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UNC Charlotte to Host 2024 Active Minds Send Silence Packing® Traveling Exhibit

Students looking at backpacks from the Send Silence Packing event
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By Sarah Besse, Assistant Director for Prevention & Health Education for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

CHARLOTTE, NC - UNC Charlotte is proud to host Active Minds’ renowned Send Silence Packing® exhibit, a poignant experience aimed at shattering the silence surrounding mental health and suicide. The traveling exhibit, which has journeyed across the nation, will take place all day on Wednesday, March 20 at the CHHS/CoEd Plaza, connecting visitors with crucial resources while sparking meaningful conversations and actions.

Send Silence Packing 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. Visitors are invited to engage with photographs and stories attached to Send Silence Packing backpacks. Many of the backpacks were donated by families who lost a loved one to suicide. 

Since its inception on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2008, Send Silence Packing has touched the lives of over a million visitors, leaving a lasting impression of hope and encouragement. Evaluation data underscores its impact, with the majority of visitors expressing a desire to learn more about mental health and spreading awareness to others. Many have also been spurred to reach out to friends in need or seek help for themselves.

In tandem with the physical exhibit, Active Minds has introduced a complementary virtual experience titled Send Silence Packing: Behind the Backpacks. This immersive online platform offers deeper insights into the realities of suicide, employing personal stories, stigma reduction strategies and multimedia elements to engage users.

The exhibit will feature a hope wall, inviting community members to share messages of encouragement, alongside a resource tent housing campus and national support services. Additionally, the Pinwheels for Suicide Prevention display will visually represent the prevalence of mental health challenges within the UNC Charlotte community.

This event stands as a catalyst for change, fostering dialogue around mental health and inspiring collective action to support those in need.

About UNC Charlotte Suicide Prevention: UNC Charlotte is committed to fostering a culture of care. Through initiatives led by Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the University provides training, education, and resources to empower individuals to actively contribute to a supportive community. To learn more, visit

About Active Minds: Active Minds is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to raising mental health awareness and education among young adults. With a presence at over 800 campuses, schools, and workplaces nationwide, Active Minds employs a variety of initiatives, including the Send Silence Packing® exhibit, to challenge stigmas and reshape conversations around mental health. For more information, visit