Student Senate, along with Student Wellness, will be hosting Fresh Check Day Saturday, Sept. 30. The Office of Student Activities, Residence Life, Mosaic House, Psychology Club, Disability Services and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion also helped with planning. This event will be on Brinser Field from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fresh Check Day focuses on mental health and wellness.
According to senior student senator Ally Killen, there will be nine booths where students have the “opportunity to learn about mental health in fun and interactive ways.”
After Director of Student Wellness Dr. Bruce Lynch and Amanda Cheetham presented about this event to Student Senate, Killen was inspired to be the head of the committee, especially since she is a psychology major. Senators and non-senate members are both part of this committee, and Killen says they have been planning since February. She hopes this will become an annual event if it is successful.
Some of the booths present at the event will test students’ knowledge about mental health and offer free prizes to winners.
One booth has free mental health screenings for students to take. Other booths will allow students to participate in initiatives such as the Clothesline Project and writing cards to active and retired military members. There will also be booths where students can do artwork and tie-dyeing. Students will be allowed to bring an object to tie-dye or they can purchase a shirt for $3.
Half of the money raised will go to The Trevor Project, which is a national suicide prevention organization for the LGBTQ community.
Another booth focuses on physical fitness and will be giving out papers with different workout ideas. Information on mental health resources will also be available.
Besides the various booths present, many other fun activities will be going on throughout the day.
WWEC will be playing music throughout the event. At 1 p.m., Melica will be performing, as well as Vocalign later in the afternoon. At 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30, there will be short Pound sessions that students can participate in on Brinser Field.
Students will be able to play KanJam and cornhole throughout the day. Food trucks will be present all day, and there will be free food available as well.
In addition to the food, there will be a number of other things given out such as shirts, water bottles and magnets. Those who visit all of the booths will be eligible to enter a drawing to win a free television. Therapy dogs will also be at the event. Killen says that there may even be miniature therapy horses, as long as they are able to get the permit to do so.
Fresh Check Day is a nationwide event with programs to be held at schools such as Georgia Southern University, North Carolina State University, Massachusetts Liberal Arts College and Kansas State University in the near future, according to the Fresh Check Day website.
This event is a program by the Jordan Porco Foundation. This organization works to prevent suicide and raise awareness for the signs of suicide.
According to the foundation’s website, it was created by Ernie and Marisa Porco after they lost their son to suicide.
They also have a program called Nine out of Ten, which helps students recognize the signs of suicide and provide resources. Their program specifically for high school students, 4 What’s Next, helps students to gain social and emotional skills as well as build a community that is empathetic, open and connected, according to their website.
Sophomore Adeline Romig is happy that this event will be held to advocate for people with mental illnesses. She is looking forward to participating in the Pound sessions and the possibility of miniature therapy horses.
“The opportunity to participate in stress-relieving activities will be a great break from homework,” Romig said.
Fresh Check Day is a part of mental health awareness week, which runs from Sept. 24 through Sept. 30. There are also two lectures during the week as well. One lecture was on Monday, Sept. 25, about Tim Krieder’s book “Refuse to Drown: A Father’s Unthinkable Choice.” The second lecture was on Wednesday, Sept. 27, about stress and its effects on college students. Kreider’s book and lecture are featured in this issue on page 5.
A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that students with mental health problems are a growing concern for 95 percent of the directors of college counseling services who participated in the survey.
The same study also found that anxiety was the most common problem, followed by depression and relationship problems.
The national data on campus suicide and depression states that suicide takes the lives of teens and those in early adulthood more than all medical illnesses combined.
The American College Health Association states that two thirds of students who are having problems do not try to get help. The suicide hotline, 1-800-273-8255, is available to call 24/7.
For students on campus, counseling services is located in the Baugher Student Center, room 216. Appointments can be made at any time by visiting in person or calling 717-361-1405.