“I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was 14 years old. Until that point in time, there was a lot of misunderstanding with respect to what was happening to me mentally. People always assumed that I was quite lazy when compared to other children and that I tend to procrastinate a lot. However, my diagnosis helped put a lot of things into perspective. Since then, I worked to become a special educator for children with learning disabilities.
A decade later, around 24 years old, I am the director of four companies that I helped initiate with the knowledge that I gained from internships at the United Nations and the World Health Organisation. The journey here hasn’t been easy and as a neurodivergent person, I made a vow to myself to ensure that the world would have the help that I never did. I studied Psychology and proceeded to major in Human Rights, and now I am currently studying law to further the causes close to my heart. In the year 2021, I was chosen as the Global Youth Ambassador for education at TheirWorld.
After my internship, I was privy to the gaps in the system and as someone who was impacted by these gaps, it became all the more important to me that I do something about it. As a therapist who is neurodivergent, I started to help people the way that I needed help.
On the brink of COVID-19 I started sharing mental health related information, and it started to receive attention. More people volunteered to help in various aspects, so we registered Hibiscus Foundation, one of my companies, as a not for profit organisation with the government. This enabled us to widen our reach and we have helped over 2,50,000 from around the world. We started with one of our flagship ventures which was Pro-bono counselling, which enabled people who couldn’t afford therapy to access the same.
The 120 employees I manage in four companies work on different aspects of health, gender equality, human rights, climate action, education, and employment. In addition to this, we organise several events and activities which would further the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Being a therapist, I can say that there is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health. It is common to say that trauma makes us stronger and resilient but I would say that unless it is resolved, it stays in our body and impacts our perspectives, beliefs, and behaviour. We grow through what we go through, however trauma and adversities are not meant to be romanticised. The importance of therapy still continues to be largely overlooked as a society however I hope to change that with my humble attempt through my organisations and my work.”
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