Get a mental health boost on Fresh Check Day

How’s your mental health? This Thursday, at the annual Fresh Check Day, you can find out! With themes like Boost, Thrive, YOUnique, Breaking Barriers, among others, there's something for everyone!

Fresh Check Day is such a great example of the campus community coming together to take care of each other. Where else can you find 11 student organizations and a combination of ’Berg departments, athletic teams and academic programs collaborating in such a fun, relevant and meaningful way?

Activities run from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, April 7, along Greenfield Street, with a rain location in Seiberling Gymnasium. This is an annual tradition that you don’t want to miss – here’s what to expect!

Fresh Check Day is a national program created by the Jordan Porco Foundation, and sponsored by Heidelberg’s Student Senate and Stoner Health & Counseling Center. Through 10 peer-led booths, students get to learn about mental health, suicide prevention, and the resources available on campus in an uplifting and engaging way. Through peer-to-peer dialogue and interactive booths, Fresh Check Day hopes to reduce the stigma around mental health and empower students to check in with each other and care for one another. 

If you’re not convinced about how important and awesome Fresh Check Day is – get this: Fresh Check Day is filled with giveaways, games, free entertainment and food! And it’s all right outside your dorm!

Here's what happens on Fresh Check Day:

Registration -  in front of The HeidelBean!

Registration is the first stop at Fresh Check Day. There, you get giveaways as well as your card to fill out with the other booths so you can enter the drawing for the day’s major prizes! Registration is where you should start and stop your Fresh Check Day.

Boost - Adams Hall Side Lawn

Boost is a booth promoting physical activity run by the Berg wrestling team. Exercise has all kinds of health benefits, including mental health! Exercising for 30 minutes a few times a week can boost your overall mood – and exercising doesn’t have to mean going to the gym! 

The Berg wrestling team will be bringing in a Meltdown Bounce inflatable, where students can try to stay standing on the pedestals and avoid getting hit off by the foam arm for as long as possible.

It Takes A Village - Adams Hall side lawn

It Takes a Village is a booth hosted by the Office of Civic Engagement, Alpha Phi Omega and Keep Calm and Carry Yarn (KCCY), to promote social connectedness and the importance of community in mental health! Studies have shown that volunteering improves mental health as it creates a sense of purpose, satisfaction, and increases social connectedness!

Civic Engagement, Alpha Phi Omega and KCCY will be providing a space for students to help create tie blankets to be donated to the local animal shelter. Students play their part in doing good for their community!

Thrive - Legacy Patio

Thrive is a booth run by the Berg Events Council (BEC) to promote practicing gratefulness and positive self-awareness. Gratitude improves self-esteem, reduces depression, improves a person’s ability to cope with difficult situations, creates stronger social bonds, and overall improves health! 

BEC will be encouraging students to write their “life lemons” on lemons, and then get to have the catharsis of squeezing that lemon to “make lemonade.” While the lemons students crush don’t actually make the lemonade, they do get to enjoy a glass afterwards!

Elephant in the Room - Legacy Patio

The Elephant in the Room is a booth to allow students to express the issues that are stigmatized around them in a positive way, run by the Heidelberg Student Senate. Talking about mental health and people’s situations fosters understanding, decreases the mental health stigma, and creates an environment where seeking help is supported and encouraged!

The Heidelberg Student Senate will be creating a space where students can write down their “elephant in the room” and have them displayed anonymously. Students will also receive giveaways in the form of elephant tote bags, and can take a picture with Noah Kennard, the Student Senate President Elephant!

YOUnique - Legacy Patio

YOUnique is a booth promoting self-love and positive body image, run by Saurwein Health & Wellness Center and Berg Body Positivity Association (BBPA)! As many as one in five college students struggle with an eating disorder, which has the highest mortality rate among all mental health disorders. 

Saurwein and BBPA will host a selfie photo booth, as well as an insecurity popping station. Students can write their insecurities, worries or concerns on a balloon, and then get to pop it away!

Be Yourself - Honors House Lawn

Be Yourself is a booth promoting self-acceptance and acceptance of others, run by Berg Allies and the Euglossian Society! LGBTQ individuals have higher rates of mental illlness than their straight peers, and providing support and safe spaces helps build protective factors for individuals at risk!

Berg Allies and the Euglossian Society will be providing shirts, masks, and tie-dye supplies so that students can create some clothing to represent who they are! Because of the popularity of this table, the booth will also be creating an ally chain that people can add to while they wait.

100 Reasons - Honors House Lawn

100 Reasons is a booth encouraging students to identify the reasons they keep going, run by Nu Sigma Alpha! There are so many reasons to stay alive, big and small – by finding yours, you can help others find theirs. 

At the booth, students will be making keychains, with their reasons to keep going displayed on them. Students will also receive a 100 reasons cookie! Sometimes all it takes is one reason for someone to stay – and that’s the most important reason of all!

Mood Matters - Adams Hall Lawn

Mood Matters is a booth raising awareness about anxiety and mood disorders, run by the Chemistry Club. Nearly 30% of people are affected by an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, but many treatments are available and effective for those with mood or anxiety disorders.

The Chemistry Club will be doing some fun experiments that promote awareness and educate students about mood disorders and the importance of seeking help. Sometimes even little things make a big change, and it’s important and brave to share how even little things are affecting you!

Breaking Barriers - Campus Center Front Lawn

Breaking Barriers is a booth run by World Student Union (WSU) where students participate in the Unity Project. Breaking Barriers is a booth created by Heidelberg to celebrate the diversity we have on campus. Creating a diverse community starts with recognizing and celebrating each others’ differences, and then finding the things we all share.

Students use yarn to connect all of the labeled poles they identify with, and see where they fit and all they have in common with others in the campus community! They will also be doing a Dare to Be Different activity, where students get to practice healthy communication and celebrate their differences!

9 out of 10 - Campus Center Front Lawn

9 out of 10 is a suicide prevention booth run by the Master of Arts in Counseling program and the Philalethean Society. The booth will offer giveaways and have a game to play, but more importantly talks about the warning signs of suicide, and steps to take if you’re worried about a friend. 1 out of 10 college students contemplate suicide; which means that there are 9 other students who have the opportunity to help the one who is struggling.

—by Em Swain ‘22

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