UT students gather around food trucks on West 26th Street and Rio Grande to laugh and share stories. Here, Teens Thrive retains a profit share in Cold Cookie Company, and members enjoy each other’s company over dessert.

Teens Thrive, a student organization launched last spring, is dedicated to educating middle and high school students about mental health through outreach. The organization also provides a safe space for UT students to come and learn about mental health, practice self-care, and take a break from their busy schedules.

Sneher Aria, a junior in Human Development and Family Sciences and president of Teens Thrive, said her own experiences with mental health before arriving at UT forced her to seek out organizations that made mental health a priority. Told.

“My mental health was very difficult during my teenage years, before college,” Aria said. “I wanted to set up an organization. I wanted to have a community of people who were also interested in (mental health) and make friends and influence them that way.”

After coming up with the idea for Teens Thrive, Arya said she decided to reach out to people through GroupMe to gauge their interest. After the club gained prominence, she founded an official organization to center the mental health debate.

“We are very busy and the thought of taking time for ourselves makes us feel lazy or not doing the best we can,” says Arya. “Giving people time to think with those who support them is worthwhile…and continuing their personal growth journey in the same way.”

Syed Abdullah, a third-year psychology student who heads Teens Thrive’s social media committee, said the challenges facing students today underscore the importance of learning about mental health at a young age. Stated.

“There is a lot of pressure on our young people, and that pressure can melt in,” said Abdullah. “There’s a lot to glorify the workaholic culture…and targeting high school mental health education is important,” Abdullah said, adding that children and teenagers will be ready when they graduate and become adults. As said, we aim to start setting a positive mindset.

Abdullah also said he was grateful to be a part of Teens Thrive. He said the organization has not only helped him maintain his own mental health, but it has also helped him pursue a career path as a mental health professional.

“It’s very rewarding,” says Abdullah. “By doing this kind of promotion…I feel like I’m making a difference.”

The organization also works with Texas schools to implement lesson plans on mental health topics. Ruby Soto, a sophomore in human development and family sciences and a program development officer, said the organization is creating lessons on topics such as self-reflection, anxiety management and journaling, based on the school’s request. She also said her role as an officer helps her develop leadership skills and supports her journey to manage her own mental health.

“I knew the basics[of mental health]but it really helped me to go through and look up lesson plans,” Soto said. “Teens Thrive is such a welcoming place…[and]having the opportunity to help run the event feels like her leadership skills have improved.”

Soto said she hopes new members joining Teens Thrive will feel comfortable expressing their emotions in the group and be open to learning more about mental health.

“We want them to feel welcome and safe,” Soto said. “There will always be a place for them to cry, talk, learn, and not be discouraged or embarrassed. …We are here to help.

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