I was recently touched by a story about a high school football player who struggled with mental illness and lost his way in life. KHC was honored to attend and be a part of a screening of the award-winning true story narrative feature Holden On. As the mom of a senior in high school, I could see this boy as my son’s friend, my nephew, my neighbor, or worst yet, even my own son. Tears flowed, and although I laughed about the tissues given to us, they were necessary to get through the screening. I couldn’t wait to share this story with everyone I knew. I want to fix this issue. I want to help heal the world. I can’t stop thinking about this story and what can be done do to help kids that are “holden on.” My son and I have talked every day about this issue. He’s starting to avoid me now when he hears, “Hey Hunter, I was thinking about Holden On and…” I would encourage everyone make time to watch this movie. It tells a powerful story that has created an incredible movement for teens.
Holden On shares the true story of 17-year old Holden Layfield, who fought to keep his mental illness a secret. We follow his traumatic story, which ultimately led to him to take his own life. The story has created a lot of talk and now a following, IAMHOLDENON, which is a movie and art initiative for teens to help discuss mental health through art. The screening included an art show, which was an incredible display of art created by high school students across the country who used the medium to express their feelings about mental illness.
The KHC Fourth Annual Conference in March 2018 will focus on integrating mental and physical health. If Holden’s story has interested you, I would encourage you to look into attending the conference.