Stigma key reason why mental health issues not being addressed: Deepika | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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Stigma key reason why mental health issues not being addressed: Deepika

Stigma attached to mental illness is the main reason why the society is struggling to address the problem, Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone said on Monday.

bollywood Updated: Oct 10, 2016 22:25 IST
Deepika Padukone during the launch of ’Live Love Laugh’,  a national awareness campaign on mental health, in New Delhi.
Deepika Padukone during the launch of ’Live Love Laugh’, a national awareness campaign on mental health, in New Delhi.(IANS)

Stigma attached to mental illness is the main reason why the society is struggling to address the problem, Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone said on Monday.

The 30-year-old actress, who herself battled depression, was speaking here at the launch of a nationwide campaign to bring awareness about psychological disorders, on World Mental Health Day.

“It is important to realise that the kind of society we live in today, we have become very competitive, and drilled into it, which is a good thing, but, I also think, we have become a little less sensitive to people around us...No one should feel that they do not belong to society,” she said.

She said the day we manage to get over this and bring awareness, we will “win this battle”.

The campaign has been jointly launched by Indian Psychiatric Society, Indian Medical Association and Deepika’s Bengaluru-based non-profit foundation, the Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF), under which they would develop outreach programmes to highlight the urgent mental health challenges that India faces.

Sharing her personal struggle with depression, Deepika broke down during the function, and said, it is important that there is a supporting ecosystem of family and friends that allows the suffering person to cope with the disorder with hope and dignity.

Watch | Deepika Padukone’s amazing video on how to fight depression

Deepika Padukone during the launch of ’Live Love Laugh’, a national awareness campaign on mental health, in New Delhi. (IANS)

“When I shared my story first, I did not feel any stigma or shame attached to it. And, the reason I came out in the open about it was because I just did not want to feel what I was feeling, I did not let depression to get the better of me,” she said.

“In the last one and a half year, since I stepped out, people come to me and share that they have connected and felt the same way. They say earlier they were reluctant to speak out, or families were not supportive. That has changed,” Deepika told NDTV.

Deepika, who recently become the brand ambassador of the Indian Psychiatric Society, said the campaign was dedicated to all those people who have survived mental illness.

Asked if social media was creating psychological pressure on celebrities, she said, “It is important to nurture, nourish and protect ourselves...And, I wouldn’t share what I do about it, as it depends on person to person. But, as my father told me, ‘focus on thing in your control and not fret over things which are out of your control’.”

India is home to the largest number of mental health patients in the world with at least 50 million people suffering from depression at any one point in time, according to the society’s President Dr G Prasad Rao.

A special video and poster campaign, “#DobaraPoocho” (ask again), was also unveiled on the occasion. “We decided to be part of the campaign so we have volunteered and given our support. Deepika could have kept it all to herself, but she shared her struggle and turned it into a movement,” CEO, McCann Worldgroup India, Prasoon Joshi said.