Fresh Check held at WIU to bring awareness to mental health, suicide


MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) — Western Illinois University worked with the Jordan Porco Foundation to host a Fresh Check Day to bring awareness to mental health and suicide. 

The Jordan Porco Foundation was founded in 2011 by Ernie and Marisa Porco after losing their son, Jordan, to suicide. Jordan was a freshman in college when he passed away, and Jordan’s parents decided to take action to help other young adults going through tough times. 

“They came up with a unique program, the first program Fresh Check Day, because it was something they felt their son would have gone to,”  Rachel Papke, director of events and communication for the foundation. 

According to the foundation’s website, the mission of the Jordan Porco Foundation is to work to prevent suicide, promote mental health, and create a message of hope for young adults. The foundation provides “engaging and uplifting programming emphasizing peer-to-peer messaging promoting help seeking behavior, self-care, and coping skills. Our programs challenge stigma by talking openly about mental health, and educating about the risk factors and warning signs of suicide and other related mental health concerns.”

The first Fresh Check Day was held in 2012 in Connecticut where the Jordan Porco Foundation was founded. Since then, it has grown to nearly fifty states, with plans to continue expanding. 

One important part of Fresh Check Day that is mandatory for schools is that there must be music playing at the event. It is in honor of Jordan’s love of music, and to make the event more inviting to young adults. 

For more information on the foundation and the Porco family, go to

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