Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 February 2020

'There is hope': Deepika Padukone honoured with award for her work supporting mental health

The actress received the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week

Deepika Padukone received a Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos for her work in raising awareness of mental health. AP
Deepika Padukone received a Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos for her work in raising awareness of mental health. AP

She has long petitioned for greater support and awareness of mental health, and now Deepika Padukone has been awarded for her efforts to destigmatise depression, anxiety and more.

The Indian actress was honoured with the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday, for her years-long work in raising awareness of the topic.

The Padmaavat star, who was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2014, launched her Live Love Laugh Foundation in 2015 to help those struggling with similar mental health battles.

Taking to the stage to accept the award – previous recipients of which include Sir David Attenborough and Shah Rukh Khan – Padukone urged audience members to understand the importance of addressing mental health issues.

"In order for us to truly achieve a cohesive and sustainable world, now, more than ever before, we need to prioritise the needs of every individual, including those affected by mental illness," the 34-year-old said.

"Mental illness has presented us all with a very tough challenge. But my love/hate relationship with mental illness has taught me so much. To be patient for one. That you are not alone, but most importantly that there is hope."

Padukone added that $1 trillion (Dh3.76tn) is the estimated impact of depression and mental illness on the world economy.

"Depression is a common medical illness. It is important to understand that anxiety and depression are like any other illness and are treatable. Acceptance is the first step to recovery. It was the experience with this illness that encouraged me to set up Live Love Laugh," she said.

The actress ended with a quote from civil rights activist Martin Luther King: "Everything that is done in this world, is done by hope."

In an Instagram post celebrating her win, Padukone's husband, fellow actor Ranveer Singh, shared his pride for her achievements. "Amazing, you make me so proud baby," the Gully Boy star commented.

Through her foundation, Padukone has launched public awareness campaigns in India, funded treatment in rural communities and helped train doctors and therapists to deal with mental health disorders.

The star also opened up about her personal experience with depression during a panel at WEF on Tuesday.

"Mental illness happened to me when I had least expected it. I was at a professional high, my movies were doing great and I was in an amazing relationship. Everything was going just perfect," said the actress, who plays an acid attack victim in her latest film, Chhapaak.

"My mother had come to my place and when my parents were packing, I just started crying. She asked me what was it and I had no answer. At that time, my mother told me that I probably needed professional help and that's how I began consulting a psychiatrist."

Updated: January 22, 2020 11:08 AM

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