This past Thursday we pulled into the scenic Hofstra University in Hempsted, NY. We’ve had pretty fantastic luck regarding weather this tour (other than unusually strong winds), but this day was just under a 50% chance of rain. These forecasts are the most challenging because we like to present the display outdoors whenever possible. After we pulled onto campus we met with several chapter members who showed us both the indoor location and the outdoor location for Send Silence Packing. We absolutely loved the outdoor location, so after a bit of deliberation, we decided to take the risk of a little rain and set up in the quad outdoors. This decision paid off as we didn’t see a single rain drop and were able to share the display with thousands of students passing through.
We were able to reach so many of these people thanks for the fantastic work of both the students and the members of Hofstra’s counseling services who volunteered their time to raising awareness and starting conversations throughout the day. We would constantly look over to see volunteers in long conversations with other students about the display. There were a lot of thoughtful questions being posed, and we were glad to be able to engage with visitors to answer them.
One question that came up often was about what people could continue to do after the display. All of the interactions we have during the day are important and moving in their own ways, but it’s fantastic to see such an interest in continuing the momentum even after we pack up and move on. Several visitors even asked if they could take extra handfuls of our materials to pass out to their classes for anyone that wasn’t able to make it down during the day.
Continuing the conversation is one of the most impactful things that anyone can do any day of the year. It doesn’t cost any money, it only takes as much time as you want, and absolutely anyone can do it. By even being here and taking the time to read about this program you’re showing that you’re interested in continuing the conversation. Thank you for your interest and your attention, and thank you for being a mental health advocate.