Fresh Check Day celebrates fourth year on campus

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Staff Reports

Reporting by Jessica Ruderman and Madison Fraitag

Fresh Check Day brought activities and discussions surrounding mental health awareness as well as suicide prevention Tuesday Oct. 2. 

The concept of Fresh Check Day was created by the Jordan Porco Foundation, an organization founded by the parents of Jordan Porco, a college freshmen that died by suicide in 2011. Through awareness, education and innovative programming, the foundation challenges the stigma around mental health and help-seeking, creating open conversations about the prevalence of suicide and mental health issues in the young adult population, according to the official site.

[media-credit id=2242 align=”alignright” width=”500″][/media-credit]Quinnipiac developed their relationship with the foundation in 2014 when counselor Mary Pelliteri discovered Fresh Check Day from counselors at other universities. 

Now, Quinnipiac is amongst 30 universities in Connecticut alone that put on this event yearly. Hundreds of other schools throughout the nation at both the collegiate and high school level have since adopted Fresh Check as their own as well.

“I feel like it’s very open and a positive environment and the message I’m seeing is ‘talk about it’,” freshman physical therapy major Katie Bradley said of the program. 

The event kicked off Monday, Oct. 1 with a screening of suicide survivor, Kevin Hine’s documentary, “Suicide: The Ripple Effect” and with Students Honoring Others’ Everyday Struggles (S.H.O.E.S.) calling students attention to singular shoes across the Quad labeled with true stories from real peoples’ struggles.

From those events, students were introduced to the topics that were highlighted more in depth on the actual day of the event.

Some of the stations present were 9/10, Check in and chill out, Mood matters, Elephant in the room and Hundred reasons.

9/10 is a suicide prevention program that informs students that one out of every ten students commit suicide and nine out of every ten have an opportunity to help. Students at this station pledged to be that nine out of ten.

Elephant in the room, has participants write insecurity or stigmas not typically verbally mentioned on a printout of an elephant. Senior psychology major and sociology minor Emily O’Brien spent a majority of her time at the event working the station.

For her fourth and final Fresh Check Day, O’Brien reflected on how the event has made an impact on her life.

“I think it’s really helped me to understand myself and my own mental problems,” O’Brien said. “I think it’s important for freshmen to look into this because college is hard within itself and being a part of this can help with coping mechanisms and everything.”

All of the various programs are part of the Porco Foundation recommended stations of which ten are recommended at each event. Quinnipiac has extended beyond this limit in this year’s event.

For students that have attended Fresh Check at QU since it’s first appearance on campus four years ago, the events and their message represent more to them than just one day.

“I love coming to this event because everything around is very motivational, very inspirational, very uplifting,” senior marketing major Janelle Herber said. “It’s always just a great way to put away negative thoughts and insecurities and sort of remember why we’re here on this earth and why it’s a great day to live.”

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.