Tuesday, 11 October 2016

“Dobara Poocho” says TLLLF, urging Indians to reach out to those with mental health challenges

“Dobara Poocho” says TLLLF, urging Indians to reach out to those with mental health challenges - India’s First Nationwide Public Awareness Campaign on Mental Health Launched on World Mental Health Day New Delhi, October 10, 2016: The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF) today unveiled the country’s first nationwide public awareness campaign on mental health aiming to bring conversations around mental health into the mainstream, and inspire people to reach out to those who could be suffering from mental disorders. The campaign has been designed by McCann Worldgroup and uses the tag-line Dobara Poocho (Ask Again). It was launched as part of World Mental Health Day celebrations in the nation’s capital, in the presence of Smt. Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Dobara Poocho will run across television, print, digital and radio and comes even as India prepares to cope with the severe economic and societal burden brought on by the epidemic of mental illness in the country. WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that 10% of India’s population suffers from mental health disorders; 80% of those affected are depressed and / or suffering from anxiety, while the remaining 20% battle with severe mental health issues such psychosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia etc. In 2013, India lost 31 million years of healthy life due to mental illness of its citizens according to Lancet. By 2025, it is estimated that 38.1 million years of healthy life in India will be lost (23% increase in 12 years). Lancet data also shows that India accounts for a massive 15% of the global mental, neurological and substance-use disorder burden with depressive disorders and anxiety disorders being the most common. According to a 2014 report by the World Economic Forum and Harvard School of Public Health, mental health was expected to cause a loss of US$1.03 trillion in economic output in the country between 2012 and 2030. “Those facing mental health challenges need love and support. TLLLF’s sincere hope is that Dobara Poocho will inspire all of us to become a little more sensitive to the people around us, look out for those who might have mental health issues and guide them to take the right action on the road to good mental health. We believe the campaign will be an important marker in the long and challenging journey to build more awareness and address the social stigma around mental health,” said Deepika Padukone, Founder, TLLLF. “Not only is it imperative to be aware of depression and other mental disorders, it is also important to spread awareness and sensitise society that all individuals who have some form of mental illness have the right and should be provided the resources to deal with these challenges. Caring and supporting such a person through the journey is the need of the hour; we need to build a nation that promotes social inclusion across every dimension” noted Anna Chandy, Chair of TLLLF’s Board of Trustees. Elaborating on the campaign concept, Prasoon Joshi, Chairman Asia Pacific, CEO & Chief Creative Officer India, McCann Worldgroup, said “Questions like “How are you”?, “How was your day?”, “What’s up?,” are asked as a form of greeting. Very often they are empty tokens of communication – asked and then immediately forgotten. Wedo not wait for an open, heartfelt response and we’d be taken aback if the person actually responded honestly on her or his state of mind at that moment! The truth is that behind that mask, one out of every ten Indians are afflicted with depression and anxiety. Dobara Poocho was born out of this very need to look at someone again, to observe that someone closely again, to be aware of his or her nuances again, to hold the person close again, to ask again.” The campaign film for Dobara Poocho has been shot by Nirvana and features simple stories of regular people courageously facing and fighting depression. It is a testament to the strength and courage of the human spirit. The print campaign showcases real people who have gone through or are going through depression, and fought the illness to become stronger and whole. The Dobara Poocho launch in New Delhi was preceded by a panel discussion featuring an eclectic mix of speakers including Dr. Sadhana Bhagwat - National Professional Officer, Non-Communicable Diseases, WHO-India; Dr. KK Agarwal – National President Elect, Indian Medical Association; Dr. G Prasad Rao - President, Indian Psychiatric Society and Dr. Vikram Patel - Founder and Member of the Management Committee, Sangath. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Shyam Bhat, Trustee of TLLLF. Jio is the Campaign Partner for Dobara Poocho. Other partners include DNA Networks (Event Partner), ITC (Hospitality Partner), Tissot (Initiative Partner) and Vistara (Airline Partner). Background: Mental Health in India has assumed crisis propositions and is being viewed as India’s next biggest health and societal crisis. It is estimated that ~ 15% of the country’s population lives with major to minor mental health concerns. That’s more than 100 million Indians, with the number increasing every year. Despite the large number of people who require mental health attention, India has only ~ 6,500 trained psychiatrists and ~ 22,000- 25,000 mental health workers including social workers, psychologists and counsellors. What’s worse is that stigma and discrimination faced by those suffering and their family members prevent them from seeking guidance. Only about one in 10 people with mental health disorders are thought to receive evidence-based treatment. The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF) was set up in 2015 as a Charitable Trust to champion the cause of mental health in India and focus on depression in particular. The main aim of TLLLF is to reduce social stigma and create awareness around mental health. TLLLF has spread awareness on mental health via its English / Hindi website (www.thelivelovelaughfoundation.org / www.thelivelovelaughfoundation.org/hi), through extensive engagement on social media, outreach to various print, TV, radio and digital media outlets, and by undertaking several on-ground activities such as mental health awareness programs for school students and teachers which has been already conducted in 27 schools, reaching 4804 students and 1332 teachers around the country. TLLLF has also commenced a sensitization program on mental health for doctors in collaboration with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) as well as the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) reaching more than 2,000 doctors so far, with a target of an additional 5,000 doctors during 20016-17. The launch of Doobara Poocho is an important complement to TLLLF’s activities.

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