Uplifting student mental health with Fresh Check Day


Gabriella Ruiz/ISLAND WAVES

From left to right, officers of Queen Beauty Club, Jazmin Ferdin, Savannah Ruiz, and Carisma Presas presented students with their “trash your insecurities” activity.

The University Counseling Center, I-Team Peer Educators, Rotary Club of Corpus Christi, and the I-SPEAK Grant held Fresh Check Day on Oct. 19 at the East Lawn. 

Students were able to check in and receive a paper that allowed them to get ten stamps from the ten organization booths across campus that were promoting awareness with interactive activities about students’ mental health. 

I-Team Peer Educators, Queen Beauty Club, Islander Feminists, Campus Activities Board, and more were able challenge mental health stigma for students by providing resources for what is available to them on campus. Students were able to receive free t-shirts, food, and giveaways throughout the day. 

From left to right, Chair of Iteam Ellie Nejat and member of Iteam Triana Garcia showed students the importance of Iteam’s resources provided for students. (Gabriella Ruiz)

Daniel Passonno, Prevention Education Coordinator, said how Fresh Check Day is the first time the university is holding this event for students’ well-being. Passonno said how the pandemic affected many students who felt isolated as their mental health became concerning. 

“It’s okay to not be okay, you know if you’re struggling,” said Passonno. “If you have some mental health concerns seek help, you know talk to your friends, talk to a counselor, things like that. Don’t say you’re okay if you’re not okay… know that there are resources out there. Just know that help is out there if you need it.”

Theresa Sharpe, University Counseling Center Director, said the event highlighted ways that students can practice their self care, and promote their emotional, physical, mental wellness. 

“Mental health issues are much more prevalent than people realize,” said Sharpe.  “Among the college population, many students suffer in silence. We really want to get the message across that mental conditions can happen, that they are treatable. One of the things that we know is during this pandemic rates of anxiety and depression have really risen among college students, suicidal thoughts and feelings too. Everyone can play a role in preventing suicide, students are on the front lines, they’re in the best position to recoginze that a friend or classmate, or roommate or coworkers are struggling.”

Sharpe continued speaking on how the University Counseling Center booth informed students about nine out of 10. The meaning behind this is that one out of ten students are struggling with thoughts of suicidal during their life. This event provided students with the opportunity to have access to the support they may need here on campus according to Sharpe. 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with their mental health, please call (361)-825-2703 for immediate help or visit https://linktr.ee/tamucc_counseling for the University Counseling Center resources.