Number 23, By Guest Blogger Jonathan Pohl, Ph.D.

A friend gave me a hat with the number 23 on it that I wear frequently as a reminder.

Fresh Check Day, a day of building community and providing students with campus resources is a festive fair-like event.  Students mill about taking time to paint birdhouses for Habitat for Humanity, share painful experiences through the Elephant in the Room, or just take a few moments to watch students break through their barriers written on a board that gets a karate strike.  During the event, we screen students for mental health concerns. Taking the screen is a rather quick process and includes a question, number 9, about suicidal thoughts over the past 2 weeks.

On this occasion, within 3 hours, 23 students had said ‘yes’ to question 9.  We spoke with the students about services on campus and were able to make sure these 23 students had an appointment with our counseling center—or were seeing their own therapist.

Fresh Check Day is all about checking in. We were able to check in with 23 students to make sure they knew there were people to help. I wear the cap as a reminder of that day.

Fresh Check Day is a program of the Jordan Porco Foundation. It is an uplifting mental health fair that builds a campus community around mental health and suicide prevention through engaging peer-to-peer education. It creates an approachable atmosphere where students are encouraged to engage in dialogues about mental health, and it helps to build a bridge between students and the mental health resources that exist on campus, in the community, and on a national level.


If you need support now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or, text “HOME” to 741-741 to get help 24/7 from the Crisis Text Line. 

If you or someone you know needs help, visit the Jordan Porco Foundation’s resources page. 

The opinions expressed in this blog are personal, and not those of the Jordan Porco Foundation. The information in this blog post is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as mental health advice from the individual author or the Jordan Porco Foundation. You should consult a mental health professional for advice regarding your individual situation.