Attitudes are changing. We can see people becoming more aware of things like sustainability, environment-friendly, organic, biodegradable and more when it comes to what they use, what they wear and what they eat. A survey by Deepika Padukone’s Live Love Laugh Foundation has revealed that mindsets are changing when it comes to concepts like ‘healthy’ and ‘fitness’ as well, with mental health and happiness becoming equally important as physical well-being. Data from over 3,500 respondents (of equal proportion of genders) in eight cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kanpur, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Patna), reveals that approximately one in two people associate ‘being healthy’ with ‘happiness’ and every one in two people link ‘being healthy’ with ‘having a sound and healthy mind’.
But all is not well. Despite these statistics, not many of us would actually seek help from a mental health professional if the need arose or even assist those in need. Even though all of us talk about depression, anxiety and stress everyday, the stigma of seeking help for these conditions is still huge. As per the survey, almost half of the participants used words such as ‘retard’ or ‘crazy, mad and stupid’ while describing people with mental illnesses. The survey also revealed that even though 47% people are aware of mental illnesses, they still show bias and judgment towards those who suffer from these conditions.
Even as the country’s most progressive bill on mental healthcare was passed last year, the results of the national mental health survey (2015-16) reveal that only about 10-12% of people suffering from depression get treated in India. As shockingly low as the percentage stands, it does not even take into account other mental diseases.
Speaking at an event to release the findings of the survey, Deepika Padukone said, “This research initiative is part of our ongoing efforts to build a better understanding about mental health in our country. Our research shows that only over a quarter of the respondents are willing to be supportive in many aspects, while the remaining are either judgmental or fearful of those affected with mental illnesses.”