I hail from the small and sleepy town of Kollam in the state of Kerala. It was there that I spent my formative years while completing school and college. I got married shortly after I graduated and almost immediately flew to Africa to join my husband. Not one to sit back and while away time, I opted to continue studying, while overseas.I returned to Hyderabad approximately 10 years ago and was eager to shift gears and choose a career that appealed to me. In all honesty, at that point in time, I was unsure of the career path to choose. My foray into the mental health profession was on account of witnessing close friends and family members go through a wide range of trials and tribulations, from reasons such as domestic discord to substance abuse, all of which caused immense emotional duress. It was around this time that I came to know of Dr. Diana Monteiro and the Hyderabad Academy of Psychology. It was after my very first meeting with her that I realised my calling and came to understand what I was cut out to do. This set the foundation for me to begin my training as a Counselor. The training helped me grow as a human being, while allowing me to understand and come to terms with my three teenage children and spouse. This in itself was no mean feat but it also allowed me to put to rest my own personal demons. With Dr. Diana Monteiro as mentor and at the helm, I was able to continue my training and make the transition to beginning a career as a Mental Health Practitioner. Her guidance and our collective zeal have since helped me forge ahead in my career. One of my very first roles was working as an intern with St.Michael’s School in Alwal, where I was tasked with counselling children and teenagers. I then went on to take on the role of a counselor at St. Joseph’s Degree and P.G College. This too gave me an opportunity to interact with teenagers and young adults and the sum total of both these roles that I soon came to understand the challenges that the youth face in this day and age. The job satisfaction that arose from these stints underscored my career choice. Given the fact that students go through a lot of stress and anxiety during the course of their higher studies, the Lantern platform will assist them to obtain the necessary support, thanks to coaches such as myself who have been adequately trained. This is also a unique opportunity to introduce the next generation to mental wellness, thereby shedding the stigma and taboo of seeking assistance from a Mental Health Practitioner. I currently work with two international schools as a consultant. The more I get to know and through the training that I am undergoing, it is giving me a lot of insight and confidence that students will benefit abundantly through this program. To say that I was excited when Dr. Diana Monteiro informed me of the opportunity to join the Lantern Program would be a huge understatement. The journey thus far has not been without it’s fair share of challenges but it has been extremely rewarding and I look forward to seeing the fruits of our collective labour as the Lantern Program picks up steam. I am honored to be a part of this unique endeavor and sincere thanks to Dr. Diana Monteiro, Nitya Kanuri and Dr. Barr and his Team for the opportunity.