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SOWELA to Host Send Silence Packing Exhibit to End the Silence that Surrounds Mental Illness and Suicide


SOWELA Technical Community College will host the traveling exhibit Send Silence Packing on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Sycamore Student Center lawn to raise mental health awareness and inspire action for suicide prevention. The event is free and open to the public.

Presented by Active Minds, the exhibit includes personal stories from individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide, and is designed to raise awareness about the impact of suicide, connect individuals to mental health resources, and inspire action for suicide prevention. Passersby are invited to walk among the more than 1,000 Send Silence Packing backpacks to see the photographs and read the stories attached to them. Many of the backpacks were donated by families who lost a student to suicide, including some individuals affected by suicide within the SOWELA community.

Mental health issues are prevalent among college students, which prompted SOWELA Counseling Services to bring the exhibit to campus. According to Active Minds, the second leading cause of death among students is suicide, and 39 percent of college students experience a significant mental health issue.

SOWELA offers mental health resources to students with access to the Student Counseling Center, a confidential and free service. The Center offers individual therapy, couples therapy, smoking cessation classes, mental health workshops, and more. 

About Active Minds
Active Minds is the nation’s premier nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for students. Through award-winning programs and services, Active Minds is empowering a new generation to change the conversation about mental health.

SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for 80 years and has locations in Jennings, Lake Charles, and Oakdale, LA.