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Counselling Services

Counselling Department at The Lawrence School

The students are assisted in the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes to successfully manage their lives as healthy, responsible, compassionate, self-disciplined, competent, productive and respectful citizens. The school has a dedicated full-time Counsellor, Ms. Merlyn M Fernandes.

Counselling Services

A. Individual Counselling

Students may be referred for counselling service and encouraged by parents, school staff, peers, self or based on the counsellor's observation. Concerns may include but not limited to matters relating to depression, anxiety, stress, social skills, peer conflicts, parent-child relationship, separation/divorce of parents, abuse, bullying, lack of coping skills, procrastination, poor study habits, shyness, anger, jealousy issues, teen relationships and other concerns.

B. Group Counselling

Small group counselling sessions are also conducted and consist of 3 to 7 members sharing similar concerns such as conflict resolution, anger management, developing study habits, overcoming low self-esteem, dealing with peers and so on.

C. Classroom Sessions

The Counsellor conducts regular Life Skills sessions for grades 5 to 8. The curriculum is focused on developing skills of empathy, collaboration, creativity, innovation, communication and critical thinking. Workshops are also conducted to address common concerns among various age-groups. 

D. Parent and Teacher Counselling

Recommendations are made to parents, teachers and school authorities to promote student safety and well-being. 

Articles and Sessions

Session for the new class 5 students

Stepping into a new phase of education can be both exhilarating and daunting for young students. To ease this transition, a special session was organised for the new class V students on 19th April 2024. Led by the Counselor, Ms. Merlyn and a team of dedicated Peer Educators. Ranvijay Singh, Aryaveer Agarwal, and Emaaya P.S took charge of the session, aiming to create a supportive environment where students could bond, learn, and grow together.

The session kicked off with a series of engaging games and activities. Through these interactive activities, students had the opportunity to break the ice, make new friends, and build trust with their peers. From icebreaker games to group challenges, every activity was geared towards promoting inclusivity and encouraging students to step out of their comfort zones.

Each Peer Educator opened up about their struggles with homesickness, personal, emotional, and social challenges they faced during their time in school. By sharing their stories of resilience and perseverance, they not only inspired the students but also reassured them that they were not alone in their struggles.

The class 5 students were encouraged to ask questions, seek advice, and share their own thoughts and feelings. It was a moment of connection and empathy as students realized that they were part of a larger community where everyone had their own set of challenges and triumphs.

Thriving Through Adolescence

A Reflection submitted by M. Srilakshmi, based on the session conducted by the Counselor for class 8 students as they were transitioning to class 9.


Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything”. Adolescence is the time period between the beginning of puberty and adulthood. During this period, the body undergoes several changes alongside reproductive maturity. It begins around the age of 11 and lasts till 18 or 19 years of age.


The crucial skills all adolescents need to know are:

  • Critical Thinking

  • Creative Thinking

  • Problem Solving and Decision Making

  • Communication Skills

  • Interpersonal Skills

  • Coping with Emotions and Stress

  • Self-Awareness and Empathy

  • Vitamin N (Saying NO)



The power of saying NO…

  • Keeps you true to your values

  • Prevents exploitation

  • Protects you from abuse

  • Keeps you focused on your goals

  • Maintains your integrity


Boundaries in Relationships

Boundaries define where things like our identity, personhood, responsibility and control begin and end relative to the other person. Your boundaries for your family could be different from those for your friends. Whatever the relationship, we need to respect boundaries and give each other space. In a healthy relationship both people have a healthy self-esteem. They are able to be vulnerable and assert their boundaries. They feel free to think and act independently. Boundaries are a form of self-care. Without boundaries we cannot grow as a person. We need to be okay saying NO to others and also take NO for an answer.


Teenage Relationships

Teenage relationships are driven by peer pressure and momentary happiness. Sometimes, teens get into relationships to gain popularity. Very often these relationships lead to heartbreak.


Distractions to Personal Growth

Some teenagers may become overly focused on their crushes/teen relationships, neglecting other important aspects of their lives such as academics, friendship and personal development. Teen relationships can have significant impact on the teen’s mental health leading to feelings, of anxiety, depression or low self-esteem.




Teenagers are not adults but growing into adults. Teenagers are still emotionally immature and might make impulsive decisions.


Poor Decisions

Making poor decisions is something that is common to human experience. Here are some points to deal with poor decision making:

  • Acceptance - Accept that you’ve made a mistake. It is essential to avoid feeling guilt or shame but recognize that everyone makes mistakes.

  • Learn from it - Reflect on why the decision was poor and what you can learn from it,

  • Take responsibility - Take ownership of your actions and face the consequences. Avoid making excuses or blaming others for your poor decisions.

  • Make amends - If your poor decisions have affected others, apologise and try to make amends.

  • Focus on solutions - Instead of dwelling on the past, focus on finding solutions to mitigate the negative effects of your poor decision and move forward in the right direction.


“Life is the sum of all the choices you make.”

