UL holding its first suicide awareness event in quad today

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is holding a suicide awareness event this morning, and there’s a way for the Lafayette community to get involved.

The National Alliance of Mental Illness on campus is holding its first ever suicide awareness event this morning at UL.

It’s called “Send Silence Packing” and will be held from 8:30 until 2:30 today in the UL Quad.

The organization, NAMI on campus, says 1,100 college students commit suicide every year.

Organizers say suicide is a subject that people don’t really want to talk about, but need to talk about.

NAMI wants to set up 1,100 backpacks to give people a sense of how serious this problem is.

So far, the group has collected about 500 backpacks and is asking for more new or gently used backpacks

NAMI will place backpacks around the fountain in the quad.

Anyone who lost a family member or friend to suicide can memorialize them with their name, photo, biography, dates, and words to remember them by.

This event targets students, faculty, and staff but is open to the public.

Some of the donated backpacks will be given to Acadiana’s homeless population and flood victims.

Other backpacks will be saved for next year, as the group plans to make “Send Silence Packing” an annual event.

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