Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh on Wednesday challenged his fans and the film fraternity to stamp out stigma against mental health. Holding a placard in his hand that read, “It’s ok not to be ok but it’s not ok not seek help,” Riteish imparted a strong message to all the people who are dealing with mental health issues in their personal lives. The actor further added, “Let’s #StampOutStigma against Mental Health. Take a photo with a placard that says ‘It’s ok to not be ok’ & challenge your friends to do the same. I challenge @hvgoenka @ajinkyarahane88 & @AUThackeray to raise their voice.”

In a follow up tweet, Riteish credited Neerja Birla for being the force behind the challenge and raising awareness about mental health. Earlier, Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone at World Congress on Information Technology and Nasscom India Leadership Forum during a session titled  ‘Making mental wellness a boardroom priority’ stated that Depression is going to be the next big epidemic. She said, “You are not alone. One in three or five persons feel depression. It’s going to be next big epidemic to hit our country.”

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Talking about her own struggle with depression, Deepika added, “There was no motivation and drive. I was not able to think straight. You feel a burden. You feel clouded and don’t feel like yourself.” On depression becoming rampant at workplaces, Deepika said, “I think it is important to deal with people who experience mental illness with lot more empathy and a little more heart. Every organisation should focus on mental health and ensure that it has a counsellor or a psychiatrist coming in regularly to speak to the employees.”

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