter at Wesleyan was well aware of this used it for an interactive addition to the day’s event. As visitors read bags, spoke with volunteers, and collected resources, they were also able to add a post-it note to a giant board in the middle of the display that asked “what makes you happy?” Anyone that passed by was encouraged to write down things that make them happy and tape them to a board everyone was able to read. This was an inspiring piece added to the display, as well as a similar board asking students what they would say to someone that is contemplating suicide.
Send Silence Packing is a powerful and emotional experience. We bring the display to campuses to create an atmosphere where people can begin to realize the importance of taking care of our mental health. Starting meaningful conversations and decreasing the stigma of suicide and mental health is what we work toward. We make an intense statement with Send Silence Packing, and we also encourage people to take an active part in their own mental health as well as the mental health of their loved ones.
Seeing the inspiring messages that were written for people struggling with suicidal thoughts was as amazing reminder of the important role that every single person plays. When struggling with mental health issues, it is easy to forget how much you mean to other people. Seeing written words of encouragement and meaning can be the help that some people need. You can do this by talking to someone and using these words to remind them that they are important and there is someone that cares enough and is willing to . Making a list of things that make you happy is an easy thing to do and a simple reminder of ways to relieve stress. The responses on the board varied greatly—people posted things from ‘sunshine’ to ‘vegan mac & cheese’ throughout the day. Seeing others’ responses reminded students of what they do in their lives to feel better on a bad day or the ways that they can cope with stress in healthy ways. Here are just some of the responses from the “What Makes You Happy?” board at Wesleyan:
- my future
- love from my friends and family
- ice cream
- going to the gym
- bike ridez
- taking a break, getting off campus