Apollo Hospitals today announced that it has partnered with 'The Live Love Laugh Foundation' to raise awareness on mental health through the foundation's 'Together Against Depression' programme designed for doctors. Apollo Hospitals (Hospital Division) President Dr K Hari Prasad and The Live Love Laugh Foundation trustee Dr J Shyam Bhat, said the foundation will conduct 24 sessions and sensitise over 1,200 doctors from Apollo Hospitals across the country to help break the stigma surrounding mental health. "The theme of this year's World Health Day is depression.
The collaborative programme 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," Prasad said. The objective of this collaboration is to empower the general physicians with adequate knowledge and skills to counsel the patients on ways to come out of depression, he said. Doctors can play a vital role in reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness, including depression, which remains a barrier to people seeking help throughout the world, Prasad said. "There is significant lack of awareness about depression amongst medical professionals, which inhibits such persons getting medical attention. 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," Prasad explained. "Together Against Depression" will equip doctors with the right skills and resources to be key influencers in the fight against depression, Shyam Bhat said. The programme will cover a range of topics related to depression and its incidence, screening and treatment, he said. According to WHO, depression is an illness characterised by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that one normally enjoys. It affects people of all ages, from all walks of life. 4.5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from depression and the government estimates 1 in 5 people need counselling, either psychological or psychiatric, Prasad said. An NGO --'The Live Love Laugh Foundation', led by its founder actress Deepika Padukone, has already conducted the programme for 2,000 doctors around the country over the past 12 months and will cover 3,000 more doctors by this year end, Shyam said.
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