2021 has been an extremely challenging year. Expectedly, LiveLoveLaugh has had a very busy time.
Millions across the country are currently without access to mental health services, and we have been doing all we can to support them. Our programs offer psychosocial support to rural communities in Karnataka (Davangere and Gulbarga) and Odisha (Lakshmipur). We launched Frontline Assist, a free counseling service to support the mental health of India’s heroic frontline workers, who are an at-risk group reeling under significant stress.
Our mental health education efforts continue to gather momentum with the updated content of our adolescent mental health program, now delivered online through our partnership with Unacademy. Also, with the second cycle of our general physician training program focused on common mental disorders now complete, we have reached nearly 2,500 doctors, helping build the broader medical fraternity’s understanding of mental illness. A deeper understanding is essential to our goal of creating a more open, nuanced, and transparent mental health conversation in the country.
Despite the global crisis, sports continue to uplift our spirits, with athletes across the world and varied disciplines taking the field with courage and commitment and often spending time away from their loved ones. While commendable, this pressure to perform also has a dark side. The 2021 edition of the LiveLoveLaugh lecture series focused on the importance of mental health for athletes, urging authorities, society, and individuals to prioritize mental health. Released on World Mental Health Day and delivered by Abhinav Bindra, the first Indian to win an individual Olympic Gold, the lecture sparked a crucial conversation about the need to prioritize mental well-being at every tier of ability and performance.
Since research is a cornerstone of our work, an important milestone at the foundation has been the release of the 2021 study — How India Perceives Mental Health — a nationwide research exercise to explore our country’s knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding mental health. Building on our findings from 2018, the study points out significant shifts in India’s perception of mental health, specifically in areas of treatment and perception of people with mental illness.
Working through this pandemic has reinforced our sense of purpose and given us immense belief in the power of our work. The support of our donors, partners, and well-wishers has been instrumental in our ability to execute our activities despite challenges. We are looking forward to making an even greater impact in 2022.
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