TCU launches Fresh Check Day’s first national program

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The national organization Fresh Check Day is promoting the importance of counseling and mental health services on campus.

The organization held an event in the Campus Commons Tuesday afternoon. It chose TCU as its 30th partner and first national launch campus.

Fresh Check Day Program Coordinator Elizabeth McOsker attributed this expansion to the university’s excellent accommodations.

“After successful reports from campuses out east, we really wanted to expand to a national level and were trying to decided how to do so,” McOsker said. “We ultimately picked TCU because of its outstanding mental health facilities and staff.”

Volunteer students ran expo booths offering free food, entertainment and prizes at the event.

Each booth represented a different campus resource. Volunteers educated peers on mental health warning signs and how to respond if a friend is at risk.

Sophomore Abbie Butler said she was inspired to volunteer from her involvement with Active Minds, a campus organization encouraging students to speak openly about mental health.

“Active Minds is all about opening up the conversation,” Butler said.” We want to make people see that it’s OK to talk. Far too many students never seek help because they’re embarrassed.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than 45 percent of young adults who withdrew from college for mental health related reasons did not receive help and 50 percent of them did not access counseling services.

TCU coordinated the event to combat these statistics. Students responded positively.

“It’s super important our school is having an event like this,” Butler said. “It’s great TCU pulled in Fresh Check Day because, even if you’re not struggling with a mental illness, we all need to remember that we’re never alone.”

Fresh Check Day on campus aimed to create a fun and approachable atmosphere to remind students that asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of.

McOsker said the event will help spread awareness.

“The event is intended to not only raise awareness about mental health, but also to spread the positive message that help is encouraged and always available,” McOsker said.

Based out of New England, Fresh Check Day has previously partnered with college campuses across Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island.