Bollywood Celebrities Who Took Up The Cause Of Spreading Mental Health Awareness

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Bollywood Celebrities Who Took Up The Cause Of Spreading Mental Health Awareness
Bollywood Celebrities Who Took Up The Cause Of Spreading Mental Health Awareness


It’s not uncommon for celebrities to talk about mental health issues today. But, there are some who have gone the extra mile and put the weight of their clout behind the cause, and invested significant energy and resources to spread awareness about mental health with their foundations. Here, we list those Bollywood celebrities who can now be regarded as champions of mental health because of their activism in the field.

Celebrities who are mental health awareness activists

1. Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone Live Love Laugh foundation ©

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone is perhaps the most significant name in the context of Indian celebrities advocating mental health awareness. Deepika not only opened up on her struggles with depression in 2015 but also started The Live Love Laugh Foundation.

In Meghan Markle’s recent podcast, Deepika even talked about how people didn’t believe she was being sincere about having depression: “With everything good that you do, there will always be skepticism. There were a bunch of people who felt that either I was doing this to promote a movie or they thought I was being paid by a pharmaceutical company, and that I’m now going to start advertising for some sort of medication.”

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But, despite the naysayers, Deepika has remained a crusader for the cause. Today, her organisation helps people find counsellors, provides helplines, and has several programs involving school students and people in rural areas. You can get connected to actual doctors via this platform, and get help for mental health concerns like stress, anxiety or depression.

2. Ira Khan

Ira Khan Agatsu Foundation ©

Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira recently started the Agatsu Foundation, saying, “Agatsu is my attempt, it’s my way of trying to find a balance, of trying to attain equilibrium to make my life better for me, to facilitate you in making your life better for you, whatever that means for you.”

Aimed at providing mental health and wellbeing resources, the organisation also has community centred workshops where people can mingle, talk, and do exercises to help with their wellbeing. They also do webinars with psychologists on various topics related to mental health to spread awareness on the matter.

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This comes after Ira’s candid confession about her own experience with depression: “There are lots of parts to me. This is a conflict between two of them that very seriously affects my attempts at healing from my overall depression. But the burn outs are getting longer so now I have to try harder.” She also talked about how hard it was for her to accept her own depression: “Even now there is a part in me that doesn’t believe, that thinks that I’m overreacting, and it’s because of the way my depression manifests itself. I don’t harm myself, I don’t do drugs, I don’t have loads of coffee, I don’t have immediate threats to my life, that’s not how my depression manifests.”

3. Shaheen Bhatt

Shaheen Bhatt Here Comes The Sun ©

Alia Bhatt’s older sister, Shaheen Bhatt, has been candid about her struggles with clinical depression and anxiety. Shaheen wrote a book, I’ve Never Been (Un) Happier, about her experience with mental illness.

While launching the book with sister Alia by her side, Shaheen told Barkha Dutt for Mojo Story, “For me this is forcing myself out into the open and dealing with my insecurities and laying them all out on the table. We live in a society now where everyone’s pretending to be okay all the time. We’re just whitewashing everything all the time and we’re all scared. Yet for some reason we’re all pretending that we don’t. When you talk about anything authentically, it connects because somebody’s going ‘Oh sh*t, I’m not the only one who feels that way.’”

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Shaheen has also started a platform called Here Comes The Sun to encourage conversations on mental health. She also inspired Alia’s work in Dear Zindagi, a film which centred around a young woman with mental health issues who starts seeing a therapist.

Navya Nanda Aara Health ©

Shweta Bachchan Nanda’s daughter Navya runs two organisations, Aara Health and Project Naveli. Aara Health primarily provides healthcare products for women, but is also a platform which provides awareness and education on mental health-related topics. Project Naveli, which focuses on gender equality, also delves into matters of mental health, especially that of women.

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In addition to that, Navya herself has also opened up about suffering from anxiety and seeking therapy for it. In a video shared by Aara Health, Navya talked about seeing a therapist for her anxiety: “People realise too late sometimes that they need to get help. I go for, like, severe anxiety. I get really bad anxiety sometimes and I just don’t know why. I think I learnt self-awareness actually by going to therapy.”

5. Jameela Jamil

Jameela Jamil I Weigh ©

British actress Jameela Jamil, known for her work in The Good Place and She Hulk, started the platform I Weigh to address body-shaming initially. But now, it’s grown into a podcast and full-blown mental health movement. Addressing the mental health problems caused by lack of inclusivity in the fashion, beauty and entertainment world, I Weigh is now a community that aims to undo the exclusionary shaming that leads to depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, and a host of other mental health issues.

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Jameela herself has also spoken up on social media about her experience with the same, talking about how her body dysmorphia and eating disorder during her early days in the entertainment industry wrecked her mental health. Today, she’s ensuring the same doesn’t happen to other people.

6. Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez Rare Impact Fund ©

Pop singer, Hollywood actress and former Disney Channel star Selena Gomez talked about her mental health in public consistently. From struggling with the pressures of fame to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she has always been committed to talking about mental illnesses.

She also produced the show 13 Reasons Why, which stirred up conversations on bullying, mental health and self-harm. Recently, she started the Rare Impact Fund for mental health advocacy and some proceeds from her beauty brand, Rare Beauty, go into this foundation.

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