ECU hosts event to raise mental health awareness

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Mental health is an important topic these days, It can be especially tough to stay mentally well during stressful times, like college years.

So East Carolina University wants to start a conversation about mental health.

The Jordan Porco Foundation hosted their eighth annual Fresh Check Day Wednesday afternoon to create a comfortable environment to talk about the topic, one they say is often stigmatized or deemed as “sensitive,”

The foundation has three goals in mind: prevent suicide, promote mental health, and create a message of hope for young adults.

According to the foundation, a study shows that one in ten college students has contemplated suicide.

Jodi Quemelen, a well-being graduate assistant said, “This is an everybody fight. It is something I hold near and dear to my heart because even if you haven’t struggled with mental health issues in the past, chances are you know someone who has, or you have met someone who has, so it’s really important we all stay aware of this problem.”

The event aims to help students connect with resources available not only on campus but also in the community and nationwide.

Students say finding your own niche from the wide range of resources provided can be very effective.

“I saw benefits with me and my mental health and my overall well-being with the effects of physical activity,” said ECU student Ellie Gardill. “So kind of wanting to be involved in that, wanting to participate in that, and wanting to lead others in group fitness and physical activities, and since then, I‘ve had nothing but good experiences so now I’m a personal trainer.”

The event was free and open to the public.

The program also spreads further knowledge of the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, and other related mental health concerns to raise awareness.

Fresh Check Day has supported more than 220,000 college students since it started in 2012.

Organizers of the event say mental health awareness has been raised since the pandemic and continues to grow, and hope that everyone joins in the progress and checks in with their loved ones regularly.

A little goes a long way. Even a simple text could transform someone’s day.