Geena Levine ‘21
On January 30, 2020, Merrimack held its fourth annual Fresh Check Day. Fresh Check Day is a nationwide event that promotes mental health. The event was hosted by Hammel Health and the Office of Wellness. The event was held in the MPR and over 100 people were in attendance.
According to its website, Fresh Check Day’s goal is to create an approachable and hopeful atmosphere. They want to create a place where students are encouraged to engage in dialogue about mental health, as well as help to build a bridge between students and the mental health resources available on their campus.
This event is not like other suicide prevention and mental health awareness events. There are many options for booths that the school can choose to have come to this event. Merrimack’s event contained 10 booths with mental health information and activities that students were able to walk around and use.
Some examples of booths that Merrimack had were Check-in and Chill Out, Know Your Limits, Elephant in the Room, and Nine Out of Ten. The Check-in Chill out booth focused on having students check in with their mental health, encouraging them to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health. This booth contained a ball pit for students to play in as well as a chance to do a mental health screening.
The goal of the Know Your Limits booth was to promote alcohol safety and spread awareness of the signs of alcohol abuse. This booth contained a big game of Jenga and impairment goggles for students to wear to see if they could play Jenga or walk in a straight line while feeling what it’s like to be visually impaired.
Elephant in the Room booth is about unawareness and the stigma surrounded around peoples image of themselves and their experiences that they are embarrassed about. Nine out of Ten Booth’s purpose was to focus on suicide prevention directly and to empower themselves and teaching them to recognize and respond to the signs of suicide.
“All of the booths were very informational,” junior Briana Alberghini said. “ I had a lot of fun going around to all the booths, getting stamps, doing an activity, and learning more about mental health awareness. It was my first year going to Fresh Check Day, and I will definitely attend my senior year as well.”