Suicide prevention on a small campus

On Oct. 2, Mitchell College ran a seemingly harmless event that involved hand painting, a drunk goggles game, making a personalized stressball and great tunes.

But underlying the fun was a deadly serious fact: One out of 10 college students think about committing suicide each and every day.

Students attending Mitchell’s Fresh Check day pledged to be a part of the nine out of 10 people who have the opportunity to help those contemplating suicide.

“Although this is a heavy subject, I pledge to help friends, strangers and classmates who are in need,” said Christian Kai-Nelson, 23, a participant at the event.

Fresh Check Day is an annual event that encourages freshmen to spread kindness amongst one another and to their community. The event also provides resources, on campus or off campus, for students to receive the help they deserve.

“I want to get the word out about suicide and be the positive change in someone’s life; that’s why I participate in campus events like this,” Mike Shepard, a Resident Hall director at Mitchell, said.

“We’ve taken the initiative to help prevent suicide from happening,” Michael Adams, 20, a sophomore at Mitchell College, explained.

Other local campuses, such as the University of Connecticut at Avery Point and Connecticut College, participate in Fresh Check Day at their own leisure and provide their students with unique booths to fit their students’ needs.

Fresh Check Day was founded in 2012 by the Jordan Porco Foundation to create a healthy relationship between students and mental health resources by utilizing peer groups. Fresh Check Days are now expanding throughout the United States and making a positive changing to student lives. For more information, visit FreshCheckDay.com.

Chantel M. Bailey is a Times intern studying at Mitchell College.

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