Fresh Check Day brings mental health awareness to campus

February 29, 2024
Caitlin Herz '26

On February 22, Saint Michael’s hosted Fresh Check Day in Alliot hall, which is the signature program of the Jordan Porco Foundation. The event is an uplifting mental health promotion and suicide prevention experience for colleges that includes interactive expo booths, peer-to-peer messaging, support of multiple campus departments and groups, free food, entertainment, and exciting prizes and giveaways.

Photo by Caitlin Hertz

The Jordan Porco Foundation was founded in 2011 by Ernie and Marisa Porco shortly after they lost their son, Jordan, to suicide when he was a first-year student at Saint Michael’s College. Jordan was a member of the Class of 2014 who died in February 2011.

Saint Michael’s students were paired up at tables that had activities to raise awareness for suicide prevention. Students engaged in open dialogue about mental health. Be Well created an inclusive atmosphere where people could feel comfortable discussing their own experience with mental health.

One expo booth offered students small pieces of paper they could write their stressors on, or something that had been on their minds. There was a small trash can as well that students disposed of their stressor in, after they crumpled them up. These simple, but meaningful activities, allowed students to feel more in tune with their psyche, and the engagement factor made it fun as well.

Photo by Caitlin Hertz

In addition to fostering a safe space for discussing mental health, Be Well also allowed students to explore potential clubs where they can find a supportive community to engage in. There were expo booths that promoted groups and clubs on campus, that students could learn more about joining. One of those clubs was Saint Michael’s Common Ground who provides a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community and allies. Students in this club held a table with papers for students to write how they can support the LGBTQ+ community.

At all the booths, students received a check on their raffle ticket that they attended the activity. Along with the activities, students who wanted to engage with the tables and expo booths received raffle tickets that they could enter to win Be Well prizes.

Fresh Check Day aims to create an approachable and hopeful atmosphere where students are encouraged to engage in dialogue about mental health and helps to build a bridge between students and the mental health resources available on campus, in the community, and nationally. To learn more visit

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