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Want to tell all those suffering that you are not alone: Deepika Padukone speaks on depression at Davos

The Chhapaak (2020) actress was presented with the annual Crystal award on the first evening of the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland.

Photo: Deepika Padukone on Instagram

Our Correspondent

Deepika Padukone made a mark on the first evening of the World Economic Forum being held at Davos in Switzerland yesterday by speaking about depression.

The actress was presented the annual Crystal award for her leadership in tackling and spreading information on mental illnesses and the need to handle them sensitively. 

Taking to the stage, Padukone addressed the need to include people suffering from mental illnesses "now more than ever" to "truly achieve a cohesive and sustainable world".

Speaking about her own battle with the illness, she said, "My love-and-hate relationship with this has taught me a lot and I want to tell everyone suffering from this that you are not alone."

The actress added that it was her experience that led her to establish the Live Love Laugh Foundation to help people cope with mental illnesses.

"Depression is a common yet serious illness," she said. "It is important to understand that anxiety and depression are like any other illness and treatable. It was my experience with this illness that encouraged me to set up Live Love Laugh."

Noting that it was the stage of an economic forum, Padukone chose to elaborate on the economic impact of the disease. "One trillion dollars is the estimated impact of depression and mental illness on the world economy," she said. "In the time it has taken for me to receive this award, the world has lost one more person to suicide."

Padukone recently starred in Meghna Gulzar's Chhapaak (2020), where she played an acid-attack victim. The film was based on the story of real-life acid-attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal.

The actress later joined Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), for a conversation on mental illness.