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Deepika Padukone's foundation unveils awareness program on mental health for general physicians
- Planet Bollywood Special Correspondant           Let us know what you think about this story

The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF), a not-for-profit organization which aims to raise awareness of mental health in India, has launched a program that's designed to assist General Physicians (GPs) work more effectively with their patients who may be going through depression or anxiety.

The program called More Than Just Sad, was unveiled by Dr. Shyam Bhat, Psychiatrist and Trustee - The Live Love Laugh Foundation at a webinar hosted by the IMA (Indian Medical Association) in association with HCFI (Heart Care Foundation of India).

"We are pleased to launch `More Than Just Sad', the GP (General Physicians') awareness program on mental health, with this webinar that's being hosted by the IMA (Indian Medical Association). GPs are already involved in caring for patients with physical conditions; we believe the program we have launched will assist them at the first level to provide the right diagnoses and guidance to patients who could be struggling to cope with mental health issues including depression, stress and anxiety,"said Deepika Padukone, Founder, The Live Love Laugh Foundation.

Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal - Honorary Secretary General IMA & President HCFI said, "The IMA is pleased to provide The Live Love Laugh Foundation the platform to launch their program for the medical community. This program is in line with the MCI's (Medical Council of India) new guidleines that state that 10% of all medical education programmes in India should focus on mental health. We hope that through this initiative, we can help raise mass awareness about important health issues impacting the overall population and the criticality of prevention, timely diagnosis and treatment".

Noting that studies have shown that people living with chronic physical health conditions experience depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general population, Dr. Shyam Bhat, who is leading the GP awareness program at the Foundation, said: "Unfortunately, many GPs may have very limited resources in supporting people with mental health problems thereby preventing people with depression and anxiety from receiving appropriate care and treatment. The program that we've launched is our humble attempt to equip GPs with the awareness and resources to be in a better position to help their patients."

Over the course of this year, the Foundation expects to roll out the awareness program to more than 5,000 GPs around the country advising them on a range of topics related to depression and its incidence, screening and treatment. Program participants will also receive material such as videos, articles, quizzes and handouts for easy reference. The course material for More Than Just Sad has been designed, in-house, by The Live Love Laugh Foundation.

The launch of the program for GPs follows the unveiling earlier this year of You Are Not Alone - the Foundation's flagship program focused on educating high school students and teachers on stress, anxiety and depression. The Foundation expects to cover more than 500 schools around the country during the year with the program which includes separate sessions for students and teachers.


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