Today@Sam Article

Fresh Check Day Promotes Having Mental Health Conversations

Jan. 29, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Haney

FCD posterSam Houston State University envisions a safe, healthy and successful SHSU community and aims to be proactive in ensuring the overall well-being of its students. For this reason, the Office of Health Promotion, Recreational Sports, Residence Life, the Counseling Center, Active Minds, Gamma Sigma Kappa and Peer Health Advocates work together each year to build awareness and engage in conversations on the topic of mental illness by sponsoring Fresh Check Day. The free event will take place on Jan. 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

Fresh Check Day is the signature program of the Jordan Porco Foundation which works closely with colleges to plan and fund Fresh Check Day to reduce the stigmas surrounding mental health and suicide by allowing for an open dialogue and encouraging students to reach out to both peers and professionals. It is an uplifting fair-like event that includes interactive booths, peer-to-peer messaging, free food, entertainment, prizes and giveaways.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. The average age of onset for many mental health disorders is 18-25, yet most college students lack awareness about the mental health resources available to them on campus.

Shannon Kavish health promotion specialist for the Office of Health Promotion believes mental-health is a campus-wide responsibility.

mental health1“Mental health has an impact on a student’s college life in a number of areas: academic, social, physically, financial, emotionally, etc.,” Kavish said. “It is important for the campus community to be educated on the warning signs for suicide and mental health problems so that we can all do our part to help others.”

The event is called Fresh Check Day because it is aiming to “check-in” on student’s mental health. Students dealing with mental health issues often feel as though they are a burden to those around them, but everyone experiences mental illness differently, and this requires individual support from their peers and community. Checking in can play a critical role in supporting those who may be struggling. It has been reported that 76 percent of young adults will turn to a peer in a time of crisis for support. Together, the SHSU community can change the culture around mental health.

If you or someone you know is struggling, there is hope and help available. Contact the campus counseling center or other mental health professionals. In the event of a mental health emergency, call 9-1-1 or visit your nearest emergency room or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).


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