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Rows of empty backpacks, reminiscent of the mass graves following horrendous wars or genocides, were seen in Trinity College, Dublin this week.

On average, 131 university students die by suicide each year, and each bag represents a student who has passed away ultimately too early.

The Union of Students of Ireland (USI) and PleaseTalk.org organised the display as part of their combined ‘Send Silence Packing’ initiative.

According to a press release, “Send Silence Packing is designed to raise awareness about the impact of suicide, connect students to mental health supports and inspire action for suicide prevention.”

A quote from Scott Ahern, of 3ts (turn the tide of suicide) reads, “Send Silence Packing is a clear opportunity to start a conversation about suicide prevention and for our participating advisors to speak with students as to how they might broach the topic of suicidal crisis.

“Our messages are simple – 1. Be there for someone by simply listening 2. Reach out when times are tough 3. Find your on-campus and off campus support services at Pleasetalk.org.”

For more information on the initiative click here.

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