BATON ROUGE, LA (BR-PROUD) – She turned a personal experience with mental illness into a passionate career.

Romonica Jones is known for her bubbly, bright personality.

Jones is a local counsel, pastor and TV host.

“I wear a lot of hats. I’m CEO to Eclectic Counseling Services. I’m also a pastor of the Tower of Strength here in Baton Rouge. We have TV, radio, gospel music, gospel music radio awards.”

Behind that smile is much more than the confident, positive woman you see today.

“Our childhood was very difficult. Our mom was hearing voices, she was a single mother,” said Jones.

Her mother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and battled mental illness for most of her life.

She wanted to go to college to help with kids with disabilities, so she had the heart to help the community and I guess she was attached, which stopped her from doing that.”

Jones had to overcome a lot of hardship to get to where she is today.

“I felt like it was my responsibility to pick up where she left off. So I wanted to take the torch. Mental health may have gotten the best of her, but I wanted to be the child that was like OK take the torch, and we’re going to take it to the next level.”

Today she is using her life experience to help others.

“Because I carry that childhood person with me, it helps me to better relate to that other child who is sitting across from me and they didn’t eat last night. It helps me to better relate to that mother who is trying to raise her kids but she’s struggling.”

Through faith and hard work she is impacting the lives of thousands.

“I did not know the spiritual component that goes along with mental illness. So as the clients began to discuss the things they were seeing and hearing and that they felt it was more spiritual, so we branched out into the ministry to deal with their illness more holistically.”