Send Silence Packing frequently gets comments and thoughts from people passing by during the display. There are people from all different walks of life who have had so many different experiences. We get comments of support as well as many people that share their personal history with mental illness and suicide. There is a supportive environment created at the display that makes people comfortable enough to share what they have gone through.
We noticed at Worcester, as well as our other stops, that the traveling journal has also been a remarkable space for people to share their thoughts and comments. For those that have not been to a display, we have a journal that travels with us to each event. Chapters decorate a page and visitors have a chance to write their thoughts and feelings throughout the day. There have been many different types of reflections left and they are all an important and meaningful piece to making the journal so special.
Here are a few of the messages left from Worcester Polytechnic Institute:
“This display is so moving and powerful. It made me realize how happy I am that I pushed through the darkness and stopped the silence. Thank you.”
“The number of families and friends affected by college student suicides every year is astounding. This display emphatically gets that message across. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones.”
“This display has really helped me, as well as my treatment, to realize that if you are thinking of suicide – talk to someone ASAP. It really does make a difference if you talk to the right person.”
There is something profound about the impact that the journal has had on people. There have been notes to loved ones lost to suicide, messages of promise, statements of thanks, and stories shared in its pages. It is an amazing way to connect the campuses and cities with each other. There is something about a blank space on paper that encourages people to leave their messages to others. Reading these words inspires people to continue sharing their thoughts and gives a voice of hope and support, even if you will never meet the person who wrote it.