LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A suicide awareness prevention and mental health awareness exhibit made at stop at Siena College on Wednesday. “Send Silence Packing” is a nationwide exhibit featuring 1,000 backpacks, some of which feature personal stories of people impacted by suicide.

The goal is to reduce the stigma around mental health challenges and show students where to turn to if they need help.

“So we’re here to start a conversation because suffering is a place of silence, but when we start talking about it, then we create hope,” Siena Dir. of Health and Wellness Promotion Kate Kaufman Burns said. “Our primary goal is to connect students to resources if they’re in need of assistance and also just to start the conversation and awareness about suicide prevention.”

Siena is using a federal grant to launch a new suicide prevention and outreach program during the current semester.