Students promote suicide awareness

By: Jessica Larkin ~Copy Editor~

Every year, a week in September is dedicated to raising awareness about suicide. Active Minds, a national organization dedicated to “changing the conversation about mental health,” uses this time during the year to educate college students about the reality of suicide and how it can be prevented.

Juniors Ryan Dipaulo (left) and Matthew Kehling (center) speak with fellow junior Katie Solszmon (right) at the Active Minds table in GSC

According to, suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses and for people between the ages of 15 and 24. Roughly 1,100 students commit suicide each year. These statistics urge organizations like Active Minds to take action and inform college students about suicide and how to help someone who may admit to having suicidal thoughts.
Each year, Active Minds sets out a display known as “Send Silence Packing” to demonstrate the reality of suicide on college campuses.

“Send Silence Packing is a national tour of backpacks put on prominent parts of campus to showcase how suicide effects campuses and individuals,” Lindsey Mooney, president of the Xavier chapter of Active Minds, said. “Stories of college suicide victims will also be displayed with the backpacks.”

Members of Active Minds will spread backpacks around campus on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12, each containing a story of a student who committed suicide.

“We want this week to celebrate life, not just prevent deaths,” Mooney said.
Active Minds had a table set up on Sept. 8 in Gallagher Student Center, where the group presented information about suicide prevention and general mental health. Its first meeting was at 7 p.m. on Sept. 9. The group is inviting all students on campus to wear either turquoise or purple for National Suicide Prevention day on Sept. 10. The week will end with the Send Silence Packing display.

“Suicide Prevention will not end with our week,” Mooney said. “Active Minds would also like to advocate for the Warrior Run, Oct. 11 and the Out of the Darkness Walk, Oct. 19 — two races that strongly promote and fundraise for suicide prevention.”