On Wednesday, the Healthy ‘Cane Network hosted Fresh Check Day on the Foote University Green with interactive events and giveaways. The national initiative aims to prevent suicide and increase the availability of mental health resources on college campuses.
The Healthy ‘Cane Network, a collaborative effort within the University of Miami’s Division of Student Affairs that supports overall student wellness, hosted its third Fee Check Day on the Foote University Green on Wednesday.
As a flagship program of the Jordan Porco Foundationa non-profit organization that aims to prevent suicide, promote mental health and create a message of hope for young adults, Fresh Check Day is an uplifting event for universities across the country.
Anthony Musto, Director of Fitness Programs for the Department of Wellness and Recreation and President of the Healthy ‘Cane Network, underscored the enormous value of the collaborative effort and programs like Fresh Check Day – and the benefits that they provide to support the mental health of students on Campus.
the Healthy cane network fosters an environment that contributes to “happiness, productivity, academic achievement, and overall life satisfaction.” . It integrates the facilities, programs and services of the Center for Counseling, Housing and Residential Life, the Sandler Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education, the Student Health Service and the Department of Welfare and Recreation – all participated in Wednesday’s event – to contribute to the well-being of the students.
“It’s very difficult to get a message across virtually,” Musto said, noting that this was the first Fresh Check Day since 2019. “Students have to go out to be here, in front of another person physically, makes it very engaging for them.. I think our message is much clearer through these events.
Activities on the Foote University Green included interactive booths hosted by various student organizations. Participants could share notes of encouragement with LGBTQ+ youth in the community, practice writing mental wellness messages, and write positive body messages about themselves. Attendees who walked through the resource fair also nabbed free treats and gifts.
Ashley Margaritondo, graduate in health sciences and supervisor of the “CHAMP” wellness and leisure program, offered advice to his peers on working exercise in their busy schedules. She encouraged her fellow students to stay active to reduce anxiety and stress levels by joining her in a fast-paced game of Spikeball, which involves elements of foursquare and volleyball.
“Even a bit of movement goes a long way in boosting your mood,” Margaritondo said, adding that she stays active by taking frequent walks, even between classes.
Aidan Wells, a health educator for the Student Health Service, worked with the Student-Led Peer Educators, a team that works to promote healthy decision-making through education, advocacy, and education. education, to engage with students on mental wellbeing beyond one-time events, like Fresh Check Day.
“Our goal is really to provide students with the tools they need to practice personal wellness in their everyday lives, not just on occasion,” she said. Participants stopped at their interactive stand to practice talking about themselves by writing a compliment or taking a newspaper to take away.
Zachary Danney, a senior human resources management student, represented the Veteran Student Organization (VSO). Danney, who is president of the VSO, encouraged his peers to practice gratitude by sharing what they are grateful for while educating event attendees about the veteran benefits available on campus and emphasizing the importance of take advantage of mental health resources. .
“One of the hardest parts of dealing with mental health issues is asking for help,” Danney said. “When this help surrounds you, you know these resources are there. And when you have people actively trying to help you, you’re in a much better position to get help.
For more information on the Healthy ‘Cane Network and other on-campus mental health resources for students, visit https://www.studentaffairs.miami.edu/well-being/healthy-cane-network/index.html.