New College Event Spotlights Mental Illness, Suicide Prevention


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Fresh Check Day was started in 2011 by the Jordan Porco Foundation and has since partnered with over 200 colleges across the country to address mental health wellness.

Students on the three academic campuses of San Jacinto College will get a fresh look at mental health April 8 when the first-ever Fresh Check Day kicks off a three-day tour beginning April 8 on the South Campus.

Founded in 2011 by the Jordan Porco Foundation, Fresh Check Day features interactive activities aimed at spotlighting mental health wellness and suicide prevention tactics.

Daniel Byars, South Campus’s Coordinator of Student Engagement and Activities (SEA), said the event supports a safe, fun atmosphere where students can talk openly about illnesses of the mind.

“In keeping with our college value of innovation, we decided to bring this event to our campus as a new way of approaching mental health and hopefully help people start a conversation,” he said.

Amanda Rose and Brian Bui, SEA Coordinators on the Central and North Campuses, respectively, worked along with Byars to bring Fresh Check Day to San Jacinto College.

“We wanted to provide programming that would bring awareness to mental health and educate students on strategies for practicing self-care,” Bui said.

In addition to providing information, the event offers music, free food, games, and opportunities to win prizes.

“I’m really excited about the event day itself,” Bui said. “It will be a day full of fun and students can expect to have a great time.”

Since its founding, over 200 colleges partnered with the Foundation to raise awareness about issues that far too often, are not openly discussed. Byars said the SEA team could not make any determinations about the future of the event until they see how the first one goes, but he believes Fresh Check Day supports an important mission relevant to the San Jac community.

“When we look at many of the issues facing college students today,” he said, “mental health is often one of those issues that is high on the list but carries a stigma that prevents many people from engaging in conversation about mental health.”

Fresh Check Day takes place at 10 a.m. on April 8 (South Campus), April 9 (Central Campus), and April 10 (North Campus) on the courtyards outside of the Student Center buildings (S1, C14) on the South and Central Campuses and in the Gymnasium (N16) on the North Campus.