Tuesday marked Fresh Check Day at Norwalk Community College, and students here are reminding each other that someone always has your back.
Leah Nelson, Program Coordinator for the Jordan Matthew Porco Memorial Foundation said, "Fresh Check Day is a fun festival fair like event where there is music and free food and all these interactive booths that folks can go to and learn about mental health and really start this conversation so we're not afraid to talk about it."
"I think the biggest problem with mental health today is the stigma behind it. Peeople have to realize that it is a very common phenomena and that everyone knows someone who is affected by it and you shouldn't feel bad about going for help," said Norwalk Community College student Vincent Filardi.
Fresh Check Day is the signature program of the Jordan Matthew Porco Memorial Foundation. The foundation works closely with colleges to bring awareness to mental health resources & coping strategies on campus.
Nelson said, "Events like these are important not only to bring awareness to what those resources are but also to say hey it's ok to go ask for help. We are also encouraging the peer network too, to watch out for their friends that they may see struggling and say, "here are the resources available to you. I think we should go get some help together."
"Anything is important to know the truth or facts about. Mental health is something that can effect your life daily or in a major way so I think to know if you have it, to know what the signs or symptoms are, I think is very important," said NCC student Nia Walcott.
The outdoor festival featured stress relief exercises such as painting and yoga, as well informational stations about drug and alcohol abuse.
Nelson said, "This doesn't have to be a taboo topic. Mental health and suicide is something that we should be incorporating in everyday language. We always say everyone has mental health, and we all need to strive to take care of that."
For more information about Fresh Check Day, visit www.freshcheckday.com.