Apollo Hospitals collaborates with The Live Love Laugh Foundation to spread awareness and minimize the stigma around mental illness
Apollo Hospitals has partnered with The Live Love Laugh Foundation to raise awareness on Mental Health via the foundation’s “Together Against Depression” programme designed for doctors. This was announced by Dr K Hari Prasad, President – Hospital Division, Apollo Hospitals; Dr Shyam Bhat, Trustee – The Live Love Laugh Foundation and Dr J Srikanth, Sr. Consultant – Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospitals; at a press conference on the eve of World Health Day – April 7th, 2017, with this year’s theme being ‘Depression.’
Through the conduct of this sensitization programme, Apollo Hospitals’ 7000-strong clinician workforce will lead the way to help break down the stigma surrounding mental health and depression, with the aim of ultimately encouraging people going through tough times to seek help.
Spread across geographies with 60+ hospitals, clinics and pharmacies the Apollo Hospitals group has been a pioneer in taking up issues of health and wellness. In line with the vision of the founding Chairman, the partnership The Live Love Laugh Foundation will aim to conduct 24 sessions over the coming months covering ~ 1200 doctors.
A not-for-profit organization with a focus on mental health awareness, The Live Love Laugh Foundation, led by its founder Ms. Deepika Padukone, has already conducted the programme for ~ 2,000 other doctors around the country over the last 12 months. With Apollo, the scale of the programme will be expanded further.
This programme for doctors on mental health is in line with the MCI’s (Medical Council of India) new guidelines that state that 10% of all medical education programmes in India should focus on mental health.
Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends and the ability to earn a living.
At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.Yet, depression can be prevented and treated. A better understanding of what depression is, and how it can be prevented and treated, will help reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and lead to more people seeking help.
“The theme for this years’ World Health Day is Depression, and it is Apollo’s endeavor to be a pioneer in the health and wellness space. The collaborative program with The Live Love Laugh Foundation is aimed to raise awareness about mental health issues and ensure that Doctors, the first line of defense, are prepared. Many individuals go through stress and anxiety related to work and personal life, a doctor is well equipped to direct the patient towards the required help. Any chronic condition may heighten the risk of a patient developing symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. A doctor is a trusted health partner and will be able to channel the patient towards help,” according to Dr. K Hari Prasad, President, Apollo Hospitals.
“Medical practitioners can be the core of the fight against depression as they are often the primary touch point for those affected. The importance of talking about depression as a vital component of recovery and can be initiated by them. Doctors can play a vital role to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, including depression, which remains a barrier to people seeking help throughout the world. ‘Together Against Depression’ will equip doctors with the right skills and resources to be key influencers in the fight against depression,” said Dr. Shyam Bhat, Trustee – The Live Love Laugh Foundation.
The programme which will rolled across the locations of Apollo Hospitals around the country, will coverage a range of topics related to depression and its incidence, screening and treatment. The program participants will also receive material such as videos, articles, quizzes and handouts for easy reference.