There was an unusual display in the center of Georgia Tech’s campus Thursday.
One thousand backpacks were laid out on the grass, each representing a college student who committed suicide. Some backpacks had messages of love from relatives of the students.
The goal: encourage students to seek help if they’re suffering from anxiety, depression or considering suicide.
“NEVER be afraid to ask for HELP,” read one sign.
The display was organized by Active Minds, a national nonprofit suicide prevention organization. The one-day Georgia Tech visit is part of a national tour to raise awareness about the issue. A group of students recently started an Active Minds chapter at Georgia Tech.
“Our goal is to help students find resources they need,” said Amna Amir, 19, a second-year biology student who is part of the chapter.
“We’re trying to create a healthy community,” added chapter member Yeojin Chang, 19, a second-year industrial engineering student.
Although Georgia Tech does not track suicide statistics, student mental health has received greater attention at Georgia Tech in recent years. The school’s new president, Ángel Cabrera, has said one of his top goals is to improve mental health services on campus. Georgia Tech Counseling Center officials were on hand Thursday at the display.
Georgia Tech is part of the University System of Georgia, which recently announced the creation of a task force to improve student mental health.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.