What is Active Minds?
Active Minds Inc., is the young adult voice in mental health advocacy and supports a rapidly growing network of hundreds of student-led chapters on colleges and universities throughout North America. We are the only organization using the energy and dedication of students and young adults to change the conversation and perception about mental health on college campuses. Through campus-wide events and national initiatives, Active Minds aspires to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues and create a comfortable environment for an open conversation about mental health among students and young adults.
Research shows that most people who live with mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and others experience their first episode during these critical years. What the general public doesn’t know is that if left untreated, these disorders can end a young life: suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, taking the lives of over 1,100 college students each and every year. Tragically, though effective treatments exist, many young adults are not getting the care that they need and deserve.
Active Minds works with student leaders on college campuses in nearly all 50 states, plus Washington, DC Canada and Australia to:
- Educate students so they know where to turn for help.
- Empower students to engage peers, administrators and communities on every campus about mental health.
- Teach student leaders to ensure the next generation of mental health advocates
- Connect all who are passionate about college mental health to energize a movement for change.
Headquartered in Washington D.C., Active Minds’ goal is to inspire others to speak up and champion the mental health and wellness of students and young adults. Our vision is to create a better life for all who are affected by mental health disorders. To learn more or get involved, visit www.activeminds.org.
What is Active Minds Send Silence Packing?
Send Silence Packing is Active Minds’ acclaimed suicide awareness program of 1,100 backpacks representing the 1,100 college students who die by suicide each year. The goal of Send Silence Packing is to raise awareness about the incidence and impact of college student suicide and help people understand how they can be part of the solution.
Active Minds Inc. has collected and continues to collect backpacks and personal stories in memory or in honor of loved ones impacted by suicide. The impactful outdoor exhibit of 1,100 donated backpacks helps shed light on the tragedy of college student suicide and promote a healthy dialogue around mental health. To give a ‘face’ to the lives lost, personal stories and stories written by families and friends accompany the backpacks. At each stop on the tour, Active Minds will present the exhibit and hand out literature on mental health, suicide prevention and where to seek help. Passersby will be invited to walk among the backpacks and read their stories. Send Silence Packing carries the message that preventing suicide is not just about lowering statistics, but about saving lives.
Send Silence Packing was unveiled on the National Mall in Washington, DC on April 24, 2008, with a presentation by Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI).