Students learn about suicide prevention with Fresh Check Day

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Fresh Check Day made its debut on TCU’s campus this semester.

Fresh Check Day is a national suicide prevention program where students are given the opportunity to learn where they can seek help if they’re struggling.

Fresh Check Day featured music, entertainment, free food, demonstration booths and games.

The Jordan Porco Foundation funds Fresh Check Day and aims to prevent suicide in both high school and college students.

Assistant Dean of Campus Life for Health Promotion Karen Bell Morgan co-hosted the event. Morgan said, “TCU is committed to the same goal and wanted to provide students with an uplifting atmosphere where they could learn more about on-campus resources and help reduce the stigma that may be associated with help-seeking.”

Outreach coordinator of the TCU Counseling Center, Cortney Gumbleton also co-hosted and planned the event.

“I think the number one thing that I want students to take away from Fresh Check Day is just how many resources are available to all of them,” Gumbleton said.  “The Counseling Center, Campus Life, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Housing, we just have a plethora of resources and so many people here that care and want to help and that’s really what I want students to take away.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.

Morgan said it’s important that TCU students are informed about mental health issues on campus. She said students often make it through TCU without knowing about their different resources.

“It is okay to reach out if you need us,” Morgan said.

With a fair-like atmosphere, students could receive a free mental health screening and were encouraged to take home a “stress ducky.”

Booths at the event provided students with interactive activities focused on mental health issues and stigma, high-risk populations, and positive coping and life skills.

Sophomore criminal justice major Brendan Hartman volunteered to work at the event.

“I think these events do two things: foster community and it creates a new social opportunity,” Hartman said. “I get to meet cool people, people get to meet me, and we’re also getting people out of their little bubbles and mingling and stuff, so for those two reasons I think it’s pretty cool.”