Fairfield University
| September 2014 | Fairfield University News Channel

Fairfield's 2nd Annual "Fresh Check Day" Sept. 17

Next Wednesday, September 17, from noon to 3 p.m., Fairfield will host its 2nd Annual "Fresh Check Day," an event designed to bring attention to college students' crucial mental health concerns and suicide awareness in a fair-like setting. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students; Fresh Check Day is one of the many events and programs at the University designed to prevent suicide by raising awareness and providing students with resources to get help.

Open to all Fairfield students, this free event will take place in the Quad or, in the case of rain, lower level of the Barone Campus Center.

The goal is to create an approachable atmosphere where students can learn about the mental health resources and programs that exist on campus, in the community, and on a national level.

Students can relax and enjoy free food and music while learning about programs that can support them and their friends if the stress of college life becomes overwhelming. There will be peer-run interactive expo booths, meditation and relaxation areas, depression screenings, vibration sound massages, therapy dogs, and other fun activities. There also will be giveaways, prizes, and FYE (First-Year Experience) credits for student participation. Live music will be provided by Groovestick, a band that counts among its influences Parliament Funkadelic, Chick Corea, Jimmy Smith, and Soulive. 

“With Fresh Check Day, we want to create a dialogue about getting help for depression and anxiety, and erase the stigma of mental illness,” said Phyllis Weihs, a counselor with the University’s Counseling & Psychological Services. “We also hope to convey to students that they are not alone, and that they can get help right here on campus. There will also be an effort to teach students to spot warning signs in their friends.”

Meredith A. Smith, assistant director of Residence Life at Fairfield, said, “Last year’s event had more than 400 students attend, and this year we hope to attract the entire first-year class.” 

Fresh Check Day is the signature program of the Jordan Matthew Porco Memorial Foundation, which works closely with colleges to plan and fund events. Held at schools nationwide, the event delivers coping strategies, mental health information, and resource messaging to young people. Last year’s event at Fairfield offered students information on the many resources Fairfield offers right on campus.

“Fresh Check was an extremely successful event at Fairfield University last year,” said Susan N. Birge, assistant vice president and director of Counseling & Psychological Services. “Students and administrators worked together to create an atmosphere of openness about mental health and the importance of seeking help when going through difficult times.” 

The event is sponsored by many departments at Fairfield, including Counseling & Psychological Services, New Student Programs & Leadership Development, Office of Student Involvement, Office of Residence Life, the Student Health Center, and numerous student groups.

For more information, please visit freshcheckday.com.

Note: This is an internal Fairfield University event and not open to the greater community.

Last modified:  Tue, 09 Sep 2014 13:39:00 EDT

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