India has some of the highest rates of depression in the world. A few years ago, an international newspaper headline officially named it the most depressed country in the world. Earlier this year, an Indian newspaper this year reported that according to the World Health Organisation, 36% of Indians will suffer major depression at some point in their lives.
Despite the huge scale of the problem, and the fact that numbers often vary, the lack of awareness persists. Which is why it’s important to focus on what each one of us can do — in our personal lives — and collectively, to raise awareness and lift the stigma.
In 2015, when actress Deepika Padukone openly addressed her struggle with depression, some of her fans were shocked and her critics might even have considered it a publicity stunt, but those close to her knew that even at the peak of her professional career, her success did not make her feel happy or content. Deepika was battling depression, a silent killer.
She went on to set up the Bengaluru-based Live, Love, Laugh Foundation on October 10 (World Mental Health Day) with her counsellor Anna Chandy and psychiatrist Dr Shyam Bhat along with Anirban Das and Nina Nair on board as trustees. She wanted to make sure that everyone who needs help will be given assistance.
Also Read: World Mental Health Day, A Call To Action
Her foundation has recently released a video, asking all of us to ask questions, look deeper into the eyes of our loved ones and ask them again if they are okay. #DobaraPoocho, as the tag line goes.
Watch the video here
At a recent press meet to promote the video, Deepika broke down while talking about her struggle and battle with depression. She thanked her mother, for noticing something was wrong, and made an emotional statement, indeed. “Today, in our world, we have grown so competitive which is a good thing, but we have also become so insensitive. I dedicate this campaign to people who have overcome depression, people suffering through it and urge the society to become more sensitive,” she said.
An applause-worthy initiative, indeed.