Numerous efforts have been made by the NGOs and interest groups in India nowadays to address mental health issues. Particularly Depression and Anxiety alone will surpass heart disease and diabetes in next 4-5 years. on this concern, bollywood actress Deepika Padukone come forward to fight against depression, her initiative and efforts were seen and well praised by the media during the launch of Nationwide Launch of Campaign against Mental Illness, held on 10th October 2016 at Hotel ITC Maurya, New Delhi on the occasion of World Mental Health Day.
@ Chief Guest of the event launch: Smt. Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Govt. of India. addressing the event on mental health issues and initiatives.
The event was to boost The Live Love laugh Foundation’s PR and bring out as a new emerging NGO founded by Deepika Padukone to address depression. The launch event was begin with lighting of lamp, followed by inaugural speech of panel members 1) Dr. K. Agarwal, President elect, IMA 2) Dr. Rao, President IPS 3) Dr. Anna Chandy, Chairperson TLLLF 4) Dr. Vikram Patel, Sangath Goa 5) Deepika Padukone and on compeering Dr. Shyam Bhat co-hosted the event. Dr. Shyam Bhat is also a trustee in Love Love Laugh Foundation.
In the Panel discussion, various issues were discussed pertain to mental health and mental illness, particularly for adolescent / youngster suicides, depression and mental illnesses due to changing lifestyle and personal and professional expectations in life.
Dr. Agarwal, IMA President has made a very important decision and committed that the Indian Medical Association will mandate for new batch of General Practitioners to undergo at least 10% of their curriculum / internship on mental health and diagnostic learning. against its present only 30 hours of psychiatry practicum. Also, Dr. Agarwal laid emphasis to provide with psychiatry training to practicing General Physicians / doctors (MBBS) on mental illnesses, counseling and diagnosis and also referring such patients to psychiatrist. on otherway Dr. Agarwal also shared his concern with the new mental health bill to be passed in the parliament, said there were limitation with the current practitioners with limited knowledge and resources addressing mental health and treatment is not free at all, therefore patients will get admitted with physical illness recording and complaints. so as to provide with medical insurance for treatment cost. whereas, at present there’s no social security scheme or medical treatment is provided free of cost by govt. and insurance companies have objection to consider mental health under the insurance benefits.
It was estimated that, there are only 6500 psychiatrist in India against 1.3 Billion population, every 2 minutes one commits suicide among youngsters, depression is the leading cause in suicidal deaths.
on her turn Deepika, shared a very important and expressive reason behind increasing prevalence of mental illness, and that was because of STIGMA around mental illness, that leads the person helpless and miserable to fight and despair against mental health issues.
@ Video of Deepika sharing her views on mental health and depression during the launch of nationwide campaign against depression through her founding NGO The Live love Laugh Foundation.
while delivering her speech, at one point Deepika break down seeing her mother and said that, “I was really thankful that my mother was there to help me and understand my situation, supported me throughout the treatment and today what I am that is because of you”.
In concluding remarks, the panel members and invited guests had admired the initiatives of TLLLF, and shown their full support to fight against depression. Immediately after which the campaing was launched. the hashtag of the campaign against depression was #Dobarapoocho
After the launch, the I met with Shri, Prasoon Joshi, famous laureate, write and lyricist of bollywood who is a chief mentor to the Live Love Laugh Initiative, and on Deepika’s personal request remained present in the launch event.
Kudos to the TLLLF team, for the new beginning and initiative to fight against depression. At many points during discussion at the launch event, it was realised that so much of the same was done, learned and addressed by The MINDS Foundation India during its past five years rigorous mental health programmes. At one moment thought to sit with the panel members and also make media personnel aware of what MINDS Foundation had done in past, especially with research on knowledge and attitudes towards depression among different community and health worker groups.
Thanks to Natasha Vijay, Ashu Calapa and Anisha Padukone for inviting me to the event and to let me understand their views and thoughts on mental health / depression. Would say So much to learn, many more to teach / share and train on mental health initiatives carried out by The Mental Illness and Neurological Disorders Foundation India. (MINDS)
Amul …Program Manager at The MINDS Foundation.