- Initiative launched to coincide with World Mental Health Day
- The Grey Ribbon campaign to generate awareness about mental illness and ask people to join the cause to extend support to those in need
- Bipasha Basu joins in support with Aman Iqbal, wears the Grey Ribbon
New Delhi : India, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), has one of the largest population suffering from one form of mental illness or the other. The report pegs that 6.5 per cent of Indians suffer from some form of the serious mental disorder, with no discernible rural-urban differences.
In India the situation is a cause of worry with low awareness about the subject, social stigma attached to it and lack of support from the society. While there is much sympathy for mental health sufferers, stigmatization is widespread.
To raise awareness about the issue, and garner support for the large population suffering, Aman Iqbal, a healthcare visionary and founder of Vantage Enterprise, has announced “IAmHere4You” movement. This movement is aimed at addressing the stigma that is attached with the people with mental illness, spread the positive word of mouth through the army of individuals who will come forth to support the cause, and ultimately create space in the society for an open dialogue on mental health and its reception in a positive manner.
Announcing the ‘#IAmHere4You’ movement, Aman Iqbal said, “Due to the stigma associated with mental illness, a lack of awareness, and limited access to professional help, only 10-12% of these sufferers seek help. We want to change this. Our movement ‘#IAmHere4You’ will drive support for the mental health sufferers from fellow Indians. Awareness is the first step in this direction and thus the ‘Grey Ribbon’ campaign will attract people through social media platforms where they will wear the Grey Ribbon as a mark of acknowledgement, and pledge their support.”
The introductory tweet from Aman called out to the social universe for the movement
At just 6,000 psychiatrists for 1.35 billion people, India has a very low ratio of mental health experts. The ‘#IAmHere4You’ movement stands for fighting stigma attached with Mental Health and create torch bearers to guide the way for those in need of support. The movement has found Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu as an early supporter for the cause.
Wearing the Grey Ribbon and endorsing the ‘#IAmHere4You’ movement, Bipasha Basu said, “Mental Health remains the most neglected topic. But not anymore, Interventions in the form of medicine, psychological and social help, can make a huge difference. On the World Mental Health Day, I stand with every Indian suffering with #MentalIllness. To show my support, I will wear this grey ribbon as a testament to their individual strength and resilience. I am joining #iamhere4You campaign with Aman Iqbal and will wear this grey ribbon to support the cause.”
Bipasha also tweeted in support of the campaign
The ‘#IAmHere4You’ movement aims to address the serious mental health crisis India is suffering from, with an estimated 56 million people suffering from depression and 38 million from anxiety disorders, according to WHO.
‘I hope the positive word on our movement spreads ad reached everyone who needs to hear and know it. May this be the end of the thought where people talk about metal health. I wish this movement to contribute to the health index of our country, for a healthy nation is built of people with healthy minds, added Aman Iqbal.