In an effort to improve the well-being of students, USF will conduct the second annual “Fresh Check Day” today from 11 a.m – 2 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center Atrium.
The student-run event, co-sponsored by the Center for Student Well-Being and the Counseling Center, will consist of about a dozen booths primarily focused on mental health promotion and suicide prevention.
Each booth at the fair-like event will host hands-on activities that address one of the four components of the suicide prevention model: increasing help-seeking behavior, promoting social connectedness, developing coping skills and increasing the ability of students to recognize warning signs of encroaching mental illness among peers.
Rather than just handing out information on pamphlets regarding mental illness, the interactive, peer-mentor style booths are there to make the experience “engaging and memorable,” according to the Fresh Check Day website.
The event also looks to get Bulls introduced to wellness resources on campus, such as Success and Wellness Coaching, the Counseling Center and different Wellness Centers that offer services like fresh fruit, nap pods and massage chairs.
Fresh Check Day is part of a much larger movement sponsored in large part by The Jordan Porco Foundation that has spread across over 150 schools nationwide. After losing their son to suicide, founders Ernie and Marisa Porco started the foundation in 2011 in an effort to help contain rising numbers of anxiety and mood disorders among college students.
The event’s purpose is to address the need for more mental health care in higher education. This is also in conjunction with USF increasing its budget by $1.5 million during the 2017-18 school year for the Counseling Center and new wellness centers across campus.
The event will include music, free food and giveaways, including smaller promotional items and the grand prize, an Amazon Echo Dot.
The goal of the event is to assist in opening a platform to talk openly about mental health where stigmas and misconceptions are challenged.