ACE Member Institutions Participate in Mental Health Fresh Check Day

May 21, 2018

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ACE member institutions make up many of the 150 colleges and universities participating in Fresh Check Day, a program designed to promote student mental health through an atmosphere of campus support.

Participating institutions host a fun and informative event centered on mental health and suicide prevention. Events include interactive booths, peer-to-peer messaging, food, prizes, and entertainment. Students can get involved by helping planning, volunteering, or just attending.

The program was started by the Jordan Porco Foundation in 2012 and has since spread to include colleges and universities across the country hosting various Fresh Check Days throughout the year. The foundation provides support such as planning materials and booth activity ideas on the Fresh Check Day website.


Quinnipiac University Fresh Check Day
Students peruse Fresh Check Day booths and activities at ACE Member Quinnipiac University. Used with permission from the Jordan Porco Foundation.

The initiative is highly popular with students and has had a meaningful impact on raising awareness and reducing the stigma of mental health. According to their website, after a Fresh Check Day event, 82 percent of students surveyed said they were more likely to ask for help, 86 percent were more aware of resources, 80 percent were more comfortable talking about mental health, and 83 percent said they were more prepared to help a friend.

To learn more about higher education and mental health, check out Higher Education Today’s new series on college student mental health and well-being.

—Carly O’Connell

At a Glance

Initiative: Fresh Check Day


  • Increase awareness of mental health resources available to students
  • Reduce stigma and misconceptions around mental health and suicide that often deter individuals from seeking help
  • Empower peers to be gatekeepers by understanding warning signs and knowing what to do if a friend is exhibiting signs of suicide or a mental health concern
  • Increase willingness to ask for help if experiencing emotional distress

Become a member: As a member of ACE, you join nearly 1,800 organizations that collectively promote, protect and advocate for students, faculty and administrators in higher education. ACE is the most visible and influential higher education association in the nation, and we are at the center of federal policy debates concerning legislation that affects campuses across the country. See more on the ACE website.

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