A Fresh Focus on Student Mental Health: Quinnipiac University’s Fresh Check Day
Quinnipiac University students were checkin’-in on their mental health at their third annual Fresh Check Day on October 6, 2017, sponsored by Optum. In fact, 700 students visited Bobcat Way from 12pm-3pm to participate in engaging activities centered on peer-to-peer education, mental health promotion, and suicide prevention.
“I really enjoyed this fair. I think it definitely brought awareness to mental health and educated people. The activities were interactive and enjoyable,” said a Quinnipiac student who participated in Fresh Check Day.
Fresh Check Day is an uplifting mental health fair that builds a campus community around mental health and suicide prevention through engaging peer-to-peer education. It creates an approachable atmosphere where students are encouraged to engage in dialogues about mental health, and it helps to build a bridge between students and the mental health resources that exist on campus, in the community, and on a national level.
Optum’s smoothie bike was a big hit with students, staff, and even Quinnipiac’s mascot!
“Optum is proud to partner with the Jordan Porco Foundation and Quinnipiac University in support of their Fresh Check Day,” said Martha Temple, senior vice president and head of Behavioral Health at Optum. “While blending smoothies on our Smoothie Bike, students shared insightful comments about mental health stigma and perceptions, awareness and utilization of services on campus and helped Optum understand what support and tools college students need to live healthier lives. We are excited to incorporate this feedback into our programs and services as we continue to develop innovative products and services. ”
Quinnipiac University’s Counseling Services finds exceptional value in hosting Fresh Check Day on campus.
“We have received positive feedback from students, faculty, and staff, who all seem to be fascinated with Fresh Check Day. The consensus seems to be that everyone was impressed with the way this important message was delivered; educating on the importance of mental health awareness and helping to reduce the stigma of suicide all while interacting in a fun, non-judgmental way,” said Mary Pellitteri, Counselor at Quinnipiac University’s Counseling Services.
“Many of the students expressed that before Fresh Check Day they have never had the opportunity to learn coping strategies for themselves or others. Students enjoyed receiving tangible items to take with them, and participating in activities that they could continue to utilize. Fresh Check Day gives students the opportunity to become aware of services available on campus and in the community. Professors used Fresh Check Day as an opportunity to teach their students about mental health, with many allowing students to participate in the event as an extra credit opportunity.”
At the center of Fresh Check Day are peer-run booths that reflect a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention, mental health issues and stigma, and high-risk populations. Quinnipiac University’s Fresh Check Day booths included Nine out of Ten, Uplift, It Takes a Village, Know Your Limit, Rise Up, At Ease, Elephant in the Room, Be Yourself, Mood Matters, Check In & Chill Out, and more.