Celebrities send messages out to raise awareness against mental health and depression

Give them the attention they deserve, shares Hareem Farooq


Mental health is something not to be taken lightly. Although the suicide rate in Pakistan is increasing ever so slowly, we as a society, are not taking preventive measures to understand the reason behind it. Depression and anxiety fall into categories of mental illnesses which need to be addressed ASAP. These are medical conditions and need proper treatment.

We as a society, either consider mental illnesses a laughing stock or are non-serious about them. And falling prey to the same non seriousness and neglect of the society, another young girl, has lost her life.

Rushaan Farrukh, 24, a student of BNU Lahore committed suicide on Monday, following her battle with depression. Another young life lost and nothing could be done to save her. Rushaan jumped off the building while people made nasty comments about her from down below.

Following Rushaan’s death there has been a huge outcry from our celebrities, demanding the proper attention be paid to depression and mental health for all.

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The words of someone who had had enough and chose to end her life….and the words of the one who witnessed it… maybe this can tell us what’s happening in someone’s head right before they give up….maybe it can give us insight into what it feels like for someone who is struggling through a dark, dark phase, someone who feels utterly helpless and hopeless….and how we chose to disregard it, how we gave it no attention, how insensitive and unkind we chose to be… maybe this is where we can start changing our perceptions, attitudes and behaviour… Mental illness is many things. It is hard, it is consuming, sometimes it's life long, it can be seasonal, it can be debilitating and it is definitely exhausting. What it is not is – insanity, a phase, a flu (to be cured in 7-10 days), 'just your personality', or something you can just 'get over'. We need to start educating and counselling not only students but also parents and teachers, on how to deal with mental health, depression and various other ways of being. This should be top priority. We need to be kind. We need to be aware. We need to be gentle. Not just with others but also with ourselves. #rip beautiful #rushaanfarukh I hope you’re in a better place…

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the authorLaiba Sabeen

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