‘Let’s talk about depression’, urges Indian PM Narendra Modi

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose an unusual (for him) subject to address during his ” – depression. That is, depression of the mental kind, not a depression in the rupee or in manufacturing or in productivity.”We (in India) are afraid to talk about it (depression) openly,” the PM said, adding that the focus of World Health Day this year is depression.World Health Day is on April 7. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 36% of Indians are depressed.”The total number of people living with depression in the world is 322 million. Nearly half of these people live in the South-East Asia Region and Western Pacific Region, reflecting the relatively large populations of those two areas which include India and China,” says the WHO report, ‘Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders – Global Health Estimates’.The PM said those who are depressed must share how they feel with loved ones.”Suppression of depression is not good. Expression is always good. If depressed, share your feelings with others, it will make you feel better,” PM Modi said.In today’s India, so many young people move out of home to study and live in hostels and they don’t have their loved ones to fall back on, Modi said.”In that sense, we are lucky to have had joint families, where if someone was feeling out of sorts it would always be noticed,” he added.Modi urged Indians not to keep the issue under wraps.”Depression can be overcome. We all can play a role in helping those suffering from depression overcome it. It’s always good to share your feelings with others, if feeling depressed,” he said.