On November 1, 2012, Emory hosted the Send Silence Packing exhibit. As I walked to my last class of the day, I came across many backpacks dispersed about the Quad. As I got closer, I saw that there were personal letters or notes written by friends and relatives, telling a short story of the tragic loss of their loved one to suicide. With each step I took along the sidewalk, I viewed the letters of other deceased college students. Lifting my head, I realized that these people were once students just like me, stressing out about classes, but something about their situation made their only solution suicide. Suicide falls closer than we expect. The 1100 backpacks represented the students who have taken their own lives in the past year alone. For more information go to: http://news.emory.edu/stories/2012/10/er_send_silence_packing/campus.html
Or the Send Silence Packing webpage: http://www.activeminds.org/our-programming/send-silence-packing
Suicide has left a mark on our younger generation. It is interesting that although it is so prevalent, its stigma makes it a subject not openly discussed. It is such a difficult topic that many suffering from depression do not seek help. However, a mental health issue must be handled appropriately. Furthermore, there is no “type” or person who commits suicide. At a school of diverse students, this issue should top priority because anyone of any background can suffer from mental illness.
This silent epidemic is taking our loved ones away from us. The worst thing to do when dealing with an epidemic is nothing. The lack of attention and effectual solutions to this problem produces incessant reports of suicide throughout the country. Therefore, it continues, spreads, and will continue to do so until we as a society take preemptive steps to avoid this last resort and help the people who are in this situation.
Something has changed that has caused problems to be so unbearable that the only answer is death. It is especially problematic because with this exhibit, the victims are college students. The stress of college can be intimidating. Not only do students concern themselves with academics, but also work, paying for school, approval from parents and professors and friends, their future and career. Although college is supposed to be the best four years of your life it can also be the worst and last years of a student’s life. There have been strategies to help depressed students, but how far have we come to where suicide is not statistically significant?