Deepika Padukone was among the notable speakers at the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting at Davos. The actress spoke about ending the stigma around mental illness along with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO.
“With more than 300 million people suffering from the illness, depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability in the world today and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. It is therefore increasingly clear that now more than ever we need to aggressively address what is an invisible and overlooked health and social burden,'' Padukone said.
The actress is among the four people who have been honored with the Crystal Award for their contribution to destigmatizing mental illness. Padukone dedicated the award to the millions who experience stress, anxiety, depression and more.
Remembering her personal struggles with the mental illness, the Padmaavat actress said, "15th Feb 2015, I remember waking up with a hollow feeling in my stomach, I felt empty and directionless. I had become irritable and for someone who loves to multi-task, making decisions suddenly felt like a burden. I would cry endlessly. Waking up every morning had become a struggle and it had become exhausting, and I often thought of giving up. My mother who recognized that something was amiss, insisted that I seek professional help. Subsequently, I was diagnosed with anxiety and clinical depression"
The actress is listed as the founder of the Live Love Laugh Foundation, an NGO that aims to spread awareness and change people's perceptions about mental health. With the help of her therapist Anna Chandy, the actress started the foundation five years ago in order to help teens and young adults with anxiety disorders.
Over 100 Indian CEOs, several political leaders and select Bollywood stars including Deepika Padukone are at the Swiss ski resort town of Davos for the 50th anniversary of the WEF Annual Meeting to discuss what requires to make it a 'cohesive and sustainable world'
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