By Haley Bartlett, Staff Writer–

On September 18th, the university held their annual Fresh Check Day event, which aimed to cause awareness to mental illness and encourage people to keep up with mental health.

The basis behind this event was to create an open environment where students can go around and learn more about mental health, and it’s goal was to break down the stigma about people having mental illnesses.

Tricia Henderson, assistant director for the Office of the Dean of Students, said “People with mental health issues need to feel supported.”

Booths were set up and each had its own theme ranging from prevention to one specified for autism. Information was given out on a variety of topics relating to mental health. One booth even handed out bubbles and Play-Doh to aid with stress relief.

The event also discussed signs of suicide were and resources were given out.

“I think more people should be more aware of signs of suicide and know how to help those suffering, and this event was really informative,” said Lindsey Gibson, a junior from Smyrna, Tennessee who attended the event. 

This Fresh Check Day event also focused on coping skills for those who suffer with a mental illness, and the importance of getting the community to a better understanding.

 Henderson said that people should talk more openly about mental health.

“If we don’t talk about it, [then] people are suffering in silence,” she said. 

During this event, administrators engaged with students in hopes of cultivating a community of support. Those who attended the event learned about where to go for help and how to react if someone else approached them for help.

“Sometimes people look at them strangely,” said Lindsey about the stigma of mental illness.

Spreading awareness to mental illness was not the only goal of the event. It also promoted for students to have better health in general.

“Our brain is an organ that can feel ill,” Henderson said over why students should know more about where to go for guidance.

For more information about counseling on campus click here.

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