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Renowned Suicide Prevention Display Travels to Gannon University

On April 14, 2015 at Gannon University, Stairways Behavioral Health will sponsor the Active Minds, Inc., Send Silence PackingĀ® event, a nationally-recognized public education exhibit of 1,100 backpacks, representing the number of students who die by suicide every year.

Erie, PA, April 12, 2015 --( Gannon University will host Active Minds’ Send Silence Packing, a nationally recognized public education exhibit of 1,100 backpacks, representing the number of college students lost to suicide each year, on its campus Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

Send Silence Packing helps shine a light on the topic of suicide and gives the lost lives a face by accompanying the backpacks with personal stories and testimonials written by friends and families. The bags will be on display from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the campus’ Friendship Green and AJ’s Way, located between West Seventh and Eighth streets and Peach and Sassafras streets.

Active Minds is a young adult advocacy group dedicated to raising awareness and increasing dialogue on the topic of suicide among college students. Each year, Active Minds displays Send Silence Packing, its signature awareness event, at campuses across the country.

Gannon’s student-run Active Minds chapter, in coordination with Stairways Behavioral Health, the event’s main sponsor, is the first area school to bring Send Silence Packing to its campus. Gannon is one of 12 colleges that will host Send Silence Packing during its spring 2015 tour across the Northeast that begins March 30.

In addition to the displayed backpacks, Send Silence Packing will also provide students, friends and family members the opportunity to obtain information and literature on mental health, suicide prevention and where to seek help.
While Gannon’s hosting represents Send Silence Packing’s Erie debut, it is not Active Minds’ first visit to the area.

While celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2011, Stairways hosted Alyson Malmon, Active Minds’ founder, for a speaking tour of three local colleges. As a result of her visit, Gannon and Mercyhurst universities each started student-run Active Minds chapters.

Malmon established Active Minds in 2003 as a junior at the University of Pennsylvania after her only brother, Brian, took his life at the age of 22.
Send Silence Packing was unveiled on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in 2008 with a keynote speech by former congressman Patrick Kennedy. Since then, more than 300,000 people in 85 cities across the country have experienced the event.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be held at inside Gannon’s Waldron Student Center on West Seventh Street.
Contact Information
Stairways Behavioral Health
Joseph Cuneo

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