FOREST CITY | Waldorf University held its second annual Fresh Check Day Wednesday, Feb. 20, a day where students could come and go, play games, eat food and learn about mental health.
Counseling Services preceptorship Nicole Hamilton-Brahm said the college started Fresh Check Day to raise awareness about suicide because one in 10 college students is suicidal.
At the event, there were 10 booths, with each one focusing on a different aspect of mental health and suicide prevention, including a vaccine trivia booth; Mood Matters, which raised awareness of anxiety and mood disorders; a 100 reasons to stay alive booth; and Know Your Limit, a booth where students played Jenga and Twister while wearing drunk goggles to promote alcohol safety.
“This is a national movement; it’s been done at tons of schools across the country,” she said. “Actually, in Iowa, it’s been done at more bigger colleges, but we were one of the smaller colleges to do it first.”
Hamilton-Brahm said the event gave students a positive environment to talk about some mental health issues.
“Most of the time we’re more reactive. We talk about it after something bad happens. Today we’re having a fun interactive event with prizes and food and games, and we’re also talking about mental health,” she said.
Sophomore Madison Howe said this was her second year volunteering for the event as part of her cheerleading team’s community service.
“It’s just a fun event on campus that everyone looks forward to every year,” Howe said.
Hamilton-Brahm estimated approximately 150 students came to the event, which is completely run by students.
If someone needs help with their mental health issues, they can always reach out to counseling services, which is a part of the Office of Student Life, Hamilton-Brahm said.
“The biggest thing is just to find somebody you can talk to about it because problems and things that are bothering you seem to worsen when you keep them hidden, so that’s why we do this, so people can get it out in the open,” she said.