By Emily Long- Digital Editor
On Thursday, Feb. 20 Fresh Check Day was held in DeWitt Hall by Health Services in conjunction with the Jordan Porco Foundation and other campus offices. Fresh Check Day is an event that raises awareness of suicide and mental health on college campuses by providing a positive and safe outlet to destigmatize mental health by being made aware of the services offered around campus.
“Fresh Check Day is about raising awareness around mental health in particular, suicide awareness, on college campuses and we are really happy to be part of it with the Jordan Porco Foundation,” said Adela Hurby, one of Lasell’s clinical counselors, “It’s just so many people are coming out, so many different offices, so many student organizations have helped contribute to the success of this day and to just make mental health a priority on campus means a lot the college counseling center and I hope it means a lot to the students.”
Fresh Check Day was a group effort from Health Services, the Counseling Center, Residential Life, Campus Police, and other campus organizations. Each office ran a booth with activities ranging from notes of encouragement, succulent planting and lawn games. A Lasell favorite, therapy dogs, were also at the ready for fetch and belly rubs.
“Lasell brought in Fresh Check Day to have a chance to teach students and have a good environment to give them that safe place to be able to learn about the topic and what they can do to help their friends, family, whatever. It also gives everybody the chance to have a really nice day of just kind of forgetting about everything you have going on and relaxing with friends and doing a bunch of different activities,” said Alex Manseau, a senior psychology major, interning with the Counseling Center, who helped organize the event.
The Jordan Porco Foundation is named for Jordan Porco, a young man who died his first year of college from suicide. His parents created the foundation as a call to action for young people and those who support them to change the discussion around mental health and have help-seeking, open conversations about the reality of young people’s minds.
Per the US National Institue of Mental Health, a 2017 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed suicide was the second leading cause of death in the U.S. of individuals between the ages of 10-34.
According to the Jordan Porco Foundation, one in five students coming into college are being treated for or diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
“I think for college students, being in college is such a tough time because you have whatever issues and stuff you have from home and then you’re coming here and you have all of the issues and the stressors with coming to college. I feel like it’s a big time for mental health,” said Area Coordinator Kevin Castiglioni from Residential Life, “It’s okay to seek help and it’s okay to talk to other people about mental health issues because all of us are going through them.
If you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741.