By: Anna Martineau
The Rainbow Center will be participating in UConn’s annual Fresh Check Day on Saturday, April 27th, from 1-4pm on the Student Union lawn. Fresh Check Day is a core part of the Jordan Porco Foundation, an organization that started in 2011 after Ernie and Marisa Porco lost their son to suicide. At UConn, it is hosted by Counseling and Mental Health Services (CMHS) and the campus organizations that make up the Suicide Prevention Committee.
We recognize at the Rainbow Center how important it is to talk about mental health openly, especially within the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ folks face a greater amount of stigma and inaccessibility when it comes to mental healthcare, and it is important to not only create awareness to these issues but to also work towards creating real change. While this may seem like a daunting task to take on, change begins with the small things. The friendly, open attitude that our staff bring to the Rainbow Center, and the way in which we embrace our identities wholeheartedly has made a lasting impact on the way that I view myself. It sends a powerful message that none of us have to go through college alone.
I know that for a lot of students, dealing with mental health is not as simple as a positive attitude or a mental health fair like Fresh Check Day. It can take hard work and vulnerability to start the healing process and ask for help. But sometimes in a world where it can be easy to be overwhelmed by negative imagery, having events like Fresh Check Day help to break through the storm and remind us what our resources are. We look forward to seeing everyone at our Be Yourself Booth, and encourage anyone who may need it to reach out to CMHS at 860-486-4705.