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Hyderabad: Confined to their homes and decreasing levels of interactions have impacted the mental well-being of most students especially the teenagers. This was also the case with Anshu Reddy Gondi and Shivani Tripurani, two teenagers from Hyderabad. However, they converted their problem into a business idea and that was how Serapy was born.

With an aim to address the mental health issues of their peers and to give wings to their dreams of entrepreneurship, the two girls started Serapy — Students Therapy. The platform offers different programmes and modules for teenagers to become aware of mental and emotional health and also seek professional help as and when required.

Shivani Tripurani and Anshu Reddy Gondi

“During the pandemic, we realized the importance of mental health. We not just make students – from private and government schools – aware about the mental wellbeing but also provide a safe and secure platform to share their feelings,” says Anshu Reddy Gondi and Shivani Tripurani, 11th grade students from Chirec School.

The platform has three programmes namely Buddy Programme, Mentor Programme and Anonymous Programme.

In the Buddy Programme, the platform connects two strangers around the same age and with similar interests to give them a chance to become friends and gain emotional support by confiding in each other. In the Mentor Programme, a trained volunteer will be paired with a student to offer support and advice while keeping in touch through a fixed number of sessions.

The Anonymous Programme, according to Anshu and Shivani, is a more advanced programme wherein students want to keep their identity anonymous and yet want to gain emotional support.

The sessions are conducted via Zoom and we divide into breakout rooms for privacy and also encourage them to call a volunteer if they think they need help. “Through social media posts, Zoom calls, and government school sessions, we ensure that we are constantly raising awareness about mindfulness, physical activities, concentration techniques and more,” the students say.

The non-profit organisation does have any investors but it secured a position as one of the five winning startups at the Winter Incubation Programme by Clever Harvey and received Rs 25,000 seed grant.

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Author: Howard Caldwell