Backpacks carry message for students

FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – Backpacks are used to shoulder both books and burdens, but on Monday they were carrying a message.

Backpacks were placed around Wright State University’s Student Union.

Each one of the 1,100 backpacks is representative of a student who took their own life last year.

They are part of a traveling display put on by the student group Active Minds.

Our mission is to erase stigma on college campuses and encourage college students to speak more openly about mental health topics,” says Wright State Active Minds President Jeevitha Kempegowda.

The group says half all of college students experience depression at some point in time, but that two out of three people who need help don’t seek it.

Along with the backpacks were the stories of students whose inability to get help ended in tragedy.

“As we read some of the stories that are part of this display, I think we can see ourselves in quite a few of them,” says Jason Weisman, Vice-President of Wright State Active Minds.

The display known as Send Silence Packing travels around the country.

Wright State is the only school in Ohio hosting it this year.

The display’s next stop is Indianapolis. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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