Shippensburg University hosted its annual Fresh Check Day in the CUB Great Hall this past Tuesday, featuring many booths where students could learn about mental health topics.
The event featured over 20 tables, along with food and drink, therapy dogs and giveaways.
Fresh Check Day is a national program from the Jordan Porco Foundation aimed at promoting mental health and suicide prevention in an approachable atmosphere for college students. Both university staff and campus clubs came together to help make the event a success.
Shippensburg University Director of Wellness Kurt Dunkel was the leader in putting this together, and this event has been a successful one on campus for many years. Dunkel noticed the success, saying “We do more booths than most schools. We bring in off-campus resources, and we also work with different faculty members.”
The event covered topics such as positive affirmations, speaking out for others, recognizing drug use, healthy living, exercise and more. Multiple groups from outside the university also had tables, including the Drew Michael Taylor Foundation and the Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton Counties.
Multiple clubs on campus had tables at the event, including Multicultural Student Affairs, the Military Science department and the PAGE Center. Other campus organizations were also present, such as the counseling center and the first-year experience program.
Most of the stations were student-led, with Dunkel commending all involved and noted psychology professor Amber Norwood’s group by saying, “Dr. Norwood’s class has six different tables that are all staffed by her students, and they put together the messaging, the resources, the takeaways. That’s a great partnership between academic affairs and student affairs”.
A majority of the tables were interactive for students, and notable booths included making handprints to symbolize reaching out for those in need, as well as students writing negative thoughts and affirmations on paper before immediately putting them in a shredder. Students could also sign up to enter prize giveaways by visiting five interactive booths.
Dunkel believed the theme of the event was working together in a community. “Mental health is best addressed as a community,” he said. “We should take the time throughout the day to actually check in on ourselves and our mental health and to check in on other folks as well.”
The event will continue annually on campus in the future, with Dunkel seeing room to grow. Speaking about current students, he said, “Your generation is more open to talking about mental health. Our campus is more accepting about it and more open, and we have a tightknit campus where folks work on this topic in different ways.”