SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — San Jose State University hosted an exhibit Tuesday to bring awareness to student mental health and suicide prevention services.

Community members interacted with the Send Silence Packing displace on schools Tower Lawn, which included 1,00 backpacks, and a visual educational display to inspire people who may be struggling with mental health to seek health.

Each contained a personal story from a suicide survivor or someone who lost someone to suicide. University officials say they want to reduce the stigma associated with mental health treatments and make sure that students are aware of the resources available to them.

© SJSU, Photo by Robert C. Bain, University Photographer, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED San José State University.

University officials said suicide is the second leading death by college students while a majority of mental illnesses begin between the ages of 14 and 24.

Mental health professionals from SJSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) were also on-site to support people interacting with the backpacks and iPads and offered them information about counseling services available on and off-campus.

“Anyone is welcome to come to therapy. Anyone who wants to get support,” said Sarah Strader-Garcia, faculty counselor. ”

“We really want to encourage people to talk about mental health topics freely and to feel like they can come to counseling and feel comfortable and that it’s a normal part of life.”

The Send Silence Packing suicide prevention event comes is put on by Active Minds — a national nonprofit organization focused on fighting the stigma often associated with mental illness and seeking mental health support. Active Minds is present in 1,000 schools, communities, and workplaces nationwide. It also has 600 student-led chapters, including at San Jose State University. 

The Send Silence Packing event has been displayed nearly 300 times at various locations across the nation.