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Deepika Padukone to discuss mental health during Covid-19 pandemic with WHO chief

MUMBAI: With an aim to prioritise mental health during the coronavirus pandemic, Bollywood star Deepika Padukone and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will engage in a discussion, the actor announced on Sunday.

The Chhapaak star, who was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2014, will go live on Instagram with the WHO chief on Thursday at 7.30 pm IST. "Prioritizing mental health during the pandemic and beyond... Join Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO and I, as we discuss the importance of mental health during the #COVID19 pandemic and lessons we can learn for the future," Deepika shared in a post.

A year after going public with her diagnosis, the 34-year-old actor launched The Live Love Laugh Foundation to create awareness around mental health. Talking about mental health in an interview earlier in April, Deepika said, "Post mental illness, I feel like I was on this journey already, of understanding life beyond materialism, and wanting to grow and evolve as a person. I feel like that journey for me already began in 2014, so I am not finding this period difficult at all. In fact, there is a lot of introspection and self-realisation that I am enjoying. I seem to be at peace about what is coming our way."

But she noted that conversations about mental health are few and far between. "I feel like it's one of those things that has been underrepresented, there is not enough focused on mental health in a crisis," she said. While she and Singh donated to the PM Cares fund, they've also been focusing on ramping up awareness through Padukone's platform, The Live Love Laugh Foundation. "It's great that I think everyone's donating to food and you know the medical fraternity and masks, but there's also mental illness that's so important, and hasn't been highlighted enough."


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