Deepika Padukone was honoured at the opening session of the World Economic Forum’s 2020 annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The actor was bestowed the 26th Crystal Award for her work in spreading mental health awareness.
The actor first opened up about her battle with depression in an interview with NDTV in 2016. Since then, she has worked to normalise the discussion around mental health by speaking candidly in public forums and through her NGO, the Live Love Laugh Foundation.
“In the time it has taken me to accept this award, the world has lost one more person to suicide,” she said in her acceptance speech. She went on to describe her personal struggle with her mental health which motivated her to become a champion of the cause.
"“15 February, 2014, I vividly remember waking up with a hollow feeling in my stomach. I felt empty and directionless. I became irritable and for someone who loves to multi-task, making decisions felt like a burden. I would cry endlessly. Waking up every morning had become a struggle, I was exhausted and I often felt like giving up. My mother, who recognised that something was amiss insisted that I seek help. Subsequently, I was diagnosed with anxiety and clinical depression.”" - Deepika Padukone, Actor
Deepika said her experience battling depression prompted her to help others and set up the Live Love Laugh foundation to provide mental health awareness programs in schools in India, funding for free psychiatric treatment, medical education programs, public awareness campaigns and more. “Through my journey to recovery as I began to understand the stigma and lack of awareness associated with mental illness, I felt a deep need to save at least one life. It was this need that motivated me to go public with my illness and set up the Live Love Laugh foundation,” she said.
"“My love and hate relationship with this has taught me so much. To be patient, for one; that you are not alone; but most importantly, that there is hope.”" - Deepika Padukone
Ranveer cheered Deepika on from the sidelines, writing in a comment on an Instagram post of her with the award, “Amazing! You make me so proud baby.”
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