On Thursday, October 29th, UNH took part in Fresh Check Day in the Granite State Room in the Memorial Union Building. This is a program through the Jordan Porco Foundation and revolves around reducing the stigma of mental health, as well as bringing awareness to the issues surrounding mental health. Seniors, Ryan Walsh (HMP major) and Stephanie Schmeltzer (Nutrition major) took it upon themselves to bring this event to UNH and make it a day no one would forget. I sat down with Walsh and Schmeltzer to hear all the details about this event.
1. What inspired Fresh Check Day at UNH?
While there was no one event that sparked Fresh Check Day to come to UNH, it is the movement towards social acceptance of mental health as the reason we brought the event to campus! Fresh Check, unlike other programs, is geared towards college students and promoting mental health directly on college campuses.
2. What went into the planning of this day?
There was quite a lot that went into the event. Fresh Check provides the booth to the campus, but we had to find the different departments and campus resources to staff those booths. This meant soliciting volunteers from many parts of campus for the event. We also had to find entertainment and food for the day. Setting up the GSR, getting support from the community and campus were the key aspects in planning the event.
3. What was your biggest challenge with the planning of it? What was your biggest strength?
Biggest challenge was getting the student body engaged with a heavy topic such as mental health. We were able to get over 100 volunteers from many different areas and departments of campus to join the program. The support system that we had through health services and many of the higher departments that knew this day would be important.
4.What was the most rewarding part of this day?
The most rewarding part of the day was knowing that this event had an impact on our fellow students at UNH. Mental health is such an important topic to talk about and it was amazing to see all the student’s walk around the event and relay interact with their peers at the different booths. Everyone seemed like they were having fun and learning so much and that was such a great feeling!
5. What was your favorite part of the day?
Our favorite part of the day was having all the support we had through the day. Everyone who volunteer and participated had such positive things to say and we couldn’t have done it with out them! We had over a 100 volunteers there who were so dedicated and into the booths we had there. Another aspect of day that really resonated with us was when the event was over we had what someone might say a wow moment. We have been working on this for so long and to see it unfold and be successful was very powerful. Also it was mainly just us two working on this project so seeing it actually in motion was amazing!
6. Any additional thoughts?
We loved working on this project but the awareness for mental health on UNH campus does not stop after this day! We want students and individuals to still remember what they learned from the day and be there for students! Promoting awareness should still happen even though the day has ended!