University of Pittsburgh
March 29, 2011

Pitt to Host Send Silence Packing Visual Installation April 4

The exhibition includes a display of 1,100 backpacks on Pitt’s lawn
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh’s Give Depression a Voice: Talk About It team will be hosting Active Minds’ Send Silence Packing—a display of 1,100 backpacks—from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 4 on the lawn of the William Pitt Union (facing Bigelow Boulevard), 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. 

The exhibition features backpacks donated from around the country by friends and families of university students who have committed suicide. Attached to each backpack is the personal story honoring the deceased student. The number 1,100 represents, on average, the number of college students who commit suicide annually. 

Active Minds is a nonprofit organization that promotes mental health awareness among college students. It works to erase the stigma associated with mental illness that contributes to individuals’ reluctance to seek assistance when symptoms occur. 

Pitt’s Talk About It team comprises Pitt students, faculty, and staff who work to raise public awareness of the symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses. The team collaborated with community partners at LEAD (Leading, Education, and Awareness for Depression) Pittsburgh and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic to bring the exhibition to Pitt. 

Information on mental health and resources available for people with mental illness will be available during the exhibition.