It’s difficult, numbing and a lot of them around us are suffering from it. Depression is neither a hoax nor a gimmick, like what most people thought it to be when city girl and Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone confessed to it. On World Mental Health Day earlier this week, her Live Love Laugh Foundation launched their new mental health awareness campaign, the first of its kind in the country. A Bengaluru agency added to the issue’s urgency by producing an earnest ad that tugs at the heart’s strings too.
City folk speak to us about how it's high time to break the silence and stigma surrounding mental health.
Anna Chandy of The Live Love Laugh Foundation says that this awareness is the need of the hour.
“The intent was to bring conversations around mental health into the mainstream, and inspire people to reach out to those who could be suffering from mental disorders,” he says.
The campaign powerfully titled Dobara Poocho has celebrities like Yuvraj Singh, Harsha Bhogle, Saina Nehwal, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Rana Daggubati, Danish Sait and Alia Bhatt amongst others, flock in support of it.
“This shows not just their own interest and engagement in the issue at hand, but also the fact that the issue is of national importance, cuts across the spectrum and involves everyone – no matter what the background of the person is,” adds Anna.
Visual aids are a great medium to drive the point home and the ad made by Bengaluru-based Nirvana Films is going viral for a reason. “What I particularly like about it was how a friend, spouse or parent probes the affected person. It’s not nagging, yet persistent,” notes Tasneem Nakhoda, a city-based psychotherapist at Tattva-Happiness Matters.
“In the ad, the people were also given a chance to speak without interruption, with two of them ending in nice, long comforting hugs. Most often, that’s all we need,” she says. “The name itself is apt as it takes a lot for individuals suffering from depression to acknowledge, accept or share their feelings. Dobara Poocho should (hopefully) give people the hope they are seeking,” she says.
Is it a hard and fast rule that someone who has everything couldn’t be unhappy? That’s something that the campaign looks at as well. “It was tricky to make. The entire team approached it from their hearts, a place of absolute trust and purity. It was very different from the regular advertising-filmmaking approach as there had to be a lot of room to experiment in this kind of format,” explains Sneha Iype, the co-founder of Nirvana Films, the producers of the ad. But in the end, she confesses to it being the most ‘cathartic’ experience.