India was already on the verge of a mental illness epidemic in 2017, according to a statement by our then President Ram Nath Kovind. Today the problem is threatening to get out of hand even as we try and control the Covid-19 pandemic. ZEE5 is partnership with United Way Mumbai is starting an initiative to help connect people to mental health professional, offer online guidance and much more with the Pavitra Rishta Fund.
While talking about the new Pavitra Rishta Fund initiative Tarun Katial, CEO ZEE5, said ‘This was created after understanding the situation in India where mental health where mental health is largely ignored. Take the conversation forward and help people by joining hands with United Way. We can all be a Manav in someone else’s life.’
This initiative is set to boost the work that United Way, an NGO based in Mumbai is already doing in a big way with youngsters and underprivileged families even during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Jayanti Shukla from United Way said, ‘Mental health issues have increased with the Covid-19 lockdown. So this initiative comes at absolutely the right time.’ She added that ‘The Pavitra Rishta fund will tackle mental illness with these three steps: Fight the stigma, create awareness to the signs and symptoms, build a support system.’
Watch the panel discussion here which includes a tutorial on how to get access to pavitrarishtafund.com
— ZEE5 (@ZEE5India) July 14, 2020
The panel discussion hosted by RJ Rohini included Tarun Katial, Ekta Kapoor, Dr. Harish Shetty and motivational speaker Priya Kumar. They all explored their own battles with mental illness while highlighting that Pavitra Rishta Fund will help the mental health movement reach more people and create more awareness.
Ekta Kapoor spoke about how people in her profession see unreal amounts of abuse and gaslighting for their failures on social media daily. She also talked about the frustrations in the middle-class families where people are losing jobs wives are being ill-treated and relationships are breaking. down. She says Pavitra Rishta, starring the late Sushant Singh Rajput as Manav, was a story for the simple middle-class people and the Pavitra Rishta Fund will do the same. “I was happy to be a part of this initiative. People think mental illness is a rich man’s issue. I want this to reach the common man, housewives and the people in our industry too. We will help people get access to mental health facilities. I am happy a ‘corporate’ like ZEE5 is getting into this fight against mental health in a big way,” said Ekta.
Tarun Katial mentioned the idea for this fund also came from Ekta Kapoor. He said, “It’s unfortunate that we all, including myself, feel like doing something only after something big happens (Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide). But to not react at all will be worse. The idea came to me after Ekta told me that night what happened was not good. I decided we need to do something to help people, from content that people can watch, and help connect them to people who can help them.” He also spoke about how a 10-day vipasana improved his mental condition immensely and how he continues to meditate every morning.
Dr. Harish Shetty one of the foremost voices on mental health in India said that India is on the edge of a mental illness avalanche which comes after disasters like the Coronavirus. It has to be a movement, not just professionals because there are not enough today.
He explained the sadness is a fleeting emotion it is like a sprain, but the depression is a fracture in the mind. People need to understand depression sometimes does not have a trigger. Yoga, Vipassana and even exercise are anti-depressants that are free of cost. But what people need to heal the fracture is therapy and medication first.’
He revealed a shocking stat which is that 50% percent of people committing suicide are not depressed. They don’t know how to deal with frustration like loss of money and feel shame and no one told them it’s okay!
Ekta Kapoor also opened up on her own battle will mental illness saying “I suffer high levels of anxiety. I am a clinically proven hypochondriac. I go into depression because I feel like I am falling ill. But I am better now because my friends know about it, I have been to a psychiatrist and I am not afraid to speak about it. However, a lot of housewives might be.”
Motivational speaker, Priya Kumar spoke about not only helping someone out once because they might seek help once, and go back to their own pattern later. Instead, she stressed on the need for a more lasting impact to give people a strong mental foundation so they can deal with situations and criticism better in the future.