For the second year in a row, Housatonic Community College (HCC) joined more than 100 colleges and universities across the nation on October 9 to celebrate Fresh Check Day, an uplifting mental health promotion and suicide prevention event that includes interactive expo booths, peer-to-peer messaging, support of multiple campus departments and groups, free food, entertainment, and exciting prizes and giveaways.
A signature program of the Jordan Porco Foundation, Fresh Check Day creates an approachable and hopeful atmosphere on college campuses across the nation where students are encouraged to engage in dialogue about mental health and helps to build a bridge between students and the mental health resources available on campus, in the community, and nationally.
The festive Fresh Check Day event was held in the Housatonic Community College's spacious outdoor courtyard, which was set up to create carnival-like atmosphere. For three hours, the courtyard was filled with hundreds of HCC students, faculty, staff and members of the community, who were actively participating in interactive activities at themed expo booths, engaging in discussions, playing games and enjoying the lively music and food.
Students who participated in the October 9 event were overheard saying that it was, "really awesome to hang out and have fun" with college staff, faculty and administrators who were on hand to engage students in conversation, answer questions and encourage them to ask questions.
"It’s about promoting connections.” Dr. Indira Reddy, HCC Counselor said. “We should all feel encouraged to ask for help when we need it.” The information and activities included in Fresh Check Day are intended to empower students to understand warning signs and protocols for helping peers who may show signs of distress.
Fresh Check Day is sponsored by the HCC Counseling Center and was created to encourage dialogue between students and teachers, and to promote wellbeing and reduce the stigma and misconceptions that often surround mental health issues.
“Some students don’t know that help is available,” Dr. Reddy said. “We have a lot of commuter students who don’t always have the chance to make connections. We want them to know that when they walk through these (HCC) doors they’re important to us.”
The HCC Counseling Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:00am-6:00pm. For more information on Fresh Check Day, visit http://freshcheckday.com/