Session on Managing Emotions

In the wake of an increasingly complex and uncertain world, the importance of emotional intelligence cannot be overstated. On March 7th, 2024, the Peer Educators, Krishiv Agrawal, Advika Kumar, and Neha Yuvraj, facilitated an engaging session on the intricacies of managing emotions for the new class 12 students.

Krishiv Agrawal commenced the session by explaining the distinction between sadness and its more severe counterpart, depression. With a compassionate approach, he shed light on the pervasive nature of sadness and its potential to impact - physical and mental well-being. Krishiv articulated how prolonged sadness could detrimentally affect one's health - physical and mental.

Highlighting the physiological aspect, Krishiv described the role of cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone, in exacerbating feelings of sadness. Through his comprehensive explanation, he imparted invaluable insights into healthy coping strategies, emphasizing the therapeutic benefits of exercise in boosting serotonin levels—a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and well-being.

Neha commenced her discourse by normalizing anger—an emotion universally experienced yet often stigmatized. Neha articulated how mindfulness is a powerful antidote to impulsive outbursts, allowing individuals to pause, reflect, and respond with intentionality rather than impulsivity. Anger can be dangerous to self and others if the person is highly reactive and has a short temper.

Neha explained the three fundamental principles of anger called "Three Anger Rules": when angry, refrain from causing harm to oneself, others, or property.  She suggested two techniques to deal with extreme rage - belly breathing and acupressure of the thumb.

Advika commenced her discourse by enlightening the audience about the psychological underpinnings of jealousy—a complex emotion often rooted in comparison and insecurity. She described how the tendency to measure one's worth against the perceived successes or blessings of others can give rise to feelings of inadequacy and resentment.

Advika concluded her discourse with a reminder that jealousy can catalyze personal growth and self-improvement. Rather than succumbing to the urge to pull others down in moments of envy, she encouraged her audience to channel their energies toward self-improvement and empowerment. Advika also emphasized the transformative power of gratitude in fostering contentment.

The School Counsellor, Merlyn M Fernandes empowers the Peer Educators, Krishiv Agrawal, Advika Kumar, and Neha Yuvraj to become catalysts for positive change within their school community.

POCSO Awareness Sessions for the Support Staff Members

In a proactive measure aimed at enhancing the safety of children against sexual abuse, a series of three POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) awareness sessions were recently organized for support staff members. These sessions focused on equipping attendees with crucial knowledge and skills to effectively recognize, prevent, and report incidents of child sexual abuse.

The first session, held on March 2nd, 2024, was led by Ms. Anita Prabu, the MIC of Preparatory School, and Ms. Merlyn M Fernandes, the Counsellor. With twenty-eight support staff members in attendance, this session laid the foundation for the subsequent sessions.

Continuing the initiative, the second session was organised on March 9th, 2024, led by Mr. Saravanan, the Tamil Teacher, along with Ms. Merlyn. This session saw the participation of thirty-seven support staff members, further expanding the reach of awareness and understanding. Concluding the series, the third session was conducted on March 15th, 2024 by the Legal Assistant Ms. Nancy C and Ms. Merlyn. With a turnout of forty-eight support staff members, this session provided comprehensive insights into legal aspects and further reinforced the importance of safeguarding children from sexual abuse.

The session kicked off with a screening of the video "Komal" in Tamil. This served as an introduction to the topic, effectively engaging participants and setting the tone for the discussion that followed. 

Recognizing the diverse backgrounds and varying levels of understanding among participants, the speakers ensured that technical terms were simplified, making complex legal and psychological concepts accessible to all. Throughout the session, question-answer sessions were encouraged, fostering active participation and providing clarity on the subject matter.

Key aspects covered during the one-hour session included definitions and types of child sexual abuse, important provisions of the POCSO Act, the role and responsibilities of support staff in prevention, and the importance of reporting incidents of child sexual abuse promptly.

The session concluded on a hopeful note, emphasising the significance of building a vigilant and informed community committed to creating a safe environment for children.

The POCSO awareness session was not only informative but also empowering, equipping support staff members with the knowledge and confidence to play a crucial role in protecting children from sexual abuse.

Puberty Education for girls

The School Counsellor conducted a session on Puberty Education for the girls of class VII in February 2024. Following is a reflection submitted by one of the students.


Forty-nine girls from class VII attended the session on Puberty held in the Large Hall of the Prep School.  Each girl goes through puberty at a certain age. We were educated on the signs indicating the onset of puberty, the bodily changes that occur, what changes take place in our bodies, and how to cope with adolescent issues. This was conveyed through informative presentations.


Teens are known for their moody and self-conscious behaviour. Many hormones are released in our bodies, and this can cause mood swings and food cravings. When a girl is stressed, it can impact the body, causing excessive menstruation. The stress hormone - cortisol - can affect our periods. In the olden times, girls were confined to one room and not permitted to go outside; they were also not allowed to mingle with others when they had periods. However, now social norms have evolved.


We received instruction on our reproductive system and how to take care of ourselves. Many questions posed to the Counsellor ranging from foetal development to abortion and STDs. We became aware that gender reveal is banned in India because many people abort girl children. The counsellor also taught us how to dispose of a sanitary pad safely.


Overall, the session was highly informative and helpful. We are thankful to the counsellor for her guidance.


Shreeda D


Gatekeeper Training on Suicide Prevention

To tackle the pressing issue of mental health among students, The Lawrence School, Lovedale, organized a half-day workshop titled Gatekeeper Training on Suicide Prevention on the 24th of February 2024. Attended by 37 educators from 12 schools across the Nilgiris and Coimbatore regions, the workshop aimed to equip educators with essential skills to recognize and respond to students experiencing mental health crises.

The workshop, spearheaded by Ms. Merlyn M Fernandes, a seasoned psychologist from The Lawrence School, sought to dispel myths surrounding suicide while providing participants with comprehensive knowledge on various aspects of the prevention of suicide. Among the topics covered were Non-suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI), its causes, alternatives, and distinguishing it from suicidal behavior.

Throughout the session, participants delved into understanding the warning signs of suicide and learned effective techniques to respond to students in distress. Through paired activities, case study discussions, and role-plays, educators were able to apply theoretical knowledge to real-life scenarios, enhancing their understanding and confidence in dealing with student mental health issues.

One key emphasis of the workshop was the importance of referring students to appropriate mental health professionals when necessary. Ms. Merlyn highlighted the significance of collaboration between educators and mental health experts in ensuring students receive the comprehensive support they require.

The success of the Gatekeeper Training Workshop underscores The Lawrence School's commitment to promoting mental health awareness and fostering a supportive environment for students' well-being.

Mental Health in Teens


On the 30th of January 2024, Palmer Trinity School, USA hosted a Zoom postcard on the topic ‘Mental Health in Teens’. The following students were nominated to attend the session:


  1. Aadya Bhatnagar - Class 11

  2. Aiyana Singh - Class 9

  3. Anoushka Deepak - Class 9

  4. Rehan Abbas - Class 11

  5. Riyo Keisham - Class 11

  6. Vishvarajsinh Jadeja - Class 11


The School Counsellor, Ms Merlyn M Fernandes also attended the session. Students across the globe were part of the Round Square Zoom postcard. During the session, breakout rooms were organised, allowing each participant to share their perspective on mental health issues in their respective schools.


Dionne Delgado, the chief resource person explained how we respond to stress, detailing its impact on our bodies and elucidating the fight-flight-freeze response. She also gave strategies on dealing with stress - reading a book, getting enough sleep, drinking adequate water, practising mindfulness, yoga, hugging pets, or talking to a trusted person.


The students from The Lawrence School, Lovedale shared their insights on how schools could serve as shelters for those grappling with family issues, providing valuable input on the matter.


The students grasped the significance of mental health and recognized the importance of implementing a mental health curriculum in schools.

Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace - Awareness Session

Sexual harassment at the workplace is a serious issue that can create a hostile and uncomfortable environment for employees. Preventing sexual harassment is essential to ensure a safe and productive workplace for everyone.

An awareness session on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace (POSH) was conducted for the staff of the School on Saturday, 27 January 2024, in the Large Hall. The resource person was Dr. Gaurav Sharma, a lawyer by profession and an Old Lawrencian. The session was in an interactive format to engage and educate staff members about the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the workplace. The session aimed to create awareness, clarify misconceptions, and empower employees with the knowledge to foster a safe and respectful work environment.

Dr. Gaurav Sharma began the session by elucidating the legal framework surrounding POSH. He explained the key provisions of the law, emphasising the responsibility of both the employers and the employees to ensure compliance.

The inclusion of case studies added a practical dimension to the session. Dr. Sharma presented scenarios related to sexual harassment in the workplace, encouraging participants to discuss and analyze each case.

Dr. Gaurav Sharma's expertise and engaging presentation style contributed to an enlightening session. The staff members gained insights into the importance of POSH compliance, fostering a culture of respect, and the role of each employee in maintaining a safe workplace.

Decision Making - A Session for Class 10

Neha Yuvaraj, from class 11, Advika Kumar, and Krishiv Agrawal, from class 9, conducted a decision-making session. It was an enlightening experience that made me realize the importance of decision-making in life. Without knowing how to make decisions, survival becomes difficult.


Neha discussed the ingredients for making a good decision during the session, which was the first thing I learned. She incorporated several questions to explain the process of decision-making.


Advika explained how decisions can impact our lives. Advika presented a video demonstrating that our daily habits are a series of small decisions.


Krishiv presented an overview of different types of decision-makers and explained how each of us fits into these types. Krishiv conducted an interesting activity where he invited five volunteers to display social conformity - the act of following others without making our own choices.


My life was greatly impacted by the session.


Urvi Tanna

Class 10 A

Nigiri House

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