VIDEO/RADIO: Suicide prevention, mental health the focus of City College exhibit

Dozens of backpacks, personal stories to be shared in Curran Plaza


Uyen Pham

The Send Silence Packing exhibit, seen here from 2020, showcased donated backpacks of students who died by suicide in an effort to encourage hope and awareness of resources. Photo by Uyen Pham/City Times

Christian Punzo and Stevon Marshall

San Diego City College will be holding an event called “Send Silence Packing” on March 17 that focuses on mental health and encourages people to ask for help when needed.

The event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. will include a display of dozens of backpacks in Curran Plaza in remembrance of college students who passed away due to suicide.

The personal stories of those who have lost loved ones are also included.

The story was featured on this week’s edition of Newscene, the award-winning student-produced TV news show. Newscene is broadcast on ITV Channel 16 on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.

The audio version, Newscene Radio, plays at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on KSDS 88.3 HD-2.

The event is set up by the City College chapter of Active Minds, a national organization dedicated to raising awareness and offering aid for mental health.

According to Active Minds, as many as 1 in 5 adults have a diagnosed mental illness.

Click here to view the Send Silence Packing event flyer.

Suicide Lifeline: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night, text COURAGE to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or chat online.

In the fall, Active Minds volunteer Yello Goller and Karolina Guerra Tena talked about the efforts of the student club to assist students as they return to campus after it was closed for nearly two years due to the pandemic.

In other news:

• Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy was given a standing ovation from members of the U.S. Congress after a virtual address made earlier today. Zelenskyy called for more military aid and alluded to not joining NATO.

• China is now experiencing its largest COVID-19 outbreak since 2020. Tens of millions of residents are being sent into another lockdown because of the “stealth omicron” variant.

• The average cost of gas in San Diego is nearing six dollars per gallon. In recent weeks, a 35% increase in ridership for e-scooter companies, such as Bird and Lime, was reported. A local nonprofit is also lending out e-bikes to locals with financial hardship.

• This weekend, the curtains are closing on the annual San Diego Latino Film Festival at the AMC Mission Valley. The power of shared experiences through storytelling in the form of live music, entertainment and art honor the contributions of the Latinx community.