Long way to go says Deepika Padukone on mental health awareness

Actor Deepika Padukone says that there is still a long way to go when it comes to mental health is concerned especially in creating awareness about it.

Actor Deepika Padukone says the conversation around mental health awareness may have opened up a lot in recent years but there is still a long way to go.

The actor, who is the founder of The Live Love Laugh Foundation, was in New Delhi for the initiative's inaugural 'Lecture Series' to discuss the stigma surrounding mental health.

"As far as the conversation around the causes of mental health is concerned, I think we've come a long way. But we certainly have a long way to go in terms of creating more awareness...

"I think the conversation has opened up. I don't think that there's as much stigma as it used to be four years ago," Deepika told reporters in Delhi on Sunday.

The "Padmaavat" star was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2014 and went public about it next year.

In 2015, she launched the foundation to create awareness around mental health.

Deepika, 33, said the idea behind the 'Lecture Series' was to bring people from different walks of life together and create more awareness about the cause.

"(It's about) inviting from different professions from various parts of the world, but most importantly, people who are passionate about mental health and have them talk to us about their their journey, their experience," she said.

"It's about taking to the next level," she added.

The actor also praised the media for its role in opening up the conversation on mental health.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Padma Shri awardee Siddhartha Mukherjee delivered the first lecture in the series. Deepika's sister, professional golfer Anisha Padukone was also a part of the event.

In June this year Deepika was at a fundraising dinner for Youth Anxiety Center in New York where she used the opportunity to speak about mental illness.

According to official data, one out of every five Indians suffers from mental disorder leading to chronic depression, suicidal tendencies and work related stress with suicide rates at the highest between the age group of 15 years to 29 years.


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