77168_kat_fea_sendsilencepacking01_092515fIt’s not simply the number of students lost on college campuses to suicide and mental illness each year ­— but the lives that change and the stories that come from it.

MSU’s Active Minds Communications Director Bryan Meek said he joined the group because he felt very close to the issue. “I have a close family member who has borderline personality disorder, they have attempted to take their life on multiple occasions,” Meek said. “Thank God they are still here — that’s why I’m here.”

For Meek, a neuroscience senior, and many others like him, MSU’s branch of Active Minds allows them a way to help people deal with an issue that some feel does not get enough attention. “Mental illness is accepted as a valid illness by the medical community but not enough by every day society. It’s not just on college campuses, it’s nationwide. If you have pneumonia for example, then you get to see a doctor much faster than if you were mentally ill: or if you ask for a day off because you have pneumonia it’s considered more valid than if you ask for a day off because have depression.”

Active Minds members hosted their Send Silence Packing event Friday, out of a desire to help students better understand how serious the suicide epidemic is, psychology senior and MSU Active Minds Vice President Rachel Pruiett said.

According to the Active Minds national chapter’s website, 1,100 cases of suicide occurs on college campuses each year. “Sometimes people see the number 1,100 and don’t realize how big of a number that really is, you just read it and fly by it,” Pruiett said. Meenu Sundararaju, a computer science sophomore and MSU Active Minds Director of Public Relations, said as people see and hear more about the problem of suicides on college campuses they start asking how they can help. – Josh Bender, The State News, September 28th, 2015

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