hosting information

Send Silence Packing®

applications now being accepted

Interested in bringing the Send Silence Packing exhibit to your community?

Each year, Send Silence Packing visits 35-50 schools and communities, typically with a focus on the eastern half of the U.S. in the fall and the western half of the nation in the spring.

bring Send Silence Packing to your location

Contact us today to learn how to bring this profoundly impactful exhibit to your campus or community! We begin planning each tour 6-8 months in advance, so reach out early for updates as to when we may be in your area.


SPECIAL NOTE: During this period of COVID-19 school closures, we are cautiously moving forward with planning our Fall 2020 tour, offering contracts that allow for flexibility regarding potential fall semester closures and restrictions.

Host a Display

About the application process

Please note that submitting an application to host Send Silence Packing DOES NOT guarantee you a spot on an upcoming tour. The application allows Active Minds the opportunity to learn more about your campus or community as a potential host site.

Although we are actively seeking funds to enable Send Silence Packing to travel year-round, we are currently not able to visit every community that is interested in hosting. When reviewing applications, we determine which communities are best prepared and situated to maximize the impact of the program.

As part of the application, you are required to provide a letter of support from your campus counseling services or other local mental health services entity. If you are applying from a college or university, an additional letter of support must be submitted from the Student Affairs office or similar entity.

What is included with Send Silence Packing?

Active Minds provides the following as part of each Send Silence Packing exhibit:

  • An 8-hour educational display
  • Backpacks, 250+ of which have personal stories, photos, and messages attached
  • Mental health resources and materials, including educational flyers, giveaways, signage, and banners
  • All necessary equipment, including a tent, tables, and chairs
  • T-shirts for volunteers
  • Storage and transportation of backpacks, materials, and equipment, both to and from the Send Silence Packing location
  • Project management by Active Minds staff to prepare for the display
  • Management during the display by two Active Minds staff members

Fees and costs

For Active Minds chapters, the all-inclusive cost for hosting Send Silence Packing is $5,000. For other organizations, the all-inclusive cost is $7,500.

A down payment of 50 percent of the display costs must be submitted prior to the date of your display, with the remaining balance due no later than 14 days after the scheduled display date. If your organization’s policies prohibit payment in advance, a different payment schedule can likely be arranged.

student at send silence packing display

Host expectations

The following information provides details on space requirements, timing, parking, volunteers, distribution of mental health resources, and promotions.


Finding a great location for Send Silence Packing is typically the most important element for success. The more foot traffic that can naturally travel through a location, the better that location will be for hosting a display.

Send Silence Packing requires a 70×70 foot space — about 1/4 of a football field — to accommodate the backpacks, which will be spread out on the ground. The location does not have to be in an open field as the backpacks can be arranged thoughtfully to accommodate unique architecture, structures, or characteristics of a concrete plaza.

In addition to securing an outdoor location, it is equally important to secure an effective indoor location in case of inclement weather. Finding a large space is ideal, but the backpacks can be contained in a smaller space indoors to prioritize finding an area with foot traffic. Also note that this space must also be within a reasonable driving distance of the outdoor location; directly adjacent to or within walking distance is preferred.

We provide trigger warning signage to display around the edges of the exhibit. Since the exhibit can be highly sensitive for some, please ensure that the space reserved can fairly easily be avoided and has an alternative route for students to take if necessary.


Send Silence Packing is an all-day program that lasts about 8 hours, but the timing varies depending on the needs of your community. Display setup and takedown requires 1 – 1.5 hours, and in some cases can take as little time as 30 minutes if there are enough volunteers to help out.

Most campus displays run from 9am to 4pm to pair best with class schedules and high traffic times on campus. Most city/community displays can start as early as 8am, or last as late as 6pm, in an effort to catch the morning and evening commuters.

Any permits needed for the display space should reflect the needed timing for setup, the display itself, and the pack up.


A parking permit must be secured to guarantee that the Send Silence Packing 16′ box truck can be parked during the day, and during the in-person site visit (typically done the day before). A space must also be reserved to unload the backpacks in the morning and reload them at the end of the day — for both indoor and outdoor potential display locations.  Please note that the truck unloading and loading zone must be as close to the display as possible.


A sufficient amount of volunteer support should be provided throughout the day (no less than 25 individuals) to help unload the truck at the beginning of the day, hand out educational flyers throughout the day, and pack up the truck at the end of the day. You can work with other campus departments, a local non-profit, or other volunteer-based organizations to recruit volunteers.

If you are an Active Minds chapter, it is also important that you ensure the attendance and participation of your chapter members throughout the duration of the display. Host chapters should always have a presence at displays to represent their campus community and recruit new members.

Local mental health services and resources

A representative from the campus counseling center or local mental health service provider should be invited and confirmed to attend and offer on-site support during the event. Send Silence Packing is designed to initiate a dialogue about mental health and connect the community to available mental health services. It is required that a trained mental health provider is available for a significant portion of the display to represent local mental health resources and to respond to any concerns that arise due to the sensitive nature of the exhibit.


A Send Silence Packing press release template, high resolution photos, and fact sheet about mental health and suicide are provided to host sites.

Be sure to let your local newspaper and TV stations know about Send Silence Packing. Many media outlets will be interested in covering the event. If your press office is unable to reach out to local media, please contact Active Minds for media support.

We strongly encourage reporters to review the Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide developed by leading experts.


Send Silence Packing® is a trademark of Active Minds.


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