Marquette selected as one of 10 sites for traveling national display
Date: Wednesday, April 28
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Speakers at 4 p.m.
Place: Marquette’s Central Mall
South of Raynor Library, 1355 W. Wisconsin Ave.
MILWAUKEE – Some 1,100 backpacks representing the 1,100 college students nationally who die by suicide each year will be displayed at Marquette University as part of a national traveling exhibit for suicide prevention awareness.
The backpacks will be displayed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, on Marquette’s Central Mall, south of Wisconsin Avenue between 13th and 16th streets. The rain location is the first floor of Alumni Memorial Union, 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave. The exhibit is free and open to the public. About 75 of the backpacks include a brief profile of a college student who was a suicide victim.
Rev. Charles Rubey, founder of Catholic Charities' “Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide” program, Chicago, will speak at 4 p.m. at the exhibit. LOSS serves people who have experienced grief from the suicide of a loved one.
The event is coordinated by the Marquette chapter of Active Minds, a student organization that promotes mental health discussion and combats student suicide. The national chapter of Active Minds received a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh grant for the “Send Silence Packing” tour and selected Marquette as one of 10 locations for the display.
“Marquette was chosen as a location because we knew Active Minds at Marquette would be a great host for the display and would use the program to its full potential,” said Alison Malmon, executive director of Active Minds, Inc. “We plan on using Marquette as a successful model for Active Minds chapter growth in the Milwaukee area and are excited to be able to highlight their efforts.”
“The display is a very powerful statement about the effect that suicide has on college campuses and the void it leaves in the lives of loved ones,” said Caroline Turner, co-president of the Marquette Active Minds chapter. “We’re hoping that we will reach hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals with our message of awareness, education and hope with assistance from this traveling display.”
Colleges and universities nationwide are seeing and treating more students with mental health issues than in the past, according to Mike Zebrowski, director of Marquette’s Counseling Center, in part because more students are coming forward and seeking help. “Student groups like Active Minds are helping to destigmatize and create a conversation about mental health issues and are encouraging students to seek help.”
Media interested in arranging photography of students setting up the display or interviewing Active Minds members or mental health experts should contact Andy Brodzeller at (414) 288-0286.
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