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'Planting the Seeds to Mental Wellness': DL students to hold mental health festival Saturday

DL Thriving will be holding a wellness festival at the Historic Holmes Theatre on Saturday afternoon as a complimentary event to the play "Seedfolks," showing at the theatre earlier that day.

The festival, called "Planting the Seeds to Mental Wellness," will touch on different aspects of mental wellness, particularly among youth, and will feature a guest speaker, informational and interactive stations, live music, food and more.

The festival is this year's follow-up to the big event held by DL Thriving last year, a forum on mental health. DL Thriving is a student-led organization made up of about 10 Detroit Lakes High School students. The group's mission is to spark conversations about mental illness and dismantle stigmas associated with it to create happier lives for local youth.

Sydney Goldstein, a member of DL Thriving, said the group came up with the idea for the festival after hearing that "Seedfolks" was coming to town. The two events pair well together, she said, because they share a similar theme and intended audience.

A traveling Children's Theater Company production, "Seedfolks" is about the power people have to be catalysts for change. Geared toward youth, the story centers on a 9-year-old girl.

"The show is a children's show about a girl who's trying to grow a garden in an urban setting and the community comes together to help her," said Goldstein. "So we're going with the idea of planting seeds to mental wellness — 'improving their mental garden,' so to speak."

The wellness festival has been designed with middle and high school students in mind, but is open to all ages and Goldstein said there would "definitely be something for everyone."

The event will feature therapy dogs on site, group yoga sessions, and a guided art exercise that will result in the creation of a mural. A pianist will be on site to play and talk about the benefits of music, and food will be catered in by Central Market. In addition, free flower seeds will be handed out. Guest speaker Karen Crabtree, manager of social services and community health with Becker County Energize, will speak on the different dimensions of wellness.

In all, Goldstein said, there will be 10 or 11 different vendor booths or stations set up around the theatre's ballroom, and people can come and go as they please.

"I think it would be really awesome if everyone could walk away from this event with something that they can incorporate into their lives," said Goldstein. "It's not just about mental illness — this is something that can help anyone with mental wellness, at any age."

Goldstein said DL Thriving has been planning the festival since September, and is hoping for a turnout of at least 100 people. Last year's forum exceeded expectations, she said, by drawing in a crowd of 200.

"We've worked really hard on this all year and we want it to be fun, informational and interactive," she said. "I have high hopes."

"Planting the Seeds to Mental Wellness" will take place this Saturday, April 14 from 12:30-2 p.m. at the Holmes Theatre Ballroom.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune as a reporter and magazine editor in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in Detroit Lakes with her husband, Dan, their 3-year-old son and baby daughter, and their yellow Lab.

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