INDIANAPOLIS — Thrival Indy Academy, a high school under the Indianapolis Public Schools umbrella, is welcoming the community to its new wellness hub called Thrival Connect.

Students’ mental health is important to the school’s leadership. That’s why all students engage in Wellness Wednesdays instead of the usual academic lessons.

“Self-discovery exercises, self-awareness exercises, yoga, meditation, a group around grief and loss,” Jessica Gordon, Director of Social & Emotional Learning, listed as some of the activities the students take part in.

As a math teacher, Auboni Hart appreciates this mid-week reset for her students.

“Putting their social, emotional, physical wellbeing first helps me get to math, helps me get to geometry,” Hart explained.

Thrival Indy Academy wants the community to be healthy too. That is why it created the east side wellness hub which offers free weekly yoga, grief support and individual or family therapy.

You can find more information about these services by visiting Thrival Indy Academy’s website or Facebook page.

“If we’re going to serve your child here in this building, allow us to also serve the families as well,” Gordon said.

The expansion of services is possible through grant funding. In its research, Thrival Indy cited a 2015 study in Indianapolis which reported about 20% of the state’s high schoolers seriously considered suicide. The school hopes to specifically reach those on the east side.

“One, the lack of mental health resources around this area and two, the crime rate, poverty rate, and also substance abuse and mental health conditions that is in this area,” Gordan said. “And of course it is very lopsided.”

Founder, Executive Director and School Leader India Johnson’s hope is the wellness hub provides care that strengthens this community and beyond.

“The community needs healing,” Johnson said. “Indianapolis has never healed from all of its history of abuse of one another, of oppression, of neglect, of marginalization. I think it is very important that we give the community that opportunity to grow and heal past all of the damage that has been done over decades.”

Thrival Indy is inviting the community to an open house for the wellness hub this Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the school. It’s located at 4825 N. Arlington Avenue. For more information, visit