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LaGrange High students organize THRIVE

When LaGrange High School (LHS) senior, Emma Strickland, realized a need for student mental health support after watching the movie “I Am Holden On,” she approached Principal Alton White about starting an afternoon club for students called THRIVE. 

He agreed, pending there was a teacher sponsor, which they quickly found. 

They held one of their first meetings a few weeks ago with a special guest, Tamlin Hall. 

He is the producer of “I Am Holden On” and is also a former LHS student. 

Hall filmed portions of the movie at the school a few years ago. 

It focuses on suicide awareness, suicide prevention and how to cope with the loss of a loved one due to suicide. 

According to a press release from the school system, THRIVE’s club mission promotes student mental well-being through fun activities in a positive environment. 

 “September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and we wanted to promote a topic that students would be interested in,” Strickland said in the press release. 

“We have many stresses in life and we all go through it. Some deal with depression, mental illness and other things. This is a safe environment that can help students move in a positive direction as we learn to deal with being an adult, emotions and the stresses of life. It provides a way for us to work together to overcome some emotional stresses.” 

During the meeting, Hall talked about his purpose in producing the film, friendships, accepting people for who they are, and showing respect and dignity. 

He felt it was important to be there at the THRIVE meeting because, “This is where my non-profit started – right here at LaGrange High. It all started with my friend Holden Layfield and the humanity he had, and the impact he had on my life. His influence made my life’s purpose and mission to help others start the discussion to destigmatize the thoughts about mental health and awareness.”

Since the beginning of the school year, THRIVE has worked with LaGrange College Admissions on College Prep. 

Future activities for the new found organization will include pet therapy, an art workshop, meditation opportunities, community service, drumming and yoga. 

According to the press release, all of these activities will be an avenue to focus on mental health awareness and meeting the mission of the organization.