Why you need to ask beyond 'what's up' and 'how are you?'

HYDERABAD: “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. We do 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,” says Prasoon Joshi, Chairman Asia Pacific, CEO & Chief Creative Officer India, McCann Worldgroup elaborating on the The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF) new #DobaraPoocho (Ask Again) concept.

“The campaign film for Dobara Poocho 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,” he added.

 The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF) on Saturday 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). 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 the Board of Trustees.

Publication source: 
The New Indian Express
Publication date: 
10 October 2016