Anna Chandy, Chairperson of Deepika Padukone's The Live Love Laugh Foundation, which champions the cause of mental health in India, addressed FLO members in the city today at The Park, Somajiguda on "Impact of Silence--Psychological Abuse"
Depression and Anxiety are sisters. They come together. Depression has four Quadrons—
Family is not therapists. They can’t handle depression. They can take help from a mental health professional, said Anna. Depression is the illness of the brain, she said. Women are more prone to Depression and they outnumber men in committing, added Anna Chandy. If mental health concerns like Depression, Anxiety are not addressed in women, there is a larger impact, Anna informed.
Talking about suicides, Anna Chandy said, they are not sudden. They are planned. And they show signs of that tendency if you pay attention. Depressed can recover, she said. There is no perfect mother, wife, sister, mother-in-law and sister-in-law. It is perfectly okay to be an imperfect woman, she advised 200 plus gathering.
TEDx Speaker, Anna Chandy observed, "Mental Health needs to become part of the living room conversation in our daily lives”. She is the most sought-after professional on the subject in the country. I was not the one who helped Deepika Padukone to fight her depression. There were many professionals helped her overcome her problem. Deepika suffered depression during the peak time of her career.
Chandy talked about issues pertaining to psychological wellness, the mind, its battles, and the state of mental health in India. The Live Love Laugh Foundation was founded by Deepika, to spread awareness and remove stigma surrounding mental health for which Anna Chandy is a Chairperson.
The foundation focuses on initiatives that assist people suffering from anxiety, stress and depression in particular.
“Many physical ailments, including serious ones, are discussed openly. However, the mental illness is never spoken of. Even if it is done, it is done so in hush-hush terms. We must shatter that silence”, said Priyanka Ganeriwal Arora, Chairperson of FICCI Ladies Organisation(FLO).
According to Lancet, one in five Indians will suffer from depression and anxiety in their lifetime, which is about 70 million people. Not many, however, seek professional help/support/counselling because of the stigma attached to it. In India, the National Mental Health Survey 2015-16 reveals that nearly one in 20 Indians suffers from depression.(study by WHO).
For a population of 1.3 billion Indians, we have about 5,000 psychiatrists and 30,000 mental health workers (counselors, psychologists, and community social workers). Mental health remains an underdeveloped and understaffed field in India’s medical practice out of the 936 000 doctors in India, there are only roughly 4500 psychiatrists (Lancet 2015) The WHO estimates that 10% of India’s population suffers from mental health disorders, with 80% of those experiencing depression and anxiety. The remaining 20% battle with severe mental health issues such as psychosis, schizophrenia, and so on. In 2013, India lost 31 million years of healthy life due to the mental illness of its citizens according to The Lancet. By 2025, it is estimated that 38.1 million years of healthy life in India will be lost (a 23% increase in 12 years). Data from The Lancet 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.
The mental well-being of the elderly is generally overlooked due to focused attention on their physical ailments. Approximately 15% of the population aged 60 or above suffer from a mental disorder, says Anna. With an ageing population, depression among the elderly is likely to increase in the coming years, with higher prevalence among the elderly than that in the general adult population. The prevalence of depression ranged from 3.9% to 47.0% with higher rates among female and urban residents.
The talk was part of the theme “Infinite Possibilities”, adds Priyanka. Accordingly the speakers, Priyanka adds were handpicked. So that members think that everything has infinite possibilities and make them open the windows and think out of the box ideas, she said.
Anna Chandy, is a thought leader in the mental health domain in India and the first Certified Training and Supervising Transactional Analyst from Asia. At the event, she engaged and educated 200 plus FLO members in illuminating conversations and make them be co-creators of their own growth.
A pioneer in her own right, Anna has advised executives and teams at leading organizations including Titan Watches, NDTV, Firstsource Solutions etc. Anna has trained in Mind Body Healing Work and also has certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Art Therapy.
Anna's first book, "Battles in the Mind - Conquering and Winning Over Emotional Pain", was published by Penguin Random House in June 2017. Anna believes difficult times provide a space for deep self-introspection, reflection and learning